At this time of year, both hedgerow and garden plot are equally full to bursting with fruits that need to be transformed into something longer lasting. Plums are at their best now. Greengages, Victoria and Mirabelle plums are delicious and can be made into both sweet and savoury dishes or condiments. Try these three classic plum and almond tart recipes if you have lots of plums or pluots (juicy apricot/plum hybrid). The first is the most indulgent plum tart recipe, good for a dinner party or special occasion. The others are lighter, and you can enjoy them at your leisure.
The first two recipes below require a shortcut pastry shell baked blind (225g pastry in 20-22cm tart tin).
Plums halved are covered with a rich frangipane to make a delicious, seasonal tart. Photo: Getty Images
The rich one
Lots of plums and a heavy batter. An indulgent treat.
- 200g sugar
- 200g coarsely ground almonds
- 200g butter
- 4 egg yols
- 1tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 vanilla pod’s seeds
- 16-20 plum halves
(Oven at 190°C)
- Make a rich, stiff almond paste of 200g each of sugar, coarsely ground almonds and butter whizzed up with 4 egg yolks, 1tbsp lemon zest and 1/2 vanilla pod’s seeds.
- Spoon this filling into the pastry case, smooth it and then arrange 16-20 plum halves: place one in the centre cut side up and make two further rings of plums.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes at 190°C, and cover loosely with foil if browning too fast.
The light one
A less rich version made with less plums and a light almond batter.
- 10-15 plums (halved)
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g butter
- 1 egg beaten
- 50g almonds
(oven at 190°C)
- Make with 10-15 plums halved and placed close together cut side up in the pastry case.
- Blend 50g caster sugar, 50g butter, 1 egg beaten and 50g ground almonds and blend.
- Carefully pour the almond batter around the fruit.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 190°C, and cover loosely with foil if browning too fast.
The everyday one
The easiest recipe of the three as it doesn’t require a pre-baked case.
- 5tbsp sugar
- 1tbsp ground almonds
- 1tbsp flour
- 500g plums (stoned and cut into crescents)
(Oven at 180°C)
- Mix 2tbsp sugar, 1tbsp ground almonds and 1tbsp flour.
- Roll your pastry out on a tray lined with parchment, and spread the mixture on top, leaving a 2cm border.
- Arrange 500g of plums stoned and cut into crescents on top of the mixture.
- Sprinkle the fruit with 3tbsp sugar then roll over and crimp the pastry sides.
- Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar, before baking at 180°C for 35 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the pastry a deep golden brown.
- Allow to cool, then brush with melted jam or jelly (optional).
OR try this…
Jojo also uses her damson plums to make a plum purée that can be added to sparkling wine.
- Simply make a purée from cooked and sieved damsons sweetened with sugar. Then, take a teaspoon of the mixture and put it into the bottom of a champagne glass. Finish by pouring over sparkling wine
Use as you would cassis to make a kir royale.
Words by Jojo Tulloh
Illustrations by Sarah Young