With a buttery press-in crust, a layer of sweet frangipane and a beautiful roasted plum topping, this crazy delicious French Almond Plum Tart is easy to make but looks like it came from a fancy French patisserie!
If you haven't been following us, Scott and I spent three weeks in France this summer getting lots of inspiration for new recipes. One of the culinary highlights of the trip was a French Market Class in the beautiful city of Lyon. In France, a market class is a day-long adventure that starts with a visit to the market, where you select seasonal ingredients, then return to the teaching kitchen to learn and cook. We shared a post detailing the market visit and cooking class here. This French Almond Plum Tart (Tarte Et Creme D'amande) is adapted from a delicious dessert that we prepared on that fun day in Lyon.
A delicious (and beautiful) substitution
Apricots seem to grow like weeds in France and every market (including the one we visited during our class) and little grocery had big, beautiful displays mounded high with deep gold and ruby-hued orbs.
So it was appropriate that we made a Tarte Abricot Amande (French Almond Apricot Tart) as the dessert recipe at our market class. And a few days after the class, I purchased apricots at another lovely Lyon market, this one right along the banks of the river Rhone. A French friend of ours (who ran a cooking school in Paris) was coming to visit Scott and me at our Airbnb so I prepared another French Almond Apricot Tart with our Ridiculously Easy Press-In Tart Crust. She loved it and gave the tart a big stamp of approval! Scott caught a pic before we dove into it.
Since apricots aren't as readily available here in the U.S. and because the short season has already slipped by, I opted to go with plums (easier to find with a longer season) instead. But all this to say, it's also delicious with apricots!
Not a homemade crust expert? No problem!
This recipe starts out with our Ridiculously Easy Press-In Tart Crust as a base. This crust recipe comes together in minutes and I love that there's no rolling, chilling, blind baking, etc. There's an adaptation in the recipe for both sweet and savory crusts. I chose the sweet variation for this French Almond Plum Tart.
You can make the crust a day or two in advance or even longer if you store it in the freezer. Once the crust is baked and cooled the result comes together quickly.
The base of this tart, under the glistening plum topping, is a layer of frangipane. What's frangipane? It sounds kind of fancy but frangipane is a simple combination of butter, eggs, ground almonds (or other nuts), sugar, and sometimes, a small amount of flour. The Masterclass experts describe it as "a soft, spreadable custard". It's also known as frangipane cream, almond cream or French pastry cream. Frangipane is commonly used as a filling in galettes puff pastries and tarts - like this French Almond Plum Tart!
There are no complicated steps in making frangipane and it requires just one bowl and no mixer. I just like to make sure my butter is nice and soft and from there, it's a breeze! Basically, you just stir together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and follow with the remaining ingredients. Once you make it a few times, you'll be able to do it in your sleep!
A doubly delicious topping
As I mentioned above, the plum topping truly does "glisten", probably because it gets a double glaze. Right before the tart goes into the oven, the plums get a sprinkle of sugar. Granulated sugar is fine but I really like to use my French Vanilla Sugar. You can see how, in the picture below, the plums not only glisten but are speckled with beautiful vanilla beans from the French Vanilla Sugar. While the tart bakes, the sugared plums get roasted and caramelized.
The second "glaze" is a brush of apricot jam or apple jelly after the tart is baked. You could also use currant jelly. The jam or jelly keeps the plums moist, adds a bit of sweetness (plums can be a little tart) and gives the tart a beautiful shine.
So... if you need an impressive dessert that comes together easily, make this French Almond Plum Tart! You can call it a "Tarte Et Creme D'amande" and pretend you're in France!
Café Tips for making this French Almond Plum Tart
- I like to use red plums for this tart. I love the pretty yellow-gold interior and the red exteriors, especially when sliced and fanned, as in this French Almond Plum Tart. That being said, there are lots of delicious varieties of plums that would also be wonderful for this recipe. Just look for plums that are ripe but not overripe. It's better to be slightly under-ripe than soft and mushy.
- Purchase a few extra plums. I've found that sometimes plums that look and feel perfect on the outside will be brown and bruised inside.
- Feel free to make the crust a day or two in advance. The tart itself will keep well for 1-2 days. It also freezes well.
- This French Almond Plum Tart is delicious served warm but slices better at room temperature.
- To slice this tart, look for your sharpest knife. First, cut neatly through the plums then extend down to the crust. You'll need to push down on the knife firmly to cut through the crust as it's nice and crisp.
- This recipe calls for almond flour. Almond flour is blanched (no skins) almonds that are finely ground. Don't use almond meal for this recipe. Almond meal is almonds (with the brown skin) that are ground. Almond meal is too coarse for making frangipane.
Thought for the day:
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 1 Ridiculously Easy Press-in Shortbread Tart Crust (sweet version)
- 7 tablespoons very soft butter
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour not almond meal
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4-5 fresh plums I used red plums but you could also use black plums, apricots, nectarines...
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar for sprinkling I love to use this Vanilla Sugar
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam or apple or currant jelly Use 3 tablespoons if you're straining the apricot jam.
Prepare the Ridiculously Easy Press-in Tart Crust for sweet crusts that will be further baked. Cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
Whisk together the soft butter and sugar in a medium size bowl until well-combined. Add the eggs and the vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk again until everything is incorporated.
add the flours and stir well until all flour is incorporated.
Spread the frangipane evenly into the prepared crust. Set aside.
Slice the plums in half from top to bottom. Remove the pit then slice each half into thin slices (about ⅛-inch thick). (I like to save the smaller slices from either side for the inner ring of plums.)
Starting on the outside edge, arrange the plum slices overlapping each other and pressing slightly into the Frangipane until you’ve gone all the way around the pan. Then start an inner ring, with the plum slices slightly overlapping the first row as well as each other. If there is a empty space left in the center after adding the second ring, you can add more overlapping slices or roll up the slices and insert them into the Frangipane as pictured above in the post.
Sprinkle the plums evenly with the sugar. Place the tart pan onto the prepared sheet pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until the tart does not wiggle in the center when the pan is gently jiggled.
Warm the jam or jelly for 20-25 seconds in the microwave to thin it out. You can also do this in a small saucepan. If using apricot jam that’s very chunky with fruit, you can push it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the chunks. Brush the jam or jelly over the surface of the tart. Place on a cooling rack to cool before slicing. Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
Inspired by Plum Lyon
**The nutritional ingredients information does not include the crust. Please see that recipe for its nutritional info.