I didn’t make it to the farmer’s market during my trip to San Francisco last week, but Chef Banks White, at Hotel Shattuck Plaza, was kind enough to send market fruit to our rooms. I quickly gobbled up the late season Cherokee tomatoes and juicy figs, but saved the plums for home.
Santa Rosa plums are one of my favorite varieties, with their rich ruby color and juicy, tangy flesh. Add a little creamy hazelnut frangipane and a nice tender dough, and you have quite the pastry. This tart is very easy to make—the dough and nut paste are quite simple—but it’s a stunning, rustic presentation, a great dessert for dinner parties topped with a little whipped cream. And it’s fun to save a little of the frangipane to put together makeshift poptarts with the extra dough scraps.
Santa Rosa Plum-Frangipane Tart, adapted from Chez Pim
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
8 ounces cold butter, cubed
¼ cup cold water
½ cup whole almonds
2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 large Santa Rosa plums, thinly sliced
For the pastry dough: Place the flours and 8 ounces butter into a large mixing bowl, tossing to coat the butter in flour. Using two forks, slowly break up the butter chunks until walnut-size pieces form. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the cold butter. Working quickly, combine the water into the flour, forming a shaggy dough. Fold over several times, shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from refrigerator, unwrap, and place on a well floured surface. Roll out into an elongated rectangle and fold in half. Turn dough 90 degrees, roll out again, and fold in half. Repeat one more time, then roll out to a ¼-inch square. Place dough on a lined sheet tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the frangipane: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place almonds on the tray and bake for 10 minutes until the nuts are toasted golden. Cool and grind in a food processor with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Add the butter, egg, and cinnamon and pulse until well combined.
Remove dough from the fridge and use a pairing knife to round the edges into a large circle. Spread the frangipane into an even layer, leaving a ½-inch border along the edges. Form circles with the plum slices, completely covering the frangipane. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar onto the edges of the tart shell. Bake the tart for 35 to 40 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Cool slightly and slice.