In these days of gluten-free eating, wheat flour — the old standard for baking pie and tart crusts — might be mourned, were it not for the many healthy flour alternatives. This tart crust recipe combines chickpea flour, a high-protein grind of chickpeas that adds sweet denseness, with a smidgen of semolina flour to help it hold up. Layered with plums that have been macerated in dessert wine and shredded basil and then baked in egg custard, the result is a rustic pudding that reminds me of the old nursery rhyme that goes, “Jack stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum, and said, ‘Oh what a good boy am I!’”
Rustic Plum Basil Tart With Chickpea Flour Crust Recipe
For Tart Crust
3/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil leaves, minced
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1 T cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine chickpea and semolina flours, sugar and salt in bowl of food processor. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until pea-sized pieces form.
Whisk egg yolk, water, vanilla and basil in small bowl. Add to processor and incorporate until dough begins to form.
Remove dough from processor bowl and form into a ball, then flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
8 large, firm plums, halved, pitted and quartered. If large, cut into eighths
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sweet dessert wine
Note: this is a great way to use up what’s left in a bottle of sweet wine. Tokay, Madeira or Sauternes will all work well
2 T basil leaves, minced
Mix plums, sugar, wine and basil in medium bowl to throughly coat. Let macerate for half an hour and up to 2 hours while preparing rest of tart.
For Egg Custard
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 T chickpea flour
Whisk ingredients in small bowl and refrigerate.
To Assemble Tart
Heat oven to 350°F.
In deep pie dish, pat dough on bottom and up sides to cover. Prick with fork.
Arrange plum slices in a circle on top of dough, overlapping edges. Reserve syrup collected in bowl to drizzle over tart when serving.
Pour custard over plums. You may have a bit of the custard left, and plums will not be completely covered. Expect some migration and floating while baking.
Bake until set for 45-50 minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving. Drizzle with reserved plum syrup.
Stephanie Davis, a Wine Educator and Podcaster, says a chilled, moderately priced Sauternes would be a lovely partner with this tart. She usually recommends buying half bottles (375ml) of dessert wine, but if you intend to cook with it, buy a full 750ml bottle. Look for a producer such as Chateau d’Arche or start a conversation with the wine buyer at your local wine shop. Take a few sips while prepping your tart to enliven your palate with flavors of apricot, caramel and spiced oranges. Note: pricing is vintage and producer dependent.
Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.
Interested in reading Emily’s recent award-winning novel, Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage? Find it on Amazon and in Indie bookstores.
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