Dried Plum Tart with Crème Fraîche Filling

I’m baking in the Frisian motherland again! Yesterday, I moved all my things from Leiden (visit if you’re on vacation in the Netherlands, it’s awesome for tourists) and stuffed everything back where it belongs. Mostly in the kitchen, as you might have guessed! Turned out that while I was gone, some teeny tiny bugs had taken over my baking cupboards, and so I had the “pleasure” of throwing out loads of baking ingredients. I cleaned everything out and got rid of those nasty intruders. It took me quite a while to vacuum and scrub, so I decided to treat myself to a yummy bake today. Enter this dried plum tart!

You might be thinking: why dried plums when there are fresh ones available? It’s (meteorological) summer after all! Well, I was in a hurry again. Those supermarkets should really start selling ripe (stone) fruits for a change. What do they think we’re doing? Buying our fruit two weeks in advance?! It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Though I genuinely think some supermarket person should get on that.. 
Luckily, dried fruit always comes at the rescue. And since I’d been eyeing this recipe for quite a while, I thought I might give it a go now. Wasn’t disappointed. Not disappointed at all. The plums were super soft and squishy and the filling definitely not over-sweet. The crème fraîche really balances the flavors well. And the pâte à foncer is absolutely scrummy. 
Do you think supermarkets should start selling ripe fruits? Or would it be too wasteful? 
Recipe Dried Plum Tart with Crème Fraîche Filling
yields: 1 24cm tart
Tools: pastry brush, 24 cm round tart tin (2,5cm in height)
Pâte à foncer(*):
62    grams unsalted butter
62    grams caster sugar
1,5   grams salt
1/4   egg
1/2   tablespoon water
125   grams plain flour
2,5   grams baking powder
17    dried plums, stone removed
hot tea (I used a mug of earl grey tea)
200   grams crème fraîche (you can substitute with sour cream that has a 15%+ fat content
+ a little cornstarch just to be sure it won’t split)
50    grams sugar
seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
1      egg
2      tablespoons apricot jam
* You’ll notice the ingredient amounts for the pâte à foncer are a bit strange, that’s because it’s half of a “whole” recipe. You can double the amounts and freeze one half of the dough if you want to. 
1. Start by soaking the plums in hot tea. Soak for 2 hours, then drain.
2. To make the pâte à foncer, mix together the butter, sugar, salt, egg and water (in a food processor with blade attachment, if you have one). It might look somewhat split. Then sift in the flour and baking powder and knead until you have a coherent dough. Make sure not to overknead. Roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and leave to firmen up in the fridge for several hours.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/390F.
4. Grease and flour your tart tin. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it into a 2mm thick circle. Line the tin with the pastry. Place in the fridge until you are ready to pour the filling in.
5. For the filling, mix the crème fraîche with the sugar, vanilla and the egg and pour into the pastry case. Distribute the plums evenly over the tart. 
6. Bake tart in the oven for 30 minutes. While baking, heat the apricot jam and pass it through a strainer. Once the tart has baked, brush the warm apricot jam evenly over the tart. You might not have to use all of the jam. Leave tart to cool in the tin.

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