This is a gorgeous seasonal recipe which can be adapted for all year round by using whatever firm fruit is seasonal, or even tinned fruit such as apricots or pears. The original recipe was by Mary Berry which I have adapted slightly.
For the pastry:
175g plain flour
75g cold butter, cubed
25g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
75g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
75g ground almonds
½ tsp almond extract
Plums – approximately a dozen, depending on size
Grease a 28cm (11in) round, loose-bottomed fluted tart tin with butter. The tin should be 3-4 cm deep.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5.
Pastry: mix the flour and butter in a food processor or by hand until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix in briefly, then add the egg and ½–1 tablespoon of water. Mix until the dough just holds together. Don’t over process it or it will become tough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and use to line the tin. Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes until the pastry is just cooked. Remove the baking parchment and beans and allow to cool slightly.
Filling: Place the butter and sugar in the food processor and whizz until creamy, blend in the eggs, then mix in the ground almonds and almond extract. Place the filling into the cooled pastry case, evening out the surface.
Halve the plums and gently press, skin side down into the frangipane filling, not too deeply or they’ll disappear completely as the frangipane rises during the baking process. The plums can be arranged randomly or in concentric circles – take your pick.
Bake the tart in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes until the surface is golden brown and firm. Check the centre is cooked by inserting a cocktail stick or skewer into the centre – it should come out clean. If the top starts to brown too heavily before the centre is cooked, cover lightly with foil.
Remove the tart from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm or cold, dusted with icing sugar.