Monday, July 23, 2012

Nectarine Tart

Last month on a drive back to LA from Las Vegas, my husband agreed to stop at the Williams-Sonoma outlet in Primm, NV. I was in heaven. Among other things, I picked up this beautiful nonstick tart pan. While the pancake pen was a really cool purchase that I love, the tart pan made me feel legit. I may not have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer yet, but I have a tart pan!

I definitely don't subscribe to the theory that food has to look good to taste good but, boy, it sure doesn't hurt. And anything made in a tart pan, be it a breakfast quiche or a fabulous dessert is likely to turn out looking pretty darn beautiful. Last Sunday, I couldn't contain my excitement for this new pan any longer so I christened it by making this divine nectarine creation. Not only did it look good, it tasted fabulous.

Nectarine Tart
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: one large tart (about 10 servings)
Total Time: about 1 hour, 30 minutes


{for the tart shell}

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 Tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg

{for the pastry cream}

1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons corn starch
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

{for the topping}

2-3 large nectarines, peeled pitted, and sliced thinly*

*Nectarines may be replaced with any other type of fruit you prefer: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.


Start by making the tart shell. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processer or a blender. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. Whisk the egg and add it, a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Once the egg is in, continue to process in about 10-second increments until the dough forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough onto a work surface and very lightly knead the dough just until all ingredients are incorporated. Press the dough evenly along the bottom and sides of tart pan. Pierce crust all over with a fork and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (preferably longer) before baking.

To bake the crust, center a rack in the oven and pre-heat it to 375 degrees. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes longer to fully bake it, or until it is firm and golden-brown. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool.

While the tart shell is baking, make the pastry cream. Bring the milk to a boil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Cover the pan, turn off heat and set aside for 10 minutes. In a heavy-bottomed medium sauce pan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn starch until thick and pale. Whisking all the while, slowly drizzle 1/4 of the milk into the mixture. Then, still whisking, pour the rest of the milk over the tempered yolks.

Put the pan over medium-high heat and, whisking vigorously, bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, continue whisking for about a minute. Then, remove the pan from heat and scrape into a clean bowl. Allow the pastry cream to cool for about 3 minutes. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the mixture until fully melted and incorporated. Whisk in vanilla extract.

Allow the cream to cool by either placing in a larger bowl with ice and water (stirring from time to time) or placing in the fridge with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the cream to ensure an airtight seal.

Assemble the tart (the best part!). Once the pastry cream and tart shell is cool, you are ready for the best part, assembling the tart! Spread cream evenly into the tart shell and top with sliced nectarines.


SARAH said...

Looks like a scrumptious sunburst!

Dianne said...

I was one of the lucky one that got to taste it and it was not only beautiful but so delicious! A perfect summer dessert!

Anonymous said...

i've never heard of a nectarine tart, but I love nectarines so it must be yummy. good for you for taking time to bake. it's always on my mind, but i never seem to get to it. happy Monday! Teri

Mal said...

Sounds delicious and looks beautiful!

Mal @ The Chic Geek

design roundup said...

Looks delicious!

Laurie said...

yum! looks delicious!


Janette said...

I loooove nectarines! Like LOOOOOOOOOVEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this looks pretty easy.. Hmm.. May have to investigate further!

Janette the Jongleur

Elisabeth G. said...

This looks scrumptious!! Love it! Thanks for stopping over at my blog! LOVE your site! SOO cute! :)

Rachel said...

um, holy cow. That looks incredible. Never thought I'd need a tart pan myself, haha!

Amanda said...

Oh wow that looks heavenly! I am going to have to give this a try for sure!

kendra @ little almanac said...

MM, that looks divine! I don't think I could ever make something that pretty :)