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Plum-Almond Tart

The filling in this plum-almond tart is called frangipane, a classic ground almond filling. Although this tart is good anytime, it’s best when plums are in season — from summer to early fall.

Preparation time: 55 minutes, plus at least 2 hours chilling time

Cooking time: 50 to 55 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt

13 tablespoons butter, chilled

6 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, chilled

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

3 medium plums (about 9 ounces total)

1 cup whole blanched almonds

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  2. Cut 7 tablespoons butter and the vegetable shortening into small pieces — about 1/4 inch.

    Leave the remaining 6 tablespoons butter out to soften.

  3. Cut the butter and shortening pieces into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

  5. Separate 1 egg, placing the yolk in the flour mixture’s well.

    Discard the white.

  6. Add lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water to the well.

  7. Whisk the liquids together with a fork and gradually spiral outward, incorporating the flour and the liquid.

    Don’t overcombine. Add more water, if necessary.

  8. Gather up the dough in a ball.

  9. Divide dough into 2 equal parts and pat into 6-inch disks.

  10. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.

    You need only one disk for this recipe, so you can wrap the second disk and freeze it for up to 2 months for another purpose.

  11. Roll the pie crust out to an 11-inch circle and place in the tart pan.

  12. Fold the excess edge over toward the center of the pie and gently press it, making the crust even with the top of the tart pan.

  13. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

  14. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  15. Prick all over the bottom of the pie crust with a fork.

  16. Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil and fill the foil with a pound of dried beans.

    You can also fill the crust with enough rice to cover the bottom and up the sides, or a pie weight bought for that purpose.

  17. Bake for 10 minutes.

  18. Carefully lift out the foil and bake the crust for 5 more minutes.

  19. Remove the crust to a cooling rack.

  20. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

  21. Wash and dry the plums.

  22. Cut each plum in half along the “seam,” remove the pits, and cut each half into 6 wedges and set aside.

  23. Pulse the almonds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

  24. Add the confectioners’ sugar and process until very finely ground, about 20 to 30 seconds.

  25. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl.

  26. With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the almond mixture and remaining 6 tablespoons butter until light and fluffy.

  27. Add the remaining 2 eggs, one at a time, and beat on low until incorporated.

  28. Stir in the almond extract and pinch of salt.

  29. Spread the mixture into the cooled pie crust.

  30. Fan about two-thirds of the plums around the top at the edge, 1/2 inch away from the crust.

  31. Fan the remaining plums in the opposite direction in a circle around the center.

    The plums will sink somewhat during baking.

  32. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the center springs back when you touch it.

  33. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until completely cool.

  34. Cover the pie with foil and place in the refrigerator to store it.

    It keeps for 3 days in the refrigerator.

  35. Bring to room temperature before serving.

  36. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before presenting.

Per serving: Calories 550 (From fat 360); Fat 40g (Saturated 15g); Cholesterol 130mg; Sodium 257mg; Carbohydrate 41g (Dietary fiber 2g); Protein 9g.

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