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Hazelnut Plum Tart

August 25, 2011

A couple days ago I went plum crazy at Whole Foods.  As in crazy over plums.  There were so many varieties, and they all looked ripe and delicious, so I bought A LOT.  Fortunately, one of my favorite bloggers, Deb at Smitten Kitchen, recently made this Hazelnut Plum Tart and shared on her blog.  I didn’t have any heavy cream on hand though, so I decided to take her suggestion of trying it out with cream cheese instead.  It turned delicious, but I think I’d try the original recipe with heavy cream next time instead.

What I liked about this recipe the most was that the plums take the spotlight.  The juiciness of the fruit is at the forefront with subtle hints of hazelnut just complementing the sweet flavor.  I made it in an 8×8 pyrex dish, but it would definitely be better in a springform pan if you have one.

Hazelnut Plum Tart

Ingredients:

Crust and crumbs
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), chilled, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
1/3 cup (1 3/4 ounces of 49 grams) hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Filling
1 pound ripe but firm plums (about 4 standard black ones or 12 smaller Italian plums; I used a mix of both)
1 tablespoon (8 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy cream (I used cream cheese here instead)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grated nutmeg, optional

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan (or tart pan/pyrex). Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes, then let cool enough to remove the skins. Place nuts in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until medium fine, about 30 pulses.  I made this process easier by buying the hazelnuts pieces at the grocery store rather than whole hazelnuts.  I didn’t have to worry about the skins and the pulsing was a bit faster.

Transfer nuts to the bowl of an electric mixer and add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix on low until combined. Add your butter and continue to mix on low speed until crumbs begin to stick together, about 3 minutes. Press 3/4  of the crumb into the bottom of the prepared pan and an inch or so up on the sides of the pan to form a crust.  Set aside the remaining crumb. Bake the crust until it sets, about 15 minutes.  Allow the crust to cool.

Slice your pitted plums into eighths. Arrange slices into the cooled crust. Whisk together 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Add in egg, egg yolk, cream cheese, milk, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a dashes of grated nutmeg. Pour custard over fruit and sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture. Put tart in the oven and bake until custard has set and is slightly golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Allow the tart to rest for about 25 minutes before serving. You can serve this warm or at room temperature.

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