Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Morning hazelnut plum tarts



It's been a long (or too short?, depending on how you look at it) summer of dissertation writing, but I'm almost there. My oral defense has now finally been scheduled (meaning I've somehow convinced my thesis chairs that I'm worthy of attempting the last rite of earning a PhD), and now it's just a matter of final details, filling in the blanks in the argumentation, and writing the intro and conclusion. Almoooooost.


This is the first dessert I've made in months. Given my self-imposed thesis hermitude, I've missed so much of summer's great fruit, so I wanted to take advantage of the tail end of stone fruit season before it disappeared altogether. This hazelnut plum tart is sort of a hybrid of a cake-y tart, with a thick, almost linzer-torte-like base and slices of fruit baked in on top. The secret to this "morning" tart is that the dough itself is spiked with orange zest and just ever so subtle of a hint of Turkish coffee and cardamom--enough to give the tart a dark and complex depth without stealing the scene with too much coffee flavor. It's a barely-there roasted spice flavor that helps to enhance the hazelnuts, alongside the brightness that the orange and plums provide.


It's going to be a bit slow-going while I try to reacclimate to "normal" life after my myopically-focused dissertation summer, but hopefully this also means the beginning of many more desserts coming out of the kitchen again.


(P.S. See that teacup in the photos? It's a UC Berkeley Wedgewood set! that I found at the antique fair a few months ago. I first saw these Berkeley Wedgewood place settings when I had dinner at the Chancellor's House as an undergrad, so I'm quite excited by the fact that I now too have a tea cup designed especially for my college alma mater. :D #geekpride)

Read on for recipe....


Morning hazelnut plum tarts
makes six 4-inch tarts

255 g (2 cups + 2 Tbspn) AP flour
80 g (1/2 cup) hazelnuts
1/2 tspn Turkish coffee
1/4 tspn ground cardamom
1 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn sea salt
2 sticks (1 lb) butter, at room temperature
2 egg yolks
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/2 tspn hazelnut extract
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 Tbspn orange juice
4 - 6 small plums
turbinado sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease the inside of six 4-inch tart molds. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, combine the flour, hazelnuts, Turkish coffee grounds, ground cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Process until the hazelnut is finely ground.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
4. Meanwhile, rub the orange zest into the sugar with your fingertips. Slowly add the sugar into the butter, creaming thoroughly until well-incorporated and aerated. 5. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the hazelnut and vanilla extracts and the orange juice. Beat well.
6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two stages, beating until combined and until a smooth dough forms.
7. Divide and press the dough into the prepared tart pans. Slice the plums and arrange the slices on top of the dough, pressing down lightly. Sprinkle with a healthy amount of turbinado sugar.
8. Bake the tarts for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before unmolding from the tart tins.

Tart recipe very loosely adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.


Enjoy!

19 comments:

  1. These are gorgeous!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Always beautiful food on your site and your plums look especially scrumptious. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks delicious! Interesting use of coffee and cardamom. And well done on finishing your thesis, good luck with those final bits of getting your PhD!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful and delicious, rustic looking tarts. Luv how you've arranged the plums on the top!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Exploits of a Dorm Room BakerSeptember 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    These look amazing! Plus your photography is gorgeous. Love, love, love all the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I adore the look of these tarts, so I'm sure my last few plums would be perfect baked into these tarts!


    P.S. - I am exactly the same way when I take my licensing board exams. I immediately feel guilty if I cook or sew anything that takes even an extra moment than allows in my schedule. Fingers crossed for you and for me, as I take my test next month!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congrats on finishing up your dissertation. Whew!
    That teacup is the BOMB. Sooo cool!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh yes. I love plums so much. This is perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can not believe you still have time to do delicious food like this while doing a pHD! I am in my final ear of University study too, god the essays are killing me (serves me right for choosing an sociology honor). I wish you the best of luck! These are lovely, I like you used hazelnut meal instead of almond.

    ReplyDelete
  10. They are beautiful looking tarts. AFter pinning it yesterday, had to take a look at the recipe, looks so rustic and lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love these sweet breakfast tarts! They are a great alternative to my all-time favorite breakfast of toast with this mouth-watering jam:

    http://celebritychef.tv/2013/07/18/very-berry-almond-jam/

    ReplyDelete
  12. restaurants japonais parisOctober 3, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    Suis
    dans les bonnes résolutions, les envies de cuisine saines...et de Zen...
    bref, ta recette me tente bcp et me parle bien !

    Dis, c'est quoi le Garam massala


    Des
    bises !


    Agnès

    ReplyDelete
  13. restaurants japonais parisOctober 3, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    Suis
    dans les bonnes résolutions, les envies de cuisine saines...et de Zen...
    bref, ta recette me tente bcp et me parle bien !

    Dis, c'est quoi le Garam massala

    Des
    bises !

    http://restaau.fr/Browse/meilleure-restaurant-japonais-a-paris.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. restaurants japonais parisOctober 3, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Suis
    dans les bonnes résolutions, les envies de cuisine saines...et de Zen...
    bref, ta recette me tente bcp et me parle bien !

    Dis, c'est quoi le Garam massala


    Des
    bises !


    Agnès

    http://restaau.fr/Browse/meilleure-restaurant-japonais-a-paris.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow these plum tarts look so delicious. I love your blog. It is very inspiring, so professional. I am quite new to food blogging. Please check out www.surreyKitchen.wordpress.com. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks so much for sharing your recipes and thoughts with all the blog-o-verse and dessert fans! I'm a friend of your parents -- we met through an event which we volunteered at. When I revealed I was a sweets fanatic, they recommended I take a look at your blog and I'm hooked! Its rare to find food chefs that interweave their culinary appreciation, personal thoughts and visuals so beautifully. Its such a treat and delight to read through your posts! A very good friend of mine is a dessert chef that runs her own company: http://www.thefatcatcakeboutique.com/

    Best wishes and looking forward to seeing more of your posts!
    ~ Janice

    ReplyDelete
  17. Welcome back! Your gorgeous desserts and pictures were missed.


    Congrats on your stage of your PhD. It's a tough journey but a personally worthwhile achievement!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mmmm it's been a while since I've baked my last tart. These sound/look incredibly moist and buttery- my kind of tart! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

Related Posts with Thumbnails