Sunday is kind of like the lotto in this house... you never know what you're going to get. Without fail, one of us comes home with something that our parent's pushed upon us. It's sweet. I love them for it.
A few weekends back, Mike's mom bestowed us with some plums. He insisted he would eat them within the week.
Over a week later... I found them in the fridge. Untouched and slightly soft. Okay plums. Rule of the house: no food goes to waste. What the heck do you do with plums though?
It was like the foodie energy aligned. I have a few standard issue blogs I check on the regular. One of which is (of course) Smitten Kitchen. Wouldn't you know it, her most recent entry incorporated plum.
And hazelnut. Hazelnut people... you know- the stuff that comprises nutella.
If that's not a sign... I don't know what is.
Meet the Hazelnut Plum Tart. Insanely good. You'll rub up against the oven like a purring kitten when you smell this baby baking. I was shocked! Who knew plums were so amazing to bake? It's a whole new world! Plums, I welcome thee with open arms!
Everyone loved this tart, from mothers, to random office mates, to the boyfriend. It is signed and approved for future use. It's unique and rustic.
Note: Not too keen on hazelnuts because of that bitterness? Do a better job of getting the skins off! That's where the bitter taste resides. A trick from Smitten to get the skins off is toast them well (NOT BURNT) to create a strong flavor and loose skin. Rub them with dry hands until the skin comes off almost entirely.
Hazelnut Plum Tartfrom Smitten Kitchen
Crust and crumbs
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), chilled, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
1/3 cup (1 3/4 ounces of 49 grams) hazelnuts or hazelnut flour
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound ripe but firm plums (about 4 standard black ones or 12 smaller Italian plums)
1 tablespoon (8 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 tablespoons) granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grated nutmeg, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes, then let cool enough to remove the skins (see above). Place nuts in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until medium fine, about 30 pulses.
Transfer nuts to the bowl of an electric mixer and add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix until just combined. Add butter, and mix on low speed until crumbs begin to stick together, about 2 to 3 minutes. Press 3 cups of crumb into the bottom of the prepared pan and about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan to form crust; I like to use the bottom and side of a heavy measuring cup to help press the crumbs neatly down and up the side, forming a nice inner corner. Set remaining crumb mixture (about 1 1/2 cups) aside. Transfer crust to the oven; bake until it appears to be set, 15 to 20 minutes; go easy on this baking time as I found it was easy to overbake the outer corners of the tart base in the final baking. It’s going to slump a wee bit in the oven; feel free to press the sides back up the sides with the back of a metal spoon when it comes out of the oven to get them back in place. Set aside to cool (the fridge will expedite this for you).
Slice plums in half, and remove pits. Slice larger plums into eighths and smaller ones into quarters and arrange in cooled crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk in egg, egg yolk, heavy cream, milk, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few gratings of fresh nutmeg. Pour custard over fruit; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Transfer tart to the oven; bake until custard has set and is slightly golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Let rest at least 25 minutes before cutting if serving warm. You can serve this warm or at room temperature but we much preferred it fully chilled.