My mom definitely deserved more than nothing on her birthday (or rather 3 days after her birthday), so I baked her a tart. I had been planning this tart for awhile actually. I took Anna Olson's recipe for a grapefruit pistachio tart, which I have made a few times with my mom in winter, and, since grapefruits are not in season in August, I used pluots instead—Frog Hollow pluots to be exact.
Frog Hollow is an organic farm in California. They grow the most wonderful peaches, nectarines, apricots, and pluots. I first heard of Frog Hollow the summer of 2004, when they were featured on an episode of the Martha Stewart Show (it may have been a repeat of an earlier show from previous years for all I know). We started ordering from them a week later, and we have continued to order from them twice a month on average, for the last 6 years. We adore Frog Hollow, and we are addicted to their fruits. Their fruits are grown and picked with love, they are shipped with care, and we savor every last one of them that we receive until summer's end. I look forward to their fruits each and every summer, but I never bake with them for fear of disrespecting the fruits and the labor behind them. This is another reason why I chose this tart recipe: the sliced fruits are arranged on top of the chilled tart—no disrespecting the fruits by baking them.
There are a few annoyances about the recipe that I used that I feel must be noted—no offense Anna Olson, I still love your recipes:
- The recipe for the filling yields way too much for the size of the tart made, and if you attempt to pour all the filling in the tart shell, it will overflow and you will have a real mess on your hands, your feet, and your oven. Therefore, I halved the filling recipe, but kept the amount of vanilla to about a tablespoon (which gave a great flavor to the pistachio frangipane-like filling).
- The recipe for the crust is a little finicky. It is crumbly before you chill it, but it rolls out beautifully. When it comes time to transfer to the tart pan, the dough is so delicate that it can only be transferred in pieces. Luckily, the dough is very forgiving and the broken pieces can just be pressed together in the pan. Knowing this, you'd expect I'd work to tweak the recipe a little. However, the crust is delicious the way it is, and the finished tart serves up beautifully. So, I opted to not change the recipe, and live through the little frustrations that I knew this recipe would bring.
It's pretty, isn't it? However, I don't think that I can take credit for that. It's the fruit. The pluots are gorgeous. I used 2 types.
Here's the recipe.
Pluot pistachio tart
Adapted from Anna Olson's recipe posted on Food Network Canada.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground pistachios
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup frozen butter, cubed
- 4 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/6 cup sugar (I know, I know, nobody has a cup measurer for 1/6 of a cup. I used 41 grams sugar to be exact, approximately half of a 1/3 cup measurer of sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup ground pistachios
- 3–4 pluots, sliced (basically have enough on hand so that you can cover the tart with sliced fruit)
- Apple jelly diluted with some water for glazing (this is optional—the fruits are so sweet and juicy, that the glaze really isn't necessary)
- Ground pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter, and work the mixture until you get a coarse crumb (I use my hands, but you can use a pastry cutter, 2 knives, or a food processor).
- Add the egg yolks and mix until the dough just comes together when pressed.
- Transfer to saran wrap and form a disk. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Roll out the dough, transfer to a 9-inch tart pan (with removable bottom). Trim the edges and chill for another 15 minutes. Dock with a fork and bake in the oven for15 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool slightly.
- Whisk together all the ingredients. Pour into the pre-baked pie shell, and bake for an additional 18 minutes. The tart filling, including the center, should be set when it is done baking. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool completely before chilling it for at least 1 hour.
- Top the tart with the sliced fruit. Then glaze with some diluted apple jelly.
- Sprinkle with some ground pistachio. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
The tart was great. I especially liked the vanilla flavor that came through, which was perfect with the pistachios and the pluots. I enjoyed the tart with my mom and left her the last few slices instead of keeping them for myself. See, I have some okay-daughter moments! Hopefully, next year, I will have more time, or rather, next year, I will make more time for my mom.