Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Tarte aux prunes vertes - Green plum tart (Vegan mofo 2013 IV)

French is full of false friends: actuel means current, tampon means stamp, cave means cellar, and prune means plum. The super keen among you may be interested to learn that the French for prune is actually pruneau. You're welcome.

The plums at the market are great at the moment: all plump and juicy and begging to be bought. What better way to use them up than in a tart? I made this with green plums because I like my tarts tart, but any colour is fine.

I guess my tart looks kind of burned, but since you see these blackened bits on fruit tarts in all the best Paris bakeries, I'm fine with that. More important than the appearance are the bite from the pastry, and the gooey layers of frangipane and custardy yum, plus the fruity tang of the plums themselves.

Tarte aux prunes - Plum tart recipe

500g plums of any colour
1 roll pastry (shortcrust, puff, whatever is fine)
100g powdered almonds
80g icing sugar
3 Tbsp custard powder
3 Tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 pint + 1 splash soya milk

  1. First, blind bake your pastry: lay it out in your pie dish, prick, put a disc of baking paper on the bottom, fill with dried beans, and bake at 200°C for 10 minutes. Then remove the beads and baking paper, and bake for a further 3 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make your frangipane: in a small bowl combine the powdered almonds and icing sugar. Moisten with a splash of soya milk and mix to a spreadable paste.
  3. Now prepare your plums. Stone them by cutting them in half along their bum cracks, twisting the two halves to separate, and removing the stone.
  4. Make your custard: in a small pan, place the custard powder, caster sugar, almond extract, and 3 Tbsp soya milk. Whisk to form a paste. Then add the rest of the pint of soya milk and heat over medium heat, whisking or stirring constantly. It should be thicker than your average custard.
  5. Assemble your tart: spread a layer of frangipane over the pastry crust. Then top this with a layer of custard. Try to make it reasonably flat. Top with your plum halves.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200°C.
Allow your plum tart to cool for at least ten minutes before eating.

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