Tuscan Plum or Apricot Tart
We ate this gorgeous tart in a little restaurant, near Castellini in Chianti. I managed to extract the recipe by a mixture of much sincere flattery and gentle persuasion, a wow for an Autumn party and so easy to make. Apricots also work very well in season
Serves 10 - 12
175g (6oz/3/4 cup) sugar
110ml (4fl oz/1/2 cup) water
450g (1lb) plums or apricots
5oz (150g /1 1/4 sticks) soft butter
5oz (150g/generous 1/2 cup) sugar
3 eggs, free-range and organic
7oz (200g/1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
1 x 25.5cm (10 inch) sauté pan or a cast iron frying pan
Preheat oven to 160°C / 325°F / Gas Mark 3.
Put the sugar and water into the pan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then cook without stirring until the sugar caramelizes to golden brown (if the caramel is not dark enough the tart will be too sweet).
Meanwhile halve and stone the plums, arrange cut side down in a single layer over the caramel.
Put the butter, sugar and flour into the bowl of a food processor. Whizz for a second or two, add the eggs and stop as soon as the mixture comes together. Spoon over the plums, spread gently in as even a layer as possible.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately one hour. The centre should be firm to the touch and the edges slightly shrunk from the sides of the pan. Allow to rest in the pan for 4-5 minutes before turning out. Serve with crème fraiche or softly whipped cream.
Tuscan Apple Tart
Replace the plums with dessert apples. Peel and cut into quarters or eights depending on size of apple – we love Egremont Russet, Coxes Orange Pippin or Charles Ross.