I only knew my Granny for 3 years before life took her to a better place. But in those 3 years she gave me a lifetime of memories. From sitting with me, patience of a saint whilst I refused to read my Alphabet Book out loud until ‘Z for Zebra” came about, to dancing with me from her wheelchair, perhaps 20,000 times to ‘The Snowman’, the music still brings a happy tear to my eye.
And Plums. Plums & Greengages were her favourite. They played havoc with her Rheumatoid Arthritis but there was something about that sweet, tart juice that she couldn’t resist.
So, when I saw Nicola Lamb decorate her frangipane Tart so beautifully with sliced plum, I had to make my iteration. An ode to my Granny, my Mum’s Mum who lit up my life like a candle in the wind, shining for all too short a time.
350g Plain Flour
100g Icing Sugar
225g Cold Butter, diced
3 Egg Yolks
¾ tsp Salt
1 Egg White
1-2 Gelatine Leaves, depending on how you like it set
60ml Elderflower Cordial
75g Caster Sugar
1 Gelatine Leaf
1tsp Rose Water
8-10 Plums, sliced
1. Begin the day before with the pastry. Add the flour, icing sugar, butter and salt into a food processor and pulse to the texture of coarse sand. Alternatively rub between your fingers.
2. Add the yolks and quickly pulse until it just begins to clump as a dough.
3. Remove from the mixer and just bring together into a disc with your hands.
4. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
5. After it has rested, roll out to the thickness of a pound coin and line a 9” tart ring set on a baking tray. Prick with a fork and chill overnight. This will allow the flour to fully relax and hydrate.
6. The next day, preheat the oven 180C. Line the tart with baking paper and baking beans and blind bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and the beans and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the base feels sandy.
7. Brush the inside with a thin layer of egg white and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes. This will create a seal so that your tart base doesn’t go soggy. Allow to cool completely.
8. Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone until smooth. Soak the gelatine in iced water. It is important theta the water is iced so you do not lose some of the setting power of the gelatine.
9. Bring the elderflower cordial to a simmer and remove from the heat. Squeeze out the gelatine and whisk in. pour this into the mascarpone and beat well to combine.
10. Smooth this over your cooled tart shell and smooth off with an offset spatula. Set in the fridge for 2 hours.
11. Meanwhile slice your plums and prepare the nappage. Soak the gelatine in chilled water as above. Bring the sugar and water to the boil then remove from the heat. Squeeze out the gelatine and stir in.
12. Pop this into the fridge for 15 minutes while you lay the plums on the tart.
13. Once you have decorated your tart, stir the nappage, it is important not to whisk it or else it will turn cloudy.
14. Brush the nappage over the fruit, ensuring there are no gaps. Pop back into the fridge for 2 hours to set before serving and admiring your work.