Plum Bakewell Tart
1 kilogram plums
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon teaspoon cornflour, dissolved in 1 cold water
50 grams almonds, blanched and sliced (or use the flaked ones you can buy)
For the frangipane:
285 grams blanched whole almonds
50 grams plain flour
1 vanilla pod
250 grams unsalted butter, cubed
250 grams caster sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the shortcrust pastry:
500 grams plain flour
100 grams icing sugar
250 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
1 zest of lemon
2 large eggs, beaten
a splash of milk
flour for dusting
Grease a tart tin or dish with the butter and make the pastry. Sieve the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Using your hands, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar until you have a fine, crumbly mixture. Mix in the lemon zest. Add the eggs and milk to the mixture and work it together until you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly, wrap it in clingfilm and put into the fridge to rest for about half an hour.When you have your ball of dough, wrap it in clingfilm and place it in the fridge to rest for about half an hour. Once the pastry has rested, remove it from the frdige and roll it out onto a floured surface. Line the tart dish with the rolled out pastry, pressing it gently into place. Put it in the freezer for an hour.
Meanwhile, make the frangipane. Blitz the blanched whole almonds (to blanche the almonds yourself leave the almonds in a bowl of hot water for 15-20 minutes and then peel the skins off) in a food processor until you have a fine powder and transfer this to a bowl with the flour. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, using the back of a knife. (Mix the seeds with a little sugar to separate them if need be). Now blitz the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds until light and creamy. Put the almond mixture back into the food processor with the lightly beaten eggs and whiz until completely mixed and smooth. Place in the fridge to firm up for about half an hour.
Heat the oven to 180° C/350° F and bake the pastry case for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven, leaving the oven on.
Halve the plums and remove the stones. Finely chop half of them and place in a saucepan with the vanilla sugar and the spices. Cook gently until softened and the consistency is jam-like. Then stir in the cornflour and simmer until thickened.
While the plums are cooking, cut the remaining plums halves into quarters, sprinkle them with icing sugar and leave for 5 minutes – this will make them juicy and shiny. Spoon the warm plum jam into the pastry case, reserving a little for serving, and smooth it out across the bottom. Spread the frangipane over the plum jam. Arrange the plums on the surface of the frangipane, pressing them in lightly. Scatter the sliced/flaked almonds over the top. Bake the tart in the oven for about an hour. It’s a good idea to place the tart dish on a piece of baking parchment as it has a tendency to bubble over – at least mine did! Once cooked through and golden on top, remove the tart from the oven and leave it to cool.
Before serving sieve some icing sugar over the top of the tart. Serve with whipped cream or crème fraiche and some of the leftover jam.