Plum Almond Tarts


How to make Plum Almond Tarts
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  1. Tart
1 1/2 tbsp softened butter
2 1/2 packed light brown sugar
3 ripe plums (about 1/2 lb.), sliced into wedges
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract (can substitute almond extract)
2 tbsp water (can substitute a sweet dessert wine if desired)
1 egg
  2. Tart Pastry
1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ground almonds (grind in food processor)
1 beaten egg yolk (reserve egg white for brushing on tart before baking)
1 tbsp ice water
  3. Almond Crunch
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1.5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp water
  1. Tart Pastry
Combine flour and sugar in a bowl.  Cut in butter, using a pastry knife, until pieces are pea-size.  Slowly stir in egg yolk and use your fingers to knead dough into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
  2. Almond Crunch
In a bowl, toss chopped almonds, water and sugar until coated.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  These can go from golden to burnt in a moment so keep and eye on them!  Let cool.
  3. Tart
1.  Melt half the butter and half the sugar in a large skillet for a minute.  Add the water, bring to a simmer and then add the sliced plums.  Saute until the plums soften and transfer to a plate to cool.  Save juices in skillet.
  4. 2.  Finely grind almonds in a food processor.  In a bowl, combine the remaining butter and sugar, the ground almonds, and 1 tbsp of flour.  Add egg and vanilla, stirring gently until fully combined.
  5. 3.  On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the dough.  Roll from center out.  Cut portions to fit your tart molds, pie pans or free form your own shapes (see the rectangle tart at the top of the page).
  6. 4.  Spread almond mixture over the base of the pastry.  Arrange plum slices on top of the filling.  Chill in refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes.  After the tarts are chilled, brush reserved egg white over crust for a golden brown and reserved plum juices over filling.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-60 minutes depending on tart size.  (The tiny 3″ tarts took about 25 minutes…a full size tart could take about 60 or so minutes.  Bake until golden.)
  7. 5.  Let tarts stand for 15 minutes and sprinkle almond crunch on top!
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