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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!

FRESH NECTARINE TART
(Serves 6-8)
My all-time favourite summer fruit...well, apart from watermelon I guess, is the nectarine. I like the taste of peaches and apricots too, but can't get past the fuzzy skin on the fresh ones. Plums are great too, but the lovely and fragrant nectarine just has that extra 'je ne sais pas'.

Anyway, I found some gorgeous nectarines a few days ago and, per my usual enthusiasm, I bought far more than we could eat before they would overripen and go bad...so...I decided to make some mini tarts with the 4 large ones I had left softening in the fruit basket at lightning speed.

I had never really made my own pastry dough before, but I have no idea why now...it was SO EASY!!! I basically used Grandma's crust recipe and it worked a charm! (Aren't these little beauties gorgeous?!)

One tip though...make absolutely sure that the pastry goes up high enough along the sides of the mini tart tins, or that you completely pinch and seal the edges of a large pastry pocket before cooking. I had a couple where the pastry wasn't quite high enough which resulted in molten nectarine juce lava on the cookie sheet that the tart tins baked on. (The baking sheet was a lucky precaution and saved my oven from certain disaster!)

Here is the recipe, but feel free to play around with it...I thought adding brandy or rum might also be an indulgent touch...

PASTRY CRUST – INGREDIENTS:

1¾ Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
100 Gm (about 3½ oz) Cold Butter, cut into 1 cm (about ½ inch) cubes
½ Cup Cold Water


DIRECTIONS:

To make the pastry dough, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl then cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter.

Combine well until the mixture get to the texture of breadcrumbs.

Now, add the water and mix together with the fingers of one hand to bring into a ball.

Knead the dough lightly to get the mixture to come together, then roll unto a ball and slightly flatten (to about 2 cm thickness).

Next, wrap the dough in baking paper and store in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.


FILLING – INGREDIENTS:

½ Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Cornflour
(Corn Starch in Nth America)
4-5 Large Ripe Nectarines, sliced 1 cm thick (about 6 cups)
1½ Tsp Almond Essence/Extract or Amaretto Liqueur
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

DIRECTIONS:

First, combine the sugar and cornflour in a large bowl.

Next, gently toss in the nectarines and add the almond and vanilla essences.

Stir until all nectarine pieces are coated and sprinkle with the lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

When ready, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a round size just larger than a pie plate (for a large tart), or into a rectangle large enough to cover 6 mini tart tins.

To transfer the large tart dough to an ungreased cookie sheet covered in baking paper, fold the dough in half then half again then and unfold on the sheet to make a round.

Now, pour the nectarines and the juices onto the pastry and mound it in the middle.

For one large tart, gently fold up the edges around filling, leaving a 6-inch opening of exposed fruit in the centre of the pie, then brush water on the pastry and sprinkle with a bit of additional sugar.

Bake the pie on the lower rack of a preheated 190 C (375 F) oven for 35 to 45 minutes.
Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or sweetened whipped cream if you like.






2 Thoughts & Remarks:

MaryBeth said...

This looks wonderful, so light and refreshing. A absolute great summer dessert.

Cheryl said...

Tiff, that looks delicious! and beautiful as well.