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Recipe of the week: Ainsley Harriott’s plum frangipane tart

By Features Reporter

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Ainsley Harriott's plum frangipane tart from Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook. Picture: Dan Jones/PA
Ainsley Harriott's plum frangipane tart from Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook. Picture: Dan Jones/PA

Ainsley Harriott’s twist on a classic Bakewell tart is inspired by his travels in the Med – and if there was ever a time to get to grips with making your own pastry, it’s now.

“I love juicy fresh plums and their rich and seductive flavour works perfectly with the velvety almond base,” the TV foodie notes in Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook.

Ingredients (serves 6 - 8)

For the pastry:

200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2tbsp icing sugar

100g cold unsalted butter, diced

1 medium egg

2-3tsp cold water

For the frangipane:

100g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

2 large eggs

55g plain flour

70g ground almonds

A drop of almond essence

To assemble:

100g plum jam

3-4 plums, stone removed, cut into thin wedges


1. For the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and two teaspoons of cold water. Stir, adding another teaspoon of water if necessary.

2. Gently knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 15 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Unwrap the chilled pastry, place on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 3mm thick.

4. Line a 23cm diameter tart tin with the pastry, leaving a little excess pastry hanging over the edges. Line the pastry case with a sheet of baking parchment and fill with baking beans or raw rice.

5. Bake blind for 12-15 minutes, then remove the parchment and baking beans and return the pastry case to the oven for a further five minutes. Use a sharp knife to trim away the excess pastry and leave the pastry case to cool.

6. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. To make the frangipane, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour, ground almonds and almond extract. Spread jam over the pastry case, then top with the frangipane.

7. Smooth the surface with a spatula then push the plum slices onto the surface of the frangipane. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling is golden and well risen.

Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook.
Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook.
  • Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook by Ainsley Harriott is published by Ebury Press, priced £20. Available now.

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