Almond Stone Fruit Tart

Almond Stone Fruit TartGone Stone Crazy
In case you haven’t been in the produce section lately, I am here to let you know that stone fruit season is upon us! And, that makes me very happy. It also creates a bit of a problem…

I am a fool for stone fruits. I look forward to this season every year. To me, there is nothing better than a juicy peak-of-season peach. I have been buying nectarines by the dozen…and don’t get me started on the cherries. I’ve become a bit of a stone fruit hoarder. I just can’t help myself. I see ‘em and I gotta have ‘em.

My fruit hoarding has presented other problems. Usually, I can count on my family eating all of the fruit before I can even get to it. But, my current obsession means that they are having trouble keeping up—which is how I found myself with a few pounds of black plums that needed to be consumed ASAP. So I made this almond stone fruit tart.

The best thing about this tart is that you can use whatever fruit you have on hand as long as you let it dry a bit before baking. I’ve made it with peaches and nectarines. Cherries are good too or even a combination of all three and, of course, plums or pluots are amazing!

Almond Stone Fruit Tart
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. She uses orange sections for her tart. I decided to be different…

If you want to make this tart gluten-free, we recommend using King Arthur Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour instead of the regular flour.

This tart takes some time to make, and we have marked where is possible to prepare some of the steps a day or so in advance for ease of assembly on the day you bake it.

For the sweet tart dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

5 or 6 ripe black plums, or other stone fruit

For the Almond Cream
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Make the sweet tart dough
(possible do-ahead)
Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely—you’ll have some pieces that are flakes and some that are larger, and that’s just fine. Stir the egg yolk, just to break it up, and add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When all the egg is in, process in long pulses (about 10 seconds each) until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead it just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. (The dough can now be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)

Make the tart shell
When you are ready to make the tart shell, butter or spray a 9 to 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Do this even if it’s nonstick.

Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Press the crust in so the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but don’t use a lot of force. Work lightly to preserve the crust’s shortbread like texture. Make sure the crust is not too thin. Prick the crust all over and freeze for minimally 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375º F. Butter a piece of aluminum foil and press the foil snugly against the crust. If the crust is frozen, you can bake it as is; if not, fill it with dried beans or rice to weigh it down.

Partially bake the crust for 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil (and weights). If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return the tart to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the crust to cool before you fill it.

Prepare the fruit
(possible do-ahead)
Using a sharp knife, cut the fruit into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick. Place the slices between a triple layer of paper towels and let them dry for at least 1 hour, or for several hours, or even overnight. If you have the chance and the towels seem saturated, change them.

Make the almond cream
(possible do-ahead)
Put the butter and sugar in a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the almond flour and process until well blended. Add the all-purpose flour and cornstarch, and process, then add the egg. Process for about 15 seconds more, or until the almond cream is homogeneous. Add the vanilla and process just to blend. (If you prefer, you can make the cream in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a bowl with a rubber spatula. In either case, add the ingredients in the same order.) Scrape the almond cream into a container and refrigerate it until firm, about 1 to 2 hours. (The cream can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.)

Assemble the tart
When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and put the tart shell on it.

Stir the almond cream, then turn it into the crust, smoothing the top. Arrange the fruit slices in a decorative pattern over the top. Don’t cover every bit of cream — it will bubble and rise as it bakes, and it’s nice to leave space for it to come up around the fruit.

Bake the tart
Bake the tart until the cream has risen and turned golden brown (about 50 to 60 minutes). If you slip a knife into the cream, it should come out clean.

Transfer the tart to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.

Right before serving, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar and enjoy!

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