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Plum-Almond Croustade

Use slightly firm fruit for this rustic tart. Plums are not freestone fruits, which means the flesh does not separate easily from the pit. To make uniform slices, cut off the flesh in halves, positioning the knife close to either side of the pit, then cut the halves into wedges. You can substitute Pluots or Apriums, if desired.

Ingredients:

For the savory pastry dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 to 5 Tbs. (2 to 2 1/2 fl. oz./60 to 75 ml) ice-cold water
  •  
  • 1 1/4 lb. (625 g) plums, pitted and cut into wedges 1/2 inch (12
      mm) thick
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 lb. (125 g) almond paste, broken into 1/2-inch (12-mm)
      pieces
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbs. turbinado sugar
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

To make the pastry dough, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt and process to mix. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. With the processor running, add 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the water and process just until moist clumps form. If the dough is too dry to clump, add the remaining 1 Tbs. water and pulse just until combined.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before using.

In a bowl, toss together the plums, granulated sugar, flour and salt. Let the plums stand while you roll out the dough.

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

On a large, lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out the dough into a round 13 inches (33 cm) in diameter. Slide the parchment paper with the dough round onto a heavy rimmed baking sheet.

Scatter the almond paste pieces evenly over the center of the dough round, leaving a 2-inch (5-cm) border uncovered. Using a slotted spoon, distribute the plums evenly over the almond paste, leaving the border uncovered. Reserve any juices in the bowl. Using the parchment paper as an aid, fold the uncovered border of dough up over the plums, pleating as needed and pressing gently to secure in place.

Brush the dough border lightly with the egg white and sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the egg white. Drizzle any reserved juices from the bowl over the plums. Dot the plums with the butter. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices bubble in the center, about 50 minutes.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the croustade cool slightly. Slide the croustade and parchment onto a flat platter. Serve warm. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Garden Cookbook, by Jeanne Kelley (Weldon Owen, 2013).