I know that they say almost doesn’t count (in fact, it was oh so eloquently documented in this song by Brandy from 1999.  Classic.) but, for the record.  Between plums that were thisclose to rotting (although when you buy them 3 for $1.00 off a street vendor what do you expect) and a pastry dough that was not cooperative in any sense of the word…this is the tart that almost wasn’t.


Made even more odd by the fact that, by all outward appearances, it was cosmically approved.

Given the proverbial karmic go-ahead.

All systems are go.

And all that jazz.


You see, on Friday I decided to actually choose what I was going to make for lab meeting the next Wednesday before Tuesday night when generally I turn into a lunatic trying to piece together some kind of baked good with what I have on hand, which is not quite as easy as it sounds given that I seem to be chronically out of brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, and chocolate chips no matter how many late-night grocery store runs I go on.

So I flipped through a baking cookbook that I rarely ever use, closed my eyes, pointed and landed on this here tart.  One glance at the picture in the book and my stomach grumbled YES.

Done and done.  Onto the grocery list the ingredients went.

Then on Tuesday I go into work and my coworker who is moving back to France permanently at the end of this week asked if I would make something special for her last lab meeting.

To be honest, my heart sank a little bit at this point as the neurotic menu planner in me screamed THE TART!!!  TTHHHHHEEEE TTAAAAARRRRTTTT!!!!!  But I swallowed my psychoses and said, of course! Anything! What would you like?

And she said (in her adorable French accent that you just can’t possibly be mad at), Well I do like cupcakes.  And brownies. But what I really love is a fruit tart.

See what I mean.  Now if that isn’t kismet, I don’t know what is.


And yet, when Tuesday night came around you could still find me cursing like a sailor and pacing around my kitchen, more pate sucree in my hair than in my tart pan and plum guts all over my counter as I tried to salvage the non-decomposing parts. So much for best-laid plans.

In the end, though, none of it really matters because with enough patchwork and not a single ounce of finesse, the pastry crust went into its pan.  There were just enough plum slices to get by without seeming stingy.  And the tart came out of the oven, smelling like a dream and tasting like a fairy tale.

The almond cream filling was light and refreshing, a cross between cake and custard in texture, and just sweet enough to compliment the almost-tartness of the plums, without being overly so.  The crust tasted like all things good in this world (i.e. butter).  And eating it released so many endorphins that I probably couldn’t remember the pain and anguish that went into making it even if I tried.

Yes, it almost drove me to tears.  And almost had me committing myself to a mental institution.

But like I said before.

Almost doesn’t count.


Plum Almond Tart
Makes one 9-inch tart, adapted from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook


  • 1/2-3/4 recipe Pate Sucree, chilled (recipe to follow)
  • 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam, strained
  • 1 1/4 lb ripe plums, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar, for sprinkling


  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a 12-inch round.  Fit the dough in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.  Trim the dough so that it is even with the tart rim.  Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Set an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the almonds with the sugar and salt until finely ground.  Add the butter and process until blended.  Add the eggs, one a time, and pulse until combined, scraping down the sides after each addition.  Add the almond extract.  Add the flour and pulse until well combined.
  4. Spread the tart shell with 1/4 cup of the apricot jam using either an offset spatula or a spoon.  Spread with the almond cream that you just made.  Arrange the plum wedges, side by side, rounded sides down, on top of the cream and gently push down to really stick them in.  Place the tart on the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle all over with the 1-2 tbsp of sugar.
  5. Bake, rotating the baking sheet 2/3 of the way through the baking time, until the crust is cooked through and golden brown – 40-45 minutes.  Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack.
  6. While the tart is still warm, brush the top of the tart with the remaining apricot jam.  If it is too thick, then heat it in a small saucepan until liquidy.  Allow the tart to cool completely.

Pate Sucree 
Makes enough for 1 double-crust or two single-crust 9-inch pies (I find this to be debatable…probably 1 1/2 9-inch pies)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk


  1. In a bowl, whisk the flour to aerate it.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl halfway through.  Add the egg and yolk, and mix to combine.  Add the flour and beat until it has been absorbed.
  3. Scoop about half of the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap.  Shape into a flattened disk and wrap in the plastic.  Repeat with remaining half.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

NOTE – I found this pastry dough to be VERY hard to work with and have a feeling that it was a bit too wet.  Here are some other options that I haven’t tried, but I trust the sources.  And if you have any favorite pate sucree recipes, please leave them in the comments!
Flour Bakery’s Recipe
Martha Stewart


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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77 Responses to Plum Almond Tart

  1. Pam says:

    total kismet. The tart that was meant to be.

  2. Hahaha!! Well this tart certainly did turn out!! It’s fancy too – I dig it.

  3. It was meant to be, looks wonderful!

  4. This tart is gorgeous!!! I’m so glad this tart exists and that you have a great story to tell about it 🙂

  5. Danielle says:

    I wanted to marry you when I saw pictures of that tart. Is that wrong?

  6. Definitely kismet…love it! And LOVE this tart. I mean…almond cream filling – bliss.

  7. bellini says:

    I don’t know that I woud have the confidence to just open a book and make whatever is on the page, but it does sound like the Russian Roulette of cooking.

  8. Amy says:

    I’ve opened up a cook book and chosen blindly a couple of times…and then immediately said “um, no.” and chosen again. Sort of defeats the purpose, I know. But that’s like pointing at a map to choose a vacation spot, while blind folded. I’m not that brave! Haven’t had a plum in ages. Looks delish

  9. Gloria says:

    Amazing:) This the perfect tart I love so much
    I told you I love your recipes???

  10. Mary says:

    Oh my heavens, this looks PERFECT! I would pay to have this in front of me for breakfast this morning. Very nice!

  11. For a tart that almost wasn’t… this looks pretty perfect! I love the sound of plum and almond together. What time is next Wednesday lab meeting?! 😉

  12. You’re killing me. I want a slice of this with my morning coffee.

  13. Shannon says:

    so, what you’re saying is… i shouldn’t make this? but it looks so incredible!!!! and while we get breakfast at lab meeting, i’d much rather have your homemade goodies 😉

  14. Beth says:

    It really was meant to be. For the record, if you’re ever baking for me, I would also be happy with a fruit tart.

  15. Jenna says:

    This looks so friggin’ fantastic! I’m glad those plums became something delicious instead of rotting their hearts out.

  16. Pam says:

    Totally meant to be…

    It looks fantastic and pretty too!

  17. sandra says:

    now that is one beauty of a tart. so true how things work out just right (sometimes).

  18. london bakes says:

    I bet the first bite was good enough to make you forget all the pain you went through 😉

  19. daphne says:

    It’s calling out for you for sure! And it looks perfect. cake vs tart- i choose tart anyday!

  20. Smelling like a dream and tasting like a fairy tale… that’s the kind of tart I want!

  21. marie says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I have had one too many experiences where I didn’t know if all the pain and effort would be worth it. Sometimes it was and sometimes it wasn’t. It looks delicious. My favorite dessert happens to be an apple cobbler which is great because they’re pretty much idiot proof.

  22. I adore Frangipane and yours looks AMAZING!!

  23. Eileen says:

    Hooray for almond & fruit tart! I have to say that I almost never have the patience to make a crust and then fill it–I’ much more likely to just go for the simple cake filled with almonds and fruit. But this looks so good that I just may have to change my tune. 🙂

  24. grace says:

    i might even be able to force myself to pit some plums for this delight! 🙂

  25. Jessie says:

    Just looking at this beautiful plum almond tart, I would never guess the curses, the sticky moments, the berating inner monologue that went into it. That’s why I’m grateful I can read your blog! 😉 You were so sweet to make this for your friend. It really does seem like fate, doesn’t it? And the result – gorgeous!

    Brandy … we’re definitely from the same generation 😛

  26. I feel like plums are so overlooked in desserts. This looks wonderful!

  27. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’ve made tarts that have driven me to tears as well. And it usually is all to do with the pastry. Such a process with all that resting and rolling and blind baking only to have the end result gobbled up in less than a few bites. Beautiful looking tart and I hope your French friend appreciated it xx

  28. That tart is gorgeious Joanne – I want a piece and am glad it happened!

  29. Dude, it was fate. And this tart – freaking amazing. So when are you coming to LA and bringing this for me? 🙂

  30. That Girl says:

    I feel like we’re already working our way out of plum season here- the last ones I got were a little bleh. Not as sweet and juicy as they’ve been.

  31. Hannah says:

    Those near-misses are all the more gratifying when they actually work in the end. You clearly caught those plums just in time, because they really look stunning in this pastry.

  32. Candace says:

    Beautiful tart, Joanne. This would be amazing in the morning with my coffee. I want a slice. Please?

  33. As always, funny story. I will be posting my berry pie recipe, soon. My son asked if I was okay. “Why?” I asked. He replied, “because you sounded like you had tourettes”. Um, yeah. I guess I was cussing up a storm, working with that crust–which turned out heavenly. So, I could relate to your frustration, and yet, I know that I WILL be making this. Italian prunes are season, so I’ll make it with those. Looks divine!

  34. I’m a huge fan of almond and plum combo – a delicious tart!

  35. Guru Uru says:

    What a gorgeous tart my friend and an awesome post 😀


  36. Kari says:

    Thank goodness almost doesn’t count, because if this hadn’t been, I would have been sad! This looks incredible and perfect for your friend’s request.

  37. Gosh, Jo, this plum almond tart looks out of this world delicious! Beautiful golden brown colour is just sensational.

  38. Johanna GGG says:

    This looks beautiful – I made a plum tart earlier this year and it didn’t look nearly as perfect or delicious – and your photos make want plum tart again!

  39. Barbara says:

    That’s a beauty, Joanne. Perfectly done and presented. She must have been thrilled.
    There’s something about almonds in a tart…in the crust or filling.
    You know those tubes of almond paste in the market? I think I could sit and eat the whole thing.

  40. Candice says:

    Wow, those photos are great! Do you think I could make this without the base dough if I need to cook for gluten-intolerants or would it just fall apart?

  41. Christina says:

    This tart sounds really substantial (read: perfect for breakfast). Plums aren’t used in baking as much as they should, so I’m always excited to see a plum recipe.

  42. Kevin says:

    Nice way to enjoy some plums! I like the apricot jam in there!

  43. Oh my, that looks delicious!! Great choice.

  44. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, What a beautiful tart! I would love to have a slice…I am sure it is delicious! Blessings my dear, your friend, Catherine xoxo

  45. Katie says:

    What a gorgeous looking slice! It definitely looks like it turned out. What a lucky co-worker you have!

  46. Mary says:

    This sounds delicious, Joanne. Seems kismet and ESP were on your side for the meeting. Your tart looks wonderful and I’d love a slice. Have a fabulous weekend. Blessings…Mary

  47. So glad it all turned out ok – the tart looks absolutely wonderful :))
    Mary x

  48. Cathleen says:

    Wow, this definitely seems like it was meant to be. This looks SO good! I have still not used this tart pan I bought 4 months ago.. I need to whip it out and make this!

  49. Erica says:

    That tart looks delicious,Joanne!I would love a large slice with a cup of coffee.

  50. Reeni says:

    Your plum tart is a stunner! Yay for a happy ending! I love when that happens. And you have a lovely tart pan – unlike me – who needs to just suck it up and go order one.

  51. Dining Alone says:

    Your blog always makes me laugh, and this looks delicious 🙂

  52. I’m in love… what a wonderful use of the plums. And it’s funny because I JUST used some plums that were past their prime to make a dessert.

  53. Katerina says:

    My dear I think it was meant to be indeed! I can imagine how hard was for you to make this pate sucre but the end result I think is worth all the trouble and fuss! It looks delicious and something I would gladly eat with my cup of tea!

  54. tigerfish says:

    Since the plums are on the verge of rotting, I bet they are sweet! And they sure make a perfect tart.

  55. Phew!! So glad you managed to scrape together enough ingredients for this, Joanne. 🙂 It is SO stressful when you have to bake at the last minute and things don’t work properly.

  56. Laura says:

    This post cracked me up. And I especially empathized with your reaction to being asked to bake after you had the tart planned lol. And can I just say, I almost always find crusts to be a nightmare. They are my arch nemesis!

  57. Lora says:

    Considering all the rama surrounding this tart – it looks well worth it. A perfectly beautiful treat.

  58. teresa says:

    i never think to bake with plums, but this looks SO good! a beautiful dessert.

  59. That looks amazing, I’m glad it worked out! I always seem to turn to cakes or pies, forgetting how beautiful a good tart can be. And I always seem to forget about plums when planning desserts – I don’t think I’ve ever baked something with them but anytime I see a plum dessert I want it so bad!

  60. Oh I love plums and almonds what a gorgeous and delicious dessert!!

  61. Jenn Kendall says:

    i have a tart pan that i STILL haven’t used…and i can hear it clamoring for me to make this, i just love the plum and almond combination!

  62. Carolyn Jung says:

    I actually have that cookbook on my shelf, but haven’t yet made anything from it. Oooh, from the looks of it, this plum tart should be the very first thing I bake from it. 😉

  63. Beautiful!!
    this is a true gorgeousness!!…. I ADORE Plums… This is really delicious looking tart…

    B/w I am drooling over your Stuffed poblanos as well… 😉

  64. I am grateful for the almond cream because when I saw “plum.” I could almost taste the tartness. You definitely need something to counter it. By the way, one time I opened the dictionary, closed my eyes and pointed to a word when I couldn’t figure out what to name my cat. Don’t do it. I think it was one of the reasons poor little Superbureaucrat was warmed up to me.

  65. brandi says:

    good grief, this is gorgeous! i totally missed plum season here this year 🙁

  66. Gorgeous tart! It’s hard to believe it was so difficult! I love plums… I’m still waiting for the blue plums I have in my yard to ripen. Can’t wait any longer! They’re my favorite 😀

  67. Roz says:

    What a story of serendipity for your French friend! And how awesome that you pulled it off with a plum tart that sounds so delightful. I’m imagining its flavor in my mind right now! Brilliant job and gesture for your friend’s send-off!

  68. Sono Bakery is right near me in Norwalk, CT and we love to go there for a sweet treat. This tart is gorgeous! Well done!

  69. Elizabeth says:

    Danish Pastry House in Boston makes a similar tart and it is delectable. I LOVE plum in baked goods

  70. Mila says:

    The only thing better than the idea of this tart is your writing.

  71. […] Eats Well With Others always has fabulous recipes, but I’m drooling over this Plum Almond Tart. […]

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