Sunday, 7 September 2014
Plum, ginger and hazelnut tart with a nutella crust
I thought I'd do a crumble, but Paul demanded a tart. Specifically, a custard tart.
I'd planned to use the very simple melted crust recipe from Elly's apricot and almond custard tart, but when I got the ingredients out, realised that I had no wholemeal or spelt flour and not enough butter. I had a bit of a ferret in the cupboard and decided to use plain white flour and make up the amount of butter with nutella. As the butter was being melted, I didn't need to worry about the nutella being too soft for a normal shortcrust.
I blind-baked the crust and sprinkled it with a layer of chopped hazelnuts, then arranged the halved, stoned plums on top. Some were quite firm and slightly unripe, some were explosively ripe and juicy, but they all went in together.
Then I beat together two enormous eggs (those chickens must have been walking like John Wayne for the rest of the day) with about 120ml single cream, a couple of spoonsful of caster sugar, a grating of nutmeg, a small slosh of cider brandy and a good teaspoonful of freshly grated ginger (which was Paul's suggestion).
After I poured the custard over the plums, I sprinkled the surface with another couple of spoonsful of sugar. I find that because of the tanin in plum skins, they tend to cook more tart than you expect from eating them raw, so I put more sugar in cooked plum desserts than I do for other stone fruits.
Baked at 180C for about half an hour, then allowed to sit for 10 minutes to set a little more before slicing. The nutella enhanced the hazelnut flavour and gave a subtle milk chocolate hint, while the pastry was nice and short. It's useful to know that it works! I'd imagine that nut butters would be an equally useful substitution - which could be very helpful if there is a vegan around (although obviously an egg custard filling wouldn't be a good idea for them). The fresh ginger was absolutely beautiful with the plums, and the rich custard meant we didn't need any other toppings. Didn't need it, but I had a scoop of ice cream, and Paul had a slosh more cream.