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}.

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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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