My parents have lots of fruit trees in their garden and, as plums are now in season, they were kind enough to give me plenty to bake with!
There are loads of fantastic plum based recipes so it was tough to choose what to bake this week, but I decided to opt for a plum and almond tart to take back to them at the weekend.
I started by making the pâte sucrée (a sweet short crust pastry) recipe included in Will Torrent's Pâtisserie at Home which combines 100g unsalted butter, 100g caster sugar (though you can use granulated if you prefer), the seeds from one vanilla bean, the zest of one unwaxed lemon, 2 lightly beaten eggs, and 250g of flour. After beating these ingredients together, the pastry needed to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before anything else.
So, after a couple of quality hours with Netflix, I lined my tin with the chilled pastry, before returning it to the fridge whilst I made the filling.
For the filling, I used a recipe available on the Waitrose website. The 75g ground almonds in this recipe created an almost frangipane-like flavour and texture in the final sponge. However, an equal 75g of self-raising flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder gave the filling a lift, making it more 'cakey' and less dense than frangipane.
I pretty much stuck to the Waitrose recipe for the filling, only changing it by adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg to the mix. I didn't want these to overwhelm the filling, but just to add a little extra depth of flavour to the sponge.
Then once the tart was baked I brushed it with the boiled apricot jam and water mix, as recommended, for a real shine on the top.
Now I've just got to think of what to make with the remaining kilo of plums! Answers on a postcard please.