Plum Almond Tart

In the midst of the chaos that accompanies the beginning of the school year, my mind has been absent from the kitchen, fixating on my new students and lesson plans instead. These early school days can be long and exhausting, as we all look for a new footing and gradually settle into a routine, developing the new rhythm of another year.

Knowing of the movement on the horizon, on the final day of summer vacation I made it a point to spend a slow afternoon in my favorite location—the kitchen. Since plums have been especially sweet this year, I wanted to make the fruit the feature of my next pastry. With this tart, I consider the goal accomplished. The bright flavor of the plums stand out, complemented by a buttery crust and a sweet, rich almond filling. It was difficult to keep my fork away for longer than a few hours, as I pilfered bites between meals.

While eating another rushed meal from a box for dinner this evening, my mind drifted back to the lethargic days of summer. The setting of the sun feels too early recently, the dark evenings making the summer months seem more than a couple weeks away. I sliced a plum for dessert, eating it while watching the sky turn orange. While I am excited for the weeks ahead, it is nice to take a moment and bring back the flavors of a simpler moment in time.


This Plum Almond Tart allows the sweet summer fruit to shine. It begins with a buttery tart crust filled with a rich almond filling. Then, sliced ripe plums are pressed into the top before baking. In the oven, the fruit roasts and the filling toasts. The tart can be served warm or chilled, depending on personal preference. I prefer the first slice warm from the oven and the second slice chilled as I steal a few bites the next morning for breakfast.

One Year Ago: Blueberry Plum Pie & Fig Oatmeal Bars
Two Years Ago: Olive Oil Pound Cake, Iced Matcha Coconut Latte, & Blueberry Honey Scones
Three Years Ago: Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies & Citrus Zucchini Muffins
Four Years Ago:  Nutella Espresso Rolls, Brownie Cookies, Cookie Dough Cake, & Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars
Five Years Ago: Almond Butter Cupcakes, Berry Pavlova, Mango Striped Popsicles, French Silk Pie, Blackberry Coffee Cake, & Blueberry Cupcakes
Six Years Ago: Cherry Almond Muffins, Plum Clafouti, Banana Cake, S'mores Pie, & Malted Chocolate Cupcakes
Seven Years Ago: Chocolate Prune Cake, Wild Blueberry Muffins, Chocolate Pear Cake, & Strawberry Shortcake

Plum Almond Tart

Yields 9-inch tart (8 to 12 servings)

Tart Dough
1 1/4 cups (150 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (113 grams) butter, cold
1 large egg, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons (50 grams) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups (160 grams) almond flour
3/4 pound (340 grams) ripe plums, cored and sliced

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cube the butter and add it to the dry ingredients by rubbing it between your fingers until the dough resembles coarse sand. Add the lightly whisked egg and vanilla extract, folding the mixture until the dough comes together with a uniform appearance.

Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, or until cold.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a 9-inch tart pan with parchment.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer into the tart pan and trim the edges. To blind bake, line the inside of the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans to help the dough keep its shape while baking (alternatively, you can also poke the bottom of the pan with a fork several dozen times). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove weights and parchment, if necessary. Keep the oven temperature at 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt. Stir in the almond flour until uniform. Spread the filling evenly into the tart shell with an offset spatula.

Place the plum slices upright in the filling and press down gently. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the almond filling is baked through and appears lightly browned. Cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.

Blueberry Plum Pie

After many summers of moving and extended travel, my feet are staying (mostly) in one place this year. As a result, I was able to sign up for a summer CSA (community supported agriculture) share, after contemplating one for several years. CSAs are a way for consumers to buy locally grown produce directly from a farmer by purchasing "shares" of the harvest at the beginning of the season. The goal for the CSA was to introduce and teach me to cook regional and seasonal produce (or, more honestly, push me to learn how to cook in general). Each week, I pick up my CSA produce box from the local farmer's market. The contents are usually a surprise, containing whatever was ready to harvest from the farm the evening before.

Back in June, I marveled over the tender asparagus and fought my boyfriend for the soft, buttery lettuce (the  best of my entire life) from the first box. Midway through the summer, the CSA has consisted of just as many unfamiliar vegetables as those I recognize. I have learned how to roast turnips with potatoes, slice bok choy for stir fry, hide endless amounts of summer squash in tomato sauce, and embrace an unexpected love for kohlrabi.

Out of necessity, I started keeping a written tally of what needs to be eaten on the refrigerator door. At least I can finally say that I actually do eat my vegetables. 

At the farmer's market last week, I picked up 6 pints of blueberry "seconds" in addition to the CSA. Though many of the "seconds" were battered and broken, I sorted and gathered together enough blueberries for a pie. Since a handful of plums were already sitting on the kitchen counter, it seemed an opportune moment to pair these fruits together. I covered the fruit in pastry and let it bubble and sing in the oven.

After my first bite, I have nothing but praise for this dreamy flavor combination. Blueberries and plums are a  tour de force

Blueberry Plum Pie is a fruit-focused pastry with a burst of flavor. Fresh blueberries and sliced plums come together in a lattice-topped pie. A teaspoon of cinnamon is added to give the fruit a subtle warmth, which adds to the overall profile. Serve warm or chilled with a side of vanilla ice cream and a friend. 

One Year Ago: Olive Oil Pound Cake
Two Years Ago: Paris Holiday and Provence & the French Riviera
Three Years Ago: Cookie Dough Cake & Blueberry Braided Bread
Four Years Ago: Blackberry Coffee Cake, Dark & Stormy, Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes, & S'mores Pancakes
Five Years Ago: Oregon Coast, Banana Cake, S'mores Pie, & Grilled Honeyed Apricots
Six Years Ago: Roasted Cherry Coconut Ice Cream

Blueberry Plum Pie

Yields 9-inch pie

1 double crust pie dough recipe
1 pound (450 grams) plums, pitted and sliced
1 pound (450 grams) fresh blueberries
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked), for brushing
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the sliced plums, blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice until the berries are evenly coated. Set aside.

Form the pie dough into a disk and divide it into a 60/40 ratio (if using store-bought crust, do not worry about this step). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger section of dough into a 14-inch round circle. Carefully transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the excess pie dough to create a 1-inch overhang. Tuck the dough overhang under itself so it is even with the pie dish. Fill the pie crust with the berry mixture.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the smaller section of pie dough. Using a pizza cutter and a ruler, cut out 3/4-inch wide strips of dough. Layer the strips over the top of the pie in a decorative fashion and trim so they are even with the edge of the pie pan. Using a fork, press down along the edge to seal the bottom and top layer together.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie crust with egg wash and sprinkle granulated sugar over the pie crust. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Then, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). If necessary, cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent further browning. Bake an additional 50-65 minutes, or until the lattice and crust are evenly browned. 

For perfect slices, cool for at least 3-5 hours (or overnight). Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Plum Almond Galette

It's been a week since I've returned from my holiday in France. I'm still sorting through the photographs, setting aside a picture here or there to share with you. The jet lag has passed and the normalcy of life is returning, piece by piece. I adore travel and the ability to explore the intricacies of different cultures that it affords. For this reason, I am a bit sad to come home when a trip ends. Though my own bed feels wonderful, I have a hard time letting go of the idea that rocky beaches of the French Riviera and the pastries of Paris are half a world away.

During the summer months, I have a tendency to go a bit overboard when in-season fruits and vegetables show up at the market. After the Midwest's endless winters, my eagerness appears in the form of an abundance of stone fruits and melons. With more plums than I could eat in a week on my kitchen counter, I needed to find a way to use them before they were forgotten in favor of other fruits.

And thus, this galette was born.

I often prefer galettes to pie. Galettes feel simpler to me, a natural extension of a Sunday afternoon or a weeknight dessert. They use a single round of pie dough instead of two, but still hold a wealth of fruit within the pleated walls. A pie is more fussy to me, time consuming and brought down by a certain pressure to make them appear perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect galette, as their nature is to appear freeform and rustic. It is this truth that appeals to me most, this lack of an ideal, as well as the ease in which they can be thrown together.

There is a time and a place for pie, certainly, but the galette is my everyday version of this pastry and therefore the type I am most likely to prepare when the fruit is generous.

This Plum Almond Galette is a sweet, flaky pastry with a bold fruit flavor. Plums are layered over the top of an almond base, which not only absorbs any stray plum juices, but provides a flavor foil against the bright plum. A few sprigs of thyme are scattered over the top, which lends the tart a subtle, complimentary flavor without standing out too boldly. This galette can be dressed up with whipped cream or ice cream or left plain and simple. Served warm or chilled, this is a wonderful way to use up any excess fruit in your kitchen.

One Year Ago: Cookie Dough CakeNutella Espresso Rolls, and Brownie Cookies
Two Years Ago: Cherry Cream Cheese Muffins, Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa, and Vegan Brownies
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Almond Oat Bars, Tropical Vacation Cocktail, and Portrait of a Town
Four Years Ago: Roasted Cherry Coconut Ice Cream

Plum Almond Galette

1/3 cup (38 grams) whole almonds
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
Recipe for single crust pie dough 
3 large plums, pitted and sliced thinly
Milk or cream, for brushing
Fresh thyme (optional)

In a food processor, process the almonds, flour, and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar together until it resembles a coarse flour. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to roughly a 14-inch circle. Spread the almond flour out evenly over the pie dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the outside. Place the sliced plums over the almond filling, arranging them in overlapping patterns. Fold up the pie dough over the filling, pleating the dough every two or so inches. Brush the visible pie dough with milk and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the dough and the filling. Arrange a few sprigs of fresh thyme over the top. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up the crust.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the plums have visibly softened. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with a topping of whipped cream or side of vanilla ice cream.