Plum & pecan crostata
This is such a wonderful bake, part cake, part tart – I love the crumbly, buttery pecan pastry on this, wrapped around the fluffy filling and sticky fruit. This is a lovely autumnal bake and you can easily adapt it to use different fruits and nuts but I really love this combination of toasty, buttery pecans and sweet, tart plums. It’s absolutely glorious served with a big dollop of cream!
To make the pecan meal simply toast the nuts in a hot oven (about 180°c) for 10-15 minutes and then leave them cool. Pulse them in a food processor until they resemble ground almonds.
50g pecan meal
135g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp marsala
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g pecan meal
65g icing sugar
1 tsp baking powder
a little demerara sugar to finish
The quickest and easiest way to make the crust is to simply blitz all of the ingredients for it together in a food processor but if you don’t have one then simply rub the butter into the other ingredients until you have a soft, shortbread style dough. Chill this in the freezer whilst you pre-heat your oven to 200°c and cook the fruit for the filling.
Stone and slice the fruit and melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Stir in the sugar and add the fruit. Pour in the marsala and vanilla and cook the fruit until it becomes tender. Roll the crust dough out, making it large enough to overhang the sides of a well greased 7/8″ springform cake tin.
To make the filling blend together the nuts, butter, icing sugar and baking powder, ideally in a food processor. Add the eggs and flour and mix again. Finally fold through fruit and juices by hand and pour the whole lot into the pastry lined tin. Sprinkle with a little demerara sugar for a crunchy top. Bake the crostata for 20 mins before reducing the temperature to 180°c and baking for further 20 mins, cover the top with foil if it starts to get a little too brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before removing from the tin and enjoying.