Baking | Plum Tart with Walnut Frangipane … on my list to do before summer went!

“What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?”
Logan Pearsall Smith

Plum Tart with Walnut FrangipaneSome days are good while others not so. Generally days which begin with successfully seeing the kids off to school in the morning are good ones {meaning no nonsensical arguments at the crack of dawn, uniforms located in time, and the bus boarded on the stop and not being chased by a car of ‘see we missed the bus again’ teens}! On one such good day I made it this Plum Tart with Walnut Frangipane!Plum Tart with Walnut FrangipaneFruit in season must be the biggest thrill of my life. I am a locavore to the core. Fresh produce makes my heart sing. This has been a good summer, a season flooded with stone fruit. {Did I tell you that I’ve switched over to raw sugar in my baking? If you live in India, do see if you can get bhura or khand at your local grocer.}Plum Tart with Walnut FrangipaneI love baking with plums because they turn into a beautiful deep red once baked. One thing I HAD to do this season was to bake with plums. I’ve done loads of cherries and peaches this year, but no stand alone plum bake! I still have a few recipes bookmarked yet something different played in my mind when I entered the kitchen that day…Plum Tart with Walnut Frangipane

Plum Tart with Walnut Frangipane the result was this tart! I love substituting plain flour with a little bit of something more healthy, maybe a nut meal or cornmeal, maybe buckwheat flour … then wait with fingers crossed hoping that it doesn’t fall to bits! Whichever way it goes, I know that the family will sit and enjoy the bits even if it fails, scooping the crumbs up etc! That alone keeps me ticking!Plum Tart with Walnut FrangipaneSomethings  happened to my time management. There’s never enough in a day so the tart happened over two days. Baked the shell and made the frangipane on day one’ Happily enough, the next morning was a breeze. Dropped the kids off to the bus, raced back home and within 20 minutes I had a tart baking in the oven! Plum Tart with Walnut FrangipaneI love baking with frangipane. Do you?

Frangipane, sometimes spelled frangipani, is similar to a pastry cream, and some may refer to it as specifically an almond pastry cream. Actually, frangipane can be any cream or custard-like substance with nuts. What makes it different from the average pastry cream is that it is often used as a filling in pies and is baked. This results in a very different crusty exterior to pies or tarts, and is a quite rich and delicious alternative to standard fruit pies.

Have baked loads with it, both free form and in a tart tin – pears, figs, fig and buckwheat,  strawberries, plum, even a plum frangipane clafoutis, but the frangipane has always been an almond based one. This time around I went the walnut way just because I had a stash of walnuts from my last trip to Old Delhi. I added some walnuts to the base too, hence the dark colour.Plum Tart with Walnut FrangipaneThe shell wasn’t a very ‘crisp to bite’ one and thankfully it wasn’t very crumbly which was my biggest concern. It’s a rich shortcrust like base, and compliments the frangipane well. The plums were tart as Indian plums usually are so the extra sugar on top. Use firm ripe plums so that they hold shape. Paint them with slightly warm honey or apricot jam and they glisten.Plum Tart with Walnut FrangipaneDon’t be tempted to cut the tart while very warm as it might crumble. Give it some time to firm up, an hour maybe if the weather is warm. We like our pies and tarts cold in summer, so ours was popped into the fridge for a couple of hours. Best enjoyed with a drizzle of unsweetened low fat cream IMHO, though great without too as the teens declared {both quite diet conscious now}.

 [print_this]Recipe: Plum Tart with Walnut Frangipane your picture

Summary: A delicious summer tart with plums and walnuts. Walnuts add colour to the base and frangipane too. It’s a make ahead one, and you can even make the shell and frangipane a day ahead!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus cooling time

  • Walnut Tart Shell
  • 150g plain flour
  • 40g cornmeal {makki ka aata}
  • 50g walnuts
  • 15g raw sugar {I used khaand}
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed, chilled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tbsp chilled water {if required}
  • Walnut Frangipane
  • 100g walnuts
  • 50g raw sugar or brown sugar {I used khaand}
  • 70g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 15g flour
  • Topping
  • 500g plums {about 10-12} pitted, quartered
  • 2tbsp Turbinado or raw sugar for sprinkling on top
  • 2-3tbsp honey for glaze, melted


  1. Tart shell {can be baked a day before}
  2. Place the plain flour, walnuts, cornmeal and sugar in bowl of processor and grind in short pulses to fine meal.
  3. Add chilled butter anf process briefly until a breadcrumb like micture is achieved. Add the egg yolk and process until it just starts clumping together. When pinched with the finger tips, it must  hold together. If it doesn’t, then ad 1/2 tbsp of water at a time.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and pat together firmly into a dough ball. Do not knead or over handle else the pastry will become hard.
  5. Roll out on lightly floured surface or parchment paper to line tart tin. Gently lift on rolling pin and place in tin. Don’t worry if it breaks slightly. Just patch it up, push into place and chill while you preheat the oven.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190C
  7. Bake the tart shell in the middle shelf for 15-20 minutes until lightly coloured. Check towards the end so it doesn’t get too brown as it will bake again with the filling. {I didn’t bake blind as I didn’t have the time, but it worked out fine}
  8. Remove to cooling rack, leave in tin.
  9. Walnut Frangipane {can be made a day ahead, or while the oven is preheating}
  10. Place walnuts, sugar, flour and vanilla bean in bowl of processor and pulse until you get a fine meal.
  11. Add the butter and egg and blend together until smooth. Reserve in a bowl. {Refrigerate if making ahead}
  12. Assemble
  13. Preheat the oven to 180C
  14. Spread the frangipane uniformly over the cooled base.
  15. Place plum quarters covering the frangipane, pressing down gently in place.
  16. Sprinkle over the raw sugar {or Turbinado}, and a few slivers of pistachio if you like.
  17. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Immediately paint over the fruit with the warm honey, and sprinkle more pistachio slivers if you like.
  18. Cool the tart on a wire rack for at least 30-45 minutes {firm to touch} before slicing.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


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