Friday, September 16, 2011

Plum Frangipane Crostata

Plums are nice this time of year, and though not my main choice for eating out of hand, there are many things that can be done with them. Make sure to choose plums that smell sweet. They should also be firm, but give a little when pressed with a finger.

I think they benefit from a little cooking to concentrate their flavor.

A crostata is a slightly rustic, free-form tart.
Frangipane is almond cream.
When combined with plums, a pretty and enjoyable dessert can be created.

Before baking the tart ends up looking like a chrysanthemum with all the pieces of plum arranged on top. Afterwards, the fruit settles a little and the frangipane puffs a bit and fills in the open spaces between the slices of plum.

This dessert doesn't end up being too sweet, and it might be nice with softly whipped and sweetened cream or mascarpone.

Plum Frangipane Crostata
serves 8

2 c flour
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
12 T unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 T cold water

1/2 c almond flour
1/2 T cornstarch
3 T unsalted butter
3 T sugar
1 large egg
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 t almond extract
1 1/2 lb. fresh, ripe plums
2 T sugar (or vanilla sugar)

In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour and sugar until well combined. Add the butter. If using a food processor, pulse several times until the butter is broken down into small pieces and looks like wet sand. If by hand, break the butter down using fingers, two knives, or a pastry cutter.
Add the cold water and fold gently until the dough comes together. Shape into a ball, flatten, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the frangipane.
Combine the almond flour and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix to just combine. Pour in the almond flour and cornstarch and mix on low speed until combined. Once the mixture is well-blended, refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out pastry dough on a floured surface to a circle about 13 inches in diameter. Transfer to a pan prepared with a sheet of parchment paper. Spread the frangipane in the center of the pastry, leaving about 2 inches around the edge free of the filling. Cut the plums so that you have sixteen wedges per plum. Arrange the plums on top of the frangipane. You may have extra plum, but that's ok. Sprinkle the plums with sugar and fold the free edge up over the plums.
Bake 45-55 minutes, or until the crust is golden, and the frangipane is golden in spots and set near the center of the tart.
Cool, and serve warm or room temperature.


  1. That sounds so good right now! I am usually a little intimated by pies and tarts in general. So, I like that this is free form and I can just wing it. :)

    Ashley H.

  2. Wow! It does look like a chrysanthemum.
    Good call, Natalie!

  3. We never had that, delicious. How about some whipped cream on top (not completely stiff)?