Wanted: one egg, for an almond plum tart

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The egg went AWOL while I made a plum almond tart.

The egg rolled under a bunch of herbs, apparently under the impression we were playing hide and seek. It didn’t make a sound while I whizzed the almond mixture together, or while I pressed it into a tart base. It was only after the tart became gloriously golden and puffed in the oven that the egg peeked around some parsley leaves with a discreet Jeeves-like cough.

Oh hello baker, did you want me 40 minutes ago?

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We didn’t take the almond tart to a picnic (I made some muffins instead, wholemeal, with banana-date jam, chocolate chips, peanut butter). But it seemed a pity to have a tart go to waste, so with suitably gallic shrugs, we dug into it that night.

The tart was … surprisingly good. Loose, moist, messy crumbs clinging to sweet, tart, squishy plums. A marriage of shortbread and almond torte. A concoction of ground roasted almonds, raw sugar, cocoa nibs, cardamom, rose water and lime zest.

I’m not advocating that you leave the egg out of pastry from now on, but I may have found a new favourite crumble topping.

I made the tart again last night with pluots, and remembered to add the egg (woot!). The resulting tart looked much more like an almond torte or a simple frangipane, and still had those deep dimples where the plums / pluots sank into the almond mixture. Work colleagues ate all of it within 2-3 hours – so I don’t have a photo of the real tart (and didn’t get a slice myself, hrmph), but I think that means the tart was a success.

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Such is the magic of an Alice Medrich recipe.

The tart is one of her recipes from Pure Dessert, with minor additions or changes:

– added the ground seed of 3-4 green cardamom pods to the ground almonds;
– using raw sugar instead;
– sprinkled cocoa nibs over the almond mixture;
– added lime zest, and added a lime-rose water-sugar syrup.

My additions were probably gilding the lily, because the real stars were the play between the flavours, scents, colours and textures of roasted almonds and plums. We have a new favourite tart.

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Almond plum tart

(adapted from Alice Medrich, Pure Dessert. The recipe is available from a number of blogs, like here and here)

Ingredients*

1/2 cup (2.5 oz or about 70 grams) roasted almonds, not blanched
1/2 cup (3.5 oz or about 100 grams) raw sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp amaretto liqueur OR 1/4 tsp almond extract
About 3/4 cup (3.5 oz or 100 grams) plain / AP flour (note, the recipe gives the option of using wholemeal pastry flour, but I’ve already used non-blanched almonds so stuck with plain flour)
Rounded 1/4 tsp baking powder
Seeds from 3-4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 large egg
3 tbsp (about 45 grams) cold butter, cut into chunks, plus extra for greasing the pan
Rounded 1 tbsp cocoa nibs
4 to 6 tart plums or pluots
Zest from 1 large-ish lime
Juice from 1/2 lime
1-2 tbsp rose water (depending on how much you like rose water)
2 tbsp icing powdered sugar for dusting

* the original recipe uses white sugar instead of raw sugar; it also does not include cardamom seeds, cocoa nibs, lime zest and juice, or rose water

Method

1. Slice the plums or pluots in quarters, sprinkle over the lime zest, mix and stand aside. Stir together lime juice, rose water, and icing sugar.

2. Preheat oven to 375F (190C) or 350F (175C) in a convection oven. Liberally grease tart pan with butter (the recipe suggests a 9” tart pan, I used a long rectangular one).

3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine almonds, raw sugar, cardamom seeds, salt and almond extract, and process until the nuts are pulverized. Add flour and baking powder and pulse to combine. Add egg and butter. Pulse until mixture is damp, uniform and begins to clump around the blade. (You can do all of this by hand, but the food processor makes it really easy and quick)

4. Scrape into the tart pan and spread evenly into the pan bottom.

5. Press pieces of plums or pluots lightly into dough, skin side down or with one cut side down. Sprinkle cocoa nibs around the plums slices.

6. Bake in preheated oven until the almond base is puffed and lightly golden, about 35 minutes (about 25 – 30 minutes convection).

7. Pour over lime juice mixture. Put back into the oven for about 5 minutes or until the tart is a deeper golden.

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59 thoughts on “Wanted: one egg, for an almond plum tart

  1. lapetitecasserole 30 January 2014 at 1:10 am Reply

    I loved your story! I believe that if at least once in your life you miss an ingredient it means that you are a normal person…. (or maybe this theory represents what i tell myself to do not feel guilty doing messy recipes, or when I decide to prepare a risotto without buying the specific rice…)Btw your plum tart looks great, how lucky are your colleagues?

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 9:30 am Reply

      That’s what I tell myself too! I also miss ingredients or substitute ingredients, and most of the time, it turns out ok!

  2. Coffee and Crumpets 30 January 2014 at 1:20 am Reply

    We’ve all been there and done that! I think it shows greatness in the face of normalcy! I’ve left out cups of sugar in cakes, yes quite the fail! This tart looks scrumptious with or without the egg. It has a rustic, messy look about it and looks perfect to me. Almonds and cardamom, and plums too as I found out last summer, the best combination.

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 9:32 am Reply

      Yes, almonds, plum, cardamom, such a good combination. I’m also interested to try star anise, before the end of our stone fruit season.
      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has left out sugar in cake!! 🙂

  3. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs 30 January 2014 at 2:39 am Reply

    I could envision every part of your story as I read… I could see the egg hiding under the herbs, and then it peeking out 40 minutes later… such a darling story.

    What a wonderfully beautiful recipe. It makes me happy… I have a thing for tarts. They’re so beautiful, so delicious… perfectly classy. I cannot wait to give this one a try. 🙂

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:29 pm Reply

      It was a mischievous egg! 😉
      The tart is definitely worth making, simple to make, but tastes like something much more complicated.

  4. Michelle 30 January 2014 at 2:42 am Reply

    Wanted: 4 to 6 plums. (And the accompanying summer.) Aren’t Medrich’s recipes the best?

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:32 pm Reply

      Yes! I had only tried Medrich’s chocolate recipes until now (I first became a fan through her brownies), but now I can’t wait to try other recipes from Pure Dessert!

  5. newsanchortohomemaker 30 January 2014 at 4:28 am Reply

    This happened to me the other night! My husband broke into our neighbors’ house (with their permission) and saved the day, thankfully. Glad it still turned out well for you. Looks delicious!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:33 pm Reply

      Haha, late night baking adventures can be the best ones! 😀

  6. oven chaos 30 January 2014 at 4:29 am Reply

    I have to ask what happened to the egg that was hiding 🙂 The tart looks very yum! I am also a huge fan of Alice Medrich. I highly recommend her brownies!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:37 pm Reply

      I am also a fan of her brownies, especially the one that only uses cocoa powder and no chocolate.
      That mischievous egg went into the muffins, so it had a happy ending. 😀

  7. Haley 30 January 2014 at 6:17 am Reply

    Don’t you hate when that happens? Glad the first tart didn’t go to waste!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:39 pm Reply

      Baking can always be an adventure, can’t it? 🙂

  8. lovinghomemade 30 January 2014 at 6:27 am Reply

    Can’t believe you didn’t even get any of the second tart! Must have been way too good to share…

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:39 pm Reply

      I shouldn’t have left the tart and gone into a 2 hour meeting! 😀

      • lovinghomemade 2 February 2014 at 3:25 am

        That is a schoolboy error!!!

  9. Liz 30 January 2014 at 8:30 am Reply

    oh, I admire your ambition! Love how you forged ahead even without the egg (I would’ve done the same), but to make it the next night already! You’re a star. Both versions look fab and you’ve done the most wonderful science experiment with this 😀

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply

      Thanks Liz, baking is a bit like science isn’t it? And the things that come out of the oven, both expected and unexpected (like the eggless tart!) 😀

  10. thepaddingtonfoodie 30 January 2014 at 8:54 am Reply

    Your post made me laugh out loud. Sometimes ingredients do have a mind of their own. II well remember a late night, last minute bake when my last rogue egg rollied onto the floor and smashed leo smithereens. Perhaps it thought it was Humpty Dumpty. The plum tart looks gorgeous. Isn’t the stone fruit sensational this season!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 2:58 pm Reply

      Oh dear, the Humpty Dumpty egg!
      The stone fruit has been so great, I’ve mostly eaten them as they are, but this tart is great way to showcase them 😀

  11. Jody and Ken 30 January 2014 at 9:21 am Reply

    I’d gladly supply an egg for a slice. Ken

  12. ladyredspecs 30 January 2014 at 9:40 am Reply

    It’s the taste that’s important afterall! Alice Medrich is being quoted everywhere, I think I need a closer look, this tart seems like a good starting point, mmmmm delicious!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:00 pm Reply

      Alice Medrich is the queen of chocolate, and that’s how i first became a fan, and looking at this recipe she is also great at fruit and other simple desserts too.

  13. yummychunklet 30 January 2014 at 10:41 am Reply

    What a great looking tart!

  14. lemongrovecakediaries 30 January 2014 at 12:25 pm Reply

    Great post you have such a wonderful way with words. This happens to me all the time but I put it down to age rather than ingredients deliberately hiding from me….I like your version of events way better 🙂 That is one fabulous tart and I will be giving it a go (with egg) now that all those lovely plums have come down in price 🙂

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:04 pm Reply

      Haha, definitely try this with egg! It is a great recipe. Of course it’s the ingredients hiding rather than our forgetfulness! 😀

  15. Johnny Hepburn 30 January 2014 at 1:20 pm Reply

    Loved the lead-in. And I’m kinda pleased that sort of thing happens to other people. Just tonight I stood and stared at where a wooden spoon should’ve been. Couldn’t see it. Even though it was there all along. Literally less than a metre away. Anyway, almonds and plums and I’m sold. And I’m going to have to try and use up loads of limes I seem to have collected. Stewed plums tomorrow night, then.

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:06 pm Reply

      That happens to me too! I’m always looking for utensils that are just in front of me, dangit!
      How did the stewed plums go?

      • Johnny Hepburn 2 February 2014 at 12:15 pm

        Beautifully. They tasted exactly like apricots. Funny that! Especially as apricots were half price. Went so well with fresh blueberries that were on special offer. Yes, call me cheap!

      • saucygander 2 February 2014 at 5:48 pm

        Plums and blueberries, would also be great in a pie or some kind of tray bake. So many ideas, so little time.
        No, not cheap, I don’t think many people can turn down fresh blueberries on special!

  16. Ada ~ More Food, Please 30 January 2014 at 3:22 pm Reply

    What a beautiful and delicious tart! Love the combination of almonds, cardamom, and plums 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:07 pm Reply

      Thank you, this was a great tart,, and quite simple too! 😀

  17. Gather and Graze 30 January 2014 at 9:49 pm Reply

    Looks like a rather delicious mistake! I have so many plums sitting about waiting to be eaten at the moment, so this recipe has come at the perfect time. 🙂

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply

      Plum season has been great this year, hasn’t it? I’m planning to make plum cake next. 😀

  18. ediblethings 31 January 2014 at 2:24 am Reply

    I have just had to Google Plouts. Now I have, all I can think about it how can I get them to come to the Netherlands?
    I have also married plums with star anise this year – another natural bedfellow. It works surprisingly well with sweet things – I made a beautiful jam with damson and star anise. I think there is really something to plums and warming spices.

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:12 pm Reply

      Ooh star anise! That does sound good, I’d love to give that flavour combination a go! That was the second time I’ve seen pluots in Sydney, so maybe they will make their way to the Netherlands soon!

  19. sweetinsomniac 31 January 2014 at 3:53 am Reply

    It looks so stunning! Love the story of the egg coughing like Jeeves 🙂

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:12 pm Reply

      Haha, that was such a mischievous egg! 😀

  20. emmabarrett1508 31 January 2014 at 7:56 am Reply

    I have a serious craving for plum tart now. Your photos are stunning. There is a great recipe for almond and plum loaf cake at http://www.surreyKitchen.com. Emma xx

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:16 pm Reply

      I just went to Surrey Kitchen and read the recipe, it sounds delicious! And it gave me the idea to freeze summer plums. Thanks for pointing it out! 😀

  21. Mary Frances 31 January 2014 at 9:30 am Reply

    That mischievous egg! But it looks like you got the last laugh- the tart turned out gorgeously!

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:17 pm Reply

      Thank you! The tart was delicious! 😀

  22. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 31 January 2014 at 10:01 am Reply

    Cute story! How did you know that I had a bag of plums that were hiding from me in the crisper? They were avoiding eye contact because they wanted me to forget about them! 😛

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:25 pm Reply

      Ha! Good to know I’m not the only person with ingredients that play hide and seek! 😀

  23. The Novice Gardener 31 January 2014 at 1:45 pm Reply

    Now, why wouldn’t you wait to post this for my Fiesta Friday Blog Party? “Cause this would have been perfect. Almond plum tart is a totally Friday thing. Or maybe I should make this on Sunday. Which happens to be a special day. Clue: Mars.

  24. laurasmess 31 January 2014 at 2:44 pm Reply

    This looks absolutely gorgeous… what a mischievous egg!! I’ve done exactly the same thing a couple of times. Once I forgot to put eggs into a cheesecake custard when I had already poured it into the tin and layered it with lemon curd. I almost cried… but then I baked it eggless and it was fine. Glad your tart was still gorgeously delicious. I do love crumble so I totally get the pleasure from the messy base. Looks gorgeous, egg or no egg! xx

    • saucygander 1 February 2014 at 3:30 pm Reply

      I remember your cheesecake! It looked really good anyway, like it was many to be made that way. Sometimes accidents in the kitchen lead to unexpectedly good stuff!

  25. The Global Garnish Geek 1 February 2014 at 3:28 am Reply

    Your photos are beautiful. This reminds me of something my mother used to make, but it wasn’t nearly as pretty 🙂

  26. Claire @ The Black Cat Kitchen 2 February 2014 at 11:29 pm Reply

    Ah that horrible moment when you notice something you’ve missed out and you instantly try to think of ways to fix it even though you know it can’t be done!! We’ve all been there! The tart looks delicious still. Can’t go wrong with crunch and plums yummy!

  27. Ayesha (Miss Spicy Hat n' Sugar Socks) 3 February 2014 at 2:42 am Reply

    this looks so yummy 🙂

  28. thelittleloaf 4 February 2014 at 12:35 am Reply

    Your tart looks beautiful! I really really want a rectangular tart tin, it makes recipes look stunning. Yum.

  29. cynthia 6 February 2014 at 6:51 am Reply

    Oh, what a stunning tart! Gorgeous photos, and almond and plum together sound perfect. Yum.

  30. birgerbird 9 February 2014 at 3:05 am Reply

    Absolutely delicious looking. I want one, with an egg!!! I love your blog theme and how you have utilized it.

    • saucygander 14 February 2014 at 1:00 am Reply

      Thank you for your lovely comment! 😀 I have managed to remember the egg this week!

  31. annainternational 9 February 2014 at 8:37 pm Reply

    Lovely looking tart! I too have forgotten an egg in a recipe before-my usually perfect (if I do say so myself!!) Yorkshire Puddings (a British accompaniment to roast beef) turned into Yorkshire Biscuits, much to the amusement of my friends, who still ate every single one it must be said!!

    • saucygander 14 February 2014 at 1:12 am Reply

      Yorkshire biscuits actually sound delicious, especially if they came from a perfect Yorkshire pudding recipe! 😛 And your friends can’t be wrong!

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