Plum and Custard Tart

/ July 13, 2016/ 1 comments

The recipe I am sharing today came to me in phases. A few years ago, I made tiramisu and  brought it to work.  I had leftover ladyfingers from that and enjoyed the custard portion of the tiramisu so much, I wanted to try to make some sort of pie.  I started with a crust made of the ladyfingers and used the custard base as the filling.  A friend of ours gave us a jar of plum jam (hey Adrienne!) and I’ve been wanting to use it on something special.  I realized that plums would be a wonderful element to counter the richness of the custard so I used some fresh plums along with the jam to bump up the “pluminess”.  This tart is the result and I think it does Adrienne’s plum jam proud, if I do say so myself 🙂

I ended up making this in a tart pan because it looks nicer and everything is in better proportion, compared to a deeper pie dish.  You can use an 11″ round tart pan or a 4″ by 14″ rectangular tart pan.  Whichever you decide to use, make sure it has a removable bottom.  It will be the only way to pop the tart out of the pan onto a serving plate,so that you can cut it into pieces without destroying the crust (trust me on this).

First we’re going to make the crust, so it has time to solidify.  Put the hazelnuts and ladyfingers in a food processor (or blender) and process for about 12 seconds.  Now add the melted butter and process another 10 seconds, or until the mixture starts to come together.

Pour the mixture into the tart pan and press into the edges to form a crust.  If you are using the rectangular pan, all of the mixture may not fit.  Just press in there what you can.  Let the crust chill in the fridge.

Now onto the custard (my favorite part!).  Place a medium pan with about an inch of water in it over high heat. We’re going to be using a double boiler, which basically means we’ll be putting a bowl on top of the water to gently cook what’s in the bowl. No whisk the egg yolks together with a hand mixer, just enough to break them up, in a heat proof bowl.  It’s easiest to do the mixing in a heat proof bowl to start with, so you we won’t have to transfer to another bowl later when we use the double boiler. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale yellow, about 2 minutes.  Now add the heavy cream and beat, just until the cream is mixed in.

Turn the boiling water on the stove down to medium, so it stays at a gentle simmer. Place the bowl over the simmering water. Make sure the bowl isn’t actually touching the water.  If the mixture gets too hot, the eggs could scramble.

Cook over the water for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula.  We’re looking for the custard to be about 160° F and to coat the back of a spoon.  This means that when you dip a spoon (or spatula) in the mixture and draw a line down the middle, the mixture is thick enough that the line stays.

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It’s done!

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The back of the spatula is coated

Take the custard off the heat and mix one more time with the spatula.  IMG_3481Let it cool for about 15 minutes.  Now add the mascarpone cheese.  Mascarpone adds a nice creamy thickness to the mixture and cuts the sweetness.  If you’ve never had Mascarpone, it’s like a hybrid of sour cream and cream cheese.  It’s stiff, but not too tangy.

 

Beat in the Mascarpone until it’s completely combined into the custard. Chill this in the fridge for at least an hour and a half.  The bowl may still be hot so place it on a trivet or potholder in the fridge.

Ok, onto the final component- the plums!  When selecting plums for this recipe, you’re looking for ones that are ripe and sweet but still firm enough to hold their shape.  We want them to be able to stand up to being cooked.

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Just look at that color!

Cut your plums into eighths and put in a saucepan with the sugar and jam.  If you don’t have an awesome friend that gives you homemade plum jam (or can’t find it in the store), apricot jam will also work.  You want a jam that has a subtle enough flavor that it won’t overpower the plums.

Simmer the plums, jam and sugar over medium heat for 5-8 minutes.  The amount of time will depend on how large and juicy your plums are.  You are looking for the plums to soften, release their juices and a syrup to form.

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Now put the plums into the fridge so they can chill.

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Assemble the tart about 30 minutes before serving it.  This will be long enough for the custard to settle into the crust, but not so long that the plum juices will bleed into the custard too much.  To assemble, spread the custard into the crust.  If you are using the rectangular pan, you may have about 1/2 cup that doesn’t fit (breakfast anyone? 🙂 ).

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Hello custard!

Take the plums out of their syrup and make a nice pattern on the tart.  Drizzle the top with some of the remaining syrup.  You may have some left to drizzle on the individual slices, depending on how juicy your plums were. Chill for 30 minutes, slice and serve.

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Check out that crust!

Enjoy this lovely summer dessert!

 

 

Plum and Custard Tart
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Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 7-ounce package of ladyfingers
  • 3/4 cup unsalted roasted hazelnuts
  • Custard
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • Plum topping
  • 3 large ripe but firm plums
  • 1/2 cup plum jam
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Put the hazelnuts and ladyfingers in a food processor (or blender) and process for about 12 seconds. Add the melted butter and process until the mixture starts to come together, about 10 seconds.
  2. Pour the mixture into the tart pan and press into the edges to compress into a crust. Chill the crust in the fridge.
  3. Place a pan with about an inch of water in it over high heat. Whisk the egg yolks together with a hand mixer, just enough to break them up, in a heat proof bowl. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and beat, just until the cream is mixed in.
  4. Turn the boiling water on the stove down to medium, so it stays at a gentle simmer. Place the bowl over the simmering water.
  5. Cook over the water for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until it reaches about 160° F and coats the back of a spoon.
  6. Take the custard off the heat and mix one more time with the spatula. Let it cool for about 15 minutes.
  7. Add the mascarpone and beat until it's completely combined into the custard. Chill this in the fridge for at least an hour and a half.
  8. Cut the plums into eighths and put in a saucepan with the sugar and jam. Simmer the plums, jam and sugar over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, or until the plums soften, release their juices and a syrup forms.
  9. Chill the plums.
  10. Assemble the tart about 30 minutes before serving it. Spread the custard into the crust. Take the plums out of their syrup and make a nice pattern on the tart. Drizzle the top with some of the remaining syrup. If there is any left, save to drizzle over slices. Chill for 30 minutes, slice and serve.
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http://www.rachelpounds.com/2016/07/13/plum-and-custard-tart/

1 Comment

  1. This is gorgeous! I'm saving the recipe!

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