Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cinnamon-Scented Plum and Almond Tart for the New Year

Happy New Year! I hope this year brings you plenty of wonderful new food experiences and good recipes. And in keeping with that wish, I shall be giving you a beautiful recipe which I recently made for my family: a Cinnamon-Scent Plum Almond Tart.

Being home for the winter holidays always means providing my family with a constant supply of baked goods. My mom bakes, but when I am home, the baking duty always falls on me. This is, no doubt, partially my own doing because I always talk about what new recipes I’d like to try. But this Christmas, when my presents including mixing bowls (with lids!), silicon spatulas, a special mini tartlette tray, and a hand mixer (sometimes more useful than a stand mixer) I knew that my role as family baker was official.

The thing is, my dad often tries my new desserts and then immediately and mournfully declares that “this” (whatever it is) will never top my apple tart cake, which has been a family favorite since the day I first made it. But I persist in trying new things. I just don’t know how to leave well enough alone. And sometimes, like in the case of this lovely Cinnamon-Scented Plum and Almond Tart, it works out beautifully.

This recipe was something I stumbled upon a long time ago, but just never got around to trying. Then when I saw that we had plums conveniently in the house, I decided to play around with this recipe, because—as I’ve said before—I just don’t know how to leave well enough alone. But it was good that I meddled, and my dad did end up relenting and accepting this dessert and did not seem to mourn too much the fact that I did not make his beloved apple tart.

Just one note: watch your crust. Be sure to check about halfway through the baking time to be sure that your crust isn’t over-browning. Happy baking!

Cinnamon-Scented Plum and Almond Tart
adapted from Bon Appetit, October 1998

2/3 cup whole almonds
2/3 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp rum
3-4 ripe red-skinned plums, pitted, cut in half
1 pre-baked pie crust

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Toast almonds lightly in pre-heating oven.
Finely grind almonds with sugar and salt in processor. Add eggs, butter and rum. Process until smooth.
Pour filling into pre-baked crust. Arrange plums halves on top filling.
Bake until plums are tender and filling is set and golden, about 45-50 minutes.
Cool tart. Serve at room temperature with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

Note: you may want to cover your pie crust edges so that they don’t over-brown as mine did.

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