PLUM CROSTATA WITH LEMON & THYME

Make the most of our gorgeous plum season with Fiona's rustic plum crostata with lemon and thyme! You can use Fi's shortcrust pastry recipe, or if you're short of time grab a good quality pre-made one like Careme's. 

serves 8

1kg mixed plums, quartered and pips removed

Peel and juice from half an orange

1½ tablespoons brown sugar

3 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed  

50g (½ cup) ground almonds

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

300g of shortcrust pastry (as photographed - see recipe below)

OR you can buy a purchased quality pre-made butter sweet-shortcrust pastry (try Careme brand)

Shortcrust pastry:

300g plain flour

2 tablespoons castor sugar

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

180g chilled butter, cubed

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir the orange juice, orange peel, thyme and sugar in a medium sized bowl, to dissolve the sugar.  Reserving 150g of plums (about two plums), add 850g of plums and toss to coat in mixture. Set aside for 30 minutes.

To make pastry, place flour, sugar, lemon rind and butter in the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Add egg and lemon juice and pulse until mixture just comes together.   Push dough together with hands to form a 2cm thick disc, cover with plastic bag and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Place ground almonds, cinnamon and reserved plums in the food processor and blend until smooth. 

Roll out the pastry on a sheet of baking paper to form a 32cm round.  Transfer paper with pastry onto a baking tray. Spread the almond-plum mixture over pastry, leaving a 5cm border around edge.  Top with the plum pieces, reserving the juices collected in base of the bowl.  Fold and pleat the pastry border over the fruit, leaving the centre exposed.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden.  Brush the reserved juices over the fruit.  Serve warm or at room temperature with thick cream or ice-cream.

Note: Pastry can be made a day ahead.

Fiona Hammond © FEB 2018 

Recipe, photos and styling by Fiona Hammond. www.fionahammondfood.com   

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Mark Brancatisano