PLUM TART RECIPE
Recipe taken from Michel Roux: The Collection, by Michel Roux (Quadrille)
These are elegant and simple: a round of plums atop a bed of buttery pastry, a cushion of of custard and a glaze of sugary syrup.
750g ripe plums, cut in half and stoned
500ml stock syrup (see below)
3 bay leaves
380g puff pastry
200g creme patissiere (see below)
Juice of ½ lemon
For the stock syrup (makes 700ml)
400g caster syrup
50g liquid glucose
For the creme patissiere (makes 750g)
6 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
40g plain flour
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
A little icing sugar or butter
1 To make the syrup: combine the sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 3 minutes, skimming the surface if necessary. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl and leave to cool. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
2 To make the creme patissiere: whisk the yolks and ⅓ of the sugar in a bowl. Whisk the flour in thoroughly. In a saucepan, heat the milk with the rest of the sugar and the vanilla pod. As soon as it comes to the boil, pour it on to the egg yolk mixture, mixing as you go. Return the mixture to the pan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring continuously with the whisk. Allow the mixture to bubble, still stirring, for 2 minutes, then tip it into a bowl. To prevent a skin forming, dust the surface with icing sugar or dot all over with flakes of butter. Once cold, the pastry cream will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Remove the vanilla pod before using.
3 To make the tarts, put the plums in a dish. Put 500ml of the stock syrup into a pan along with the bay leaves and bring to the boil, then leave to cool slightly for about 5 minutes. While still hot, pour over the plums, then set aside to cool.
4 On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 2mm thickness. Using a 12cm cutter, cut out 6 rounds of pastry. Place on a baking sheet brushed with a little cold water and chill for 20 minutes.
5 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Take the pastry rounds from the fridge and prick each one with a fork 5 or 6 times. Divide 200g of the creme patissiere between the rounds, spreading it evenly to within 1cm of the edge. Carefully and thoroughly drain the plums, reserving the syrup. Arrange them on top of the creme patissiere and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, making sure the pastry is properly cooked on the bottom.
6 Transfer the tarts to a wire rack and leave them to cool slightly. Meanwhile, boil the reserved plum syrup to reduce to a semi-syrupy consistency, then add the lemon juice. Brush lightly over the plums. Place one tart on each plate and serve just slightly warm.
For more plum based recipes, head this way.