Thursday, September 07, 2006

plum frangipane tart

When I'm feeling stressed out, baking always seems to make me feel better. So today, when I was especially about to hit the panic button, only a multi-step dessert, one with room for creative improvisation, would do. It's like I need to create something complicated to remind myself that I am a capable adult. Hence, this plum frangipane tart.

I used Alice Waters' recipes (from "Chez Panisse Fruit") for pate sucree tart dough and frangipane pastry cream as starting points and I improvised from there. I went with plums for the filling because I found some especially good ones, and I made a reduction of port and fig preserves and used that as a glaze. I think this might be the best tart I've ever made. The flavors go really well together, and the crust is a bit like a sugar cookie. (In fact, I think I might try using this recipe as such.)

I should have put just a little more filling in, though. I have a tendency to get a bit overexuberant when I'm assembling a tart (I have the same problem with pizzas) and wind up with either mushy, overloaded crust or a burnt, drippy mess in the oven. This time I overcorrected. I thought the plums would have given off more liquid.

Still, though, not bad. And I feel much calmer now.


Blogger lis said...

mmm, pate sucre. mmm, plums. yes, I agree--baking a tart is a perfect way to induce calm. who needs yoga when you have baking?

10:11 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Yes--but I would need chocolate involved somehow for true stress reduction.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Oh! I have a happy plum memory to share. Any chance y'all remember my friend Sylvia from grad school? She was in Watershed Science, was friends with the girlfriend of Ken from Victor Barnes, and went hiking with me occasionally? Anyway, her parents are Hungarian and she'd cook these fabulous Hungarian meals. One which I'll never forget was plum dumplings. She served them as the main course, though sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and while they took all afternoon to make, it was worth it. The plums were wrapped in a dough and then boiled. Unfortunately, we lost touch when she left Fort Collins and I never got the recipe. I've tried to recreate it but never succeeded.

That's about the only time I've ever cooked with plums. But your tart looks scrumptious, Tara!

1:39 PM  
Blogger tara said...

Sarah -- were they anything like this?

7:29 AM  

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