Plum and Cherry Tart With Almond Shortbread Crust


The shortbread crust is made with almonds and is “pushed” in the tart shell with your hands instead of rolled out. Remember to freeze the tart shell for at least 30 minutes before finishing with the almond filling and fruit. This will help the tart from “shrinking” when baked.

This recipe works great for any “stone” fruit (A stone fruit has a large pit in the middle). Peaches, nectarines or apricots are great fruits to use. (the peaches would need to be peeled).


Almond Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,
  • room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons cream or half and half

Almond & Fruit Filling

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 6 to 7 plums, halved, pits removed
  • 1 cup pitted cherries (we use sour Door County cherries, but you can also use bing cherries or Queen Anne cherries)

Apricot Glaze

  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

I use frozen Door County cherries for this recipe when cherries are not in season. The cherries I get frozen are individually quick frozen (IQF) so I can take them directly from a bag in the freezer and place them on the tart without thawing them. They are pre-pitted, of course!


Making the tart doughHPIM1480

Place the flour and almonds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Pulse to combine. Almonds should become finely ground.          Be careful not to over grind or the mixture will turn into a paste.

Add the salt and sugar and pulse to combine.  Add the softened (but not melted) butter through the feed tube with the
processor going.  HPIM1481Add the egg through the feed tube.  Add the cream.

The final dough should be slightly sticky. You are not going to roll out the dough – rather you are going to pat the dough into the pan.   This dough is a shortbread dough so will be very delicate.

If the dough seems too sticky, pulse in a tablespoon or two more of flour. If too dry, add a couple of drops of cream or
half and half. I use large eggs in this recipe, but eggs can vary and sometimes dough will need a little adjusting.

To make the almond fillingHPIM1487

Place the almonds and the sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to combine.

Add the lemon zest (I am zesting a lemon to the right with a hand held micro zester available in many specialty cooking stores.)

Add the egg, room temperature butter and vanilla. Pulse to combine.

Add the flour and pulse.   Add the orange liqueur. Pulse to combine.

The filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days. I make large amounts of the filling at the restaurant and refrigerate it, using it daily as I make tarts. Bring to room temperature if you have refrigerated the filling.

To prepare the tartHPIM1482

Line a tart pan that has a removeable bottom with parchment paper. Spray the bottom of the tart pan and the sides with non stick food spray (PAM). Place parchment paper in the pan and spray parchment paper with non stick food spray.

I am using a rectangular tart pan, but a 9 inch round tart pan will also work.

Use the fingers to press the tart dough into the pan. If the dough is a bit sticky, put your fingers in a little flour to make it easier to place the dough in the pan.

When the pan is completely filled with dough, place the lined tart pan in the freezer. Freeze for 30 minutes before placing theHPIM1490
almond filling and fruit in the pan.   This helps firm up the tart dough so that it doesn’t “shrink” when baking. You can make the lined tart pans ahead of time and freeze for up to one week.

While dough lined pan is chilling, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Slice the plum halves into thin slices so that they can be fanned out.HPIM1489

Take the lined tart pan out of the freezer. Put the almond filling in the tart pan and use a spatula to evenly fill the tart.

Place the fanned out plums decoratively in the almond filled tart pan.   Place the pitted cherries decoratively around the plums.HPIM1491

Place the completed tart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. (My convection oven takes about 29 minutes for this tart to be completely baked)

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

While the tart is baking, melt the apricot jam with the liqueur in a small pan (Be careful – the mixture may ignite -HPIM1493
just let the flames burn off.)

When completely melted, remove from heat and strain to remove large pieces of apricots.    Brush the glaze on the cooked tart. Let cool completely before slicing. The glaze will need to set.

Carefully remove the tart from the pan. You should be able to carefully move the tart off of the lined bottom pan and place on a serving platter, or slice for individual servings.



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