A few days ago, I saw this post in my blog feed thingy, and I thought, that looks good. You see, I like the concept of pies et al (crust and sweetness, possibly topped with ice cream or whipped cream - hell yeah!), but I don't like the texture of bits of fruit that is inevitable in such items (well, of the fruit variety). This seemed like the perfect solution. Also, I've had a jar of plum brandy conserve in my cupboard that I got at the Farmers' Market months ago but could never bring myself to open it for some reason. However, as you can see from the thread, it doesn't actually have a recipe. It links to two other blogs that do have recipes, but neither of those is vegan. As you can see from the original post, it calls for one whole egg and one egg yolk, and I wasn't exactly sure what to do there. I mean, I know how to sub eggs in cake, but since I've only ever made eggless pie crusts in recent memory, I wasn't sure what I should sub for the egg (well, the yolk more accurately). So, after some PPKonsultation, I settled on soy yogurt. I give you ...
Plum Brandy Conserve and Raspberry Jam Tart
9 tablespoons (110g) margarine, at room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c plain soy yogurt
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 c plain flour
1/2 c stone-ground cornmeal or polenta
pinch sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 c plum and brandy conserve
1/4 c raspberry jam
turbinado or demerara sugar, for sprinkling
1. Cream together margarine and sugar. Mix in the soy yogurt and almond extract.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients, just until the mixture just comes together.
3. Measure out about 2/3rd of the dough, wrap it in cling film, and chill it. Take the remaining dough, wrap it and chill it, too. (I chilled for about 2 hours, but only because I was distracted.)
4. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of an ungreased removable bottom 9-10"/24cm tart pan or springform pan, patting it evenly.
5. Spread the conserves and jam evenly over the dough (they'll mix together as you spread - no need to combine them ahead of time if you can't be bothered).
6. Form the extra dough into disks, then lay them over the jam. Top very generously with coarse sugar (as much or as little as you feel like).
7. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool before serving, and serve at room temperature.
The Verdict: I'm not gonna lie, it's kinda like a giant fancy pop tart - a crusty icing sugar glaze wouldn't have felt out of place here. And I wasn't keen on the texture of the crust, to be honest. But overall, the taste was great, and it was even better the next day (as was the texture).
I'll make this again, but I might experiment with a finer grind of cornmeal. It was pretty close to a shortbread crust, so that's another possibility. Also, as the original recipe suggests, you can use pretty much any jam, preserve, etc., in place of what I used - this is just what I had on hand. I might try again with raspberry jam and chocolate chips, since it's always been a winning combination. I might also try to do a GF crust, just to see if it works and to do something for the GF peeps.
I've uploaded all of my pictures from the past, oh, 8 or so months, and I've managed to get them into my Food Porn album on FB. I have to say, trying to label everything (thank jeebus for AllyChristine's cookbook/blog challenge compilation post) reminded me about a lot of good food I haven't made in ages. And it made me hungry. Part of me wants to do a post (or 10) to catch up, so I might do later. But I have meal planning and grocery shopping to do, so it'll have to wait.