Alsaltian mirabelle plum tart recipe – made with sweet golden-coloured plums and flavoured with a dash of plum brandy, utterly delicious. These late summer fruiting plums are tender and juicy, and oh so sweet making them the perfect fruit for a delicious tart. This recipe is from top French chefs Hubert Delorme and Vincent Boué, authors of The Complete Book of French cooking, the essential guide to mastering the art of the renowned cuisine of France.
Preparation: 40 minutes
Resting: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Creamed sweet short pastry
1 stick (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
2 ¾ cups (250 g) cake flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
Sweet custard base for baking
1 scant cup (200 ml) milk
1 scant cup (200 ml) whipping cream, min. 35% fat
4 eggs plus 4 yolks
Scant ½ cup (80 g) sugar
A few drops of mirabelle plum brandy
½ vanilla bean
1 lb. (500 g) mirabelle plums
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Prepare the creamed sweet short pastry
Place the butter, sugar, and egg in the bowl of a food processor and cream together until smooth. Sift the flour and add it with the salt to process for 1–2 minutes further, until smooth.
Press down the dough with the palm of your hand, pushing it away from you, until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Chill, covered, for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough very thinly (about ⅛ in./3 mm) to form a disk. Use a rolling pin to transfer it from the working surface to the baking pan or circle: drape it round the pin and then unroll it in place. Make decorative patterns around the edge.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Prepare the sweet custard base for baking.
Combine the milk, cream, whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and bitter almond extract until just mixed. Do not allow the mixture to form bubbles. Pour the mirabelle brandy in to the batter and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean to flavor it. Strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.
Wash the plums. Arrange them at the base of the pastry crust and pour the batter over. Bake for 20–25 minutes. If you are using a pastry ring, remove it for the last 5 minutes so that the edges can brown slightly. Remove from the oven and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Turn onto a cooling rack.
This tart is best served warm, and is delicious with ice-cream.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mirabelle plums, a small, very sweet variety of plum, are grown in the Alsace-Lorraine region in eastern France. They are much appreciated for their juicy flesh and are used to make preserves and eau-de-vie. You can use other plums or even other fruit to make this tart – but it will no longer be called a mirabelle tart!
Extracted from The Complete Book of French Cooking by Hubert Delorme and Vincent Boué (Flammarion, 2023). Photo credit: © Clay McLachlan
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