Friday, 16 July 2010
I promised the Brancolis I would post this, having served it to them at dinner a couple of weeks ago...and now, I need to get on and do it before I completely forget what went into the thing The recipe was the result of a bowl of garden plums sitting on the worktop in the kitchen, and the need to do something with them before they got up and left of their own accord...and walnuts and plums are always a good combination, where the bitterness of the nuts matches the sweetness of the plums (which can sometimes seem a little one-note-ish).
The quantities are given in volume measures, rather than by weight, as I made the recipe up as I went along.
For one 12" tart.
Ingredients: Shortcrust pastry, made with 300g '00' flour, 250g butter, 50 ml water, & a pinch of salt; 4-5 cups of small, ripe plums (the ones I used were about the size of large cherry tomatoes - larger fruit would work, too, but would need to be cut into eighths rather than quarters); half a cup of demerara sugar; one generous tablespoon of cinnamon; 20 walnuts, shelled and cut into large pieces; rind of one lemon and one orange; one cup of ground almonds (or, in the absence of almonds, you can substitute flour - the point of this ingredient is to absorb the juice that the fruit will release during cooking, which risks making the pastry soggy); one egg white; caster sugar (for sprinkling).
1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Use slightly more than half the pastry to line a greased, false-bottomed tin. Blind bake until it begins to brown, then set aside while you make the filling.
3. Stone and quarter the plums, and then combine with all the other ingredients, apart from the ground almonds, egg white and caster sugar.
4. Spread the almonds evenly over the baked pastry shell, then fill the shell with the plum and walnut mixture.
5. Roll out the remaining pastry and either cut it into strips to make a lattice top for the tart, or else use a lattice template (which I always do - much quicker and more straightforward). Brush the top of the tart with beaten egg white, and bake for about half an hour, until the pastry is a rich golden brown. Immediately on taking the tart from the oven, sprinkle the top with a couple of spoonfuls of caster sugar.
Best served warm or cold, not hot.