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Hazelnut Plum Tart

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of JosephDeLeo.cookstr.com

You don’t have to peel the plums for this French-style tart, which is so gorgeous your guests will think you bought it at a fancy pâtisserie. The fruit slices retain their shape and add a tangy counterpoint to the sweet hazelnut filling. I like to offer a big bowl of crème fraîche on the side. French vanilla ice cream is also good.

Advance Preparation: The tart may be prepared 8 hours in advance through step 6 (except for preheating the oven) and refrigerated. The finished tart may be kept up to 6 hours in the refrigerator. Remove it from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving, as it is best served at room temperature.

A fruit and cheese platter can be a stunning ending to a simple meal or elegant buffer. I use a wicker cheese tray or other shallow basket and accent the cheeses with edible flowers from the garden. Here is the one place I think with food, nasturtiums or roses especially. A few wonderful fruit and cheese combinations follow.

Nectarines with Explorateur or Brillat-Savarin

Apricots with mascarpane

Pears with Gorgonzola

Figs with St. Andre

Peaches with fromage blanc

Red and green seedless grapes with fresh goat chesse

Granny Smith apples with aged Menberry Jack

Melon Slices with Brie

A baskes of mixed nuts in their shells with any combination of cheese and fruit

Serves10

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Equipmentfood processor

Mealdinner, tea

Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, fruity, nutty, sweet

Type of Dishdessert, fruit

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1½ cups sliced or chopped hazelnuts
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup hazelnut liqueur
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ pounds purple plums, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced or chopped hazelnuts

Instructions

To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt and process briefly to mix. Add the butter and process until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal, 5 to 10 seconds.

With the motor running, add the egg yolk and then gradually the ice water. Process until the dough just begins to come together and will hold a shape when pressed.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and press into a thick disk for easy rolling. Roll out into a round at least 1½ inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Drape the dough round over the rolling pin, position it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and ease it into the bottom and sides of the pan, pressing the pastry gently into place. If using a pan with fluted sides, roll the rolling pin over the top edge of the pan with moderate pressure to trim away the excess dough. If using a pan with straight sides, raise the edges of the pastry ¼ to ½ inch above the rim of the pan by squeezing the dough from both sides with your index fingers. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 400°F

To make the filling, in a food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts. Add the granulated sugar, butter, flour, and hazelnut liqueur. Pulse until a meal-like paste forms. Add the eggs and process for 10 seconds to incorporate. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the pastry-lined pan.

To make the topping, arrange the plum slices in overlapping concentric circles on the filling. Be sure to fit them tightly together. Arrange 2 concentric rows of the plum slices in the center of the tart.

Dot the plums with the butter and dust with the granulated sugar. Bake until the tart is browned on top, about 1 hour. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely

Garnish the tart with the hazelnuts and serve.

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