Nectarines make up nearly half of all peach cultivars in France and the majority are from the scenic Rhone Valley. Given their popularity and unique refreshing flavor, it's no mystery why they're the focus of so many summer-themed recipes. This fresh nectarine tart recipe takes a few hours and three simple steps - pastry, custard, and fruit topping - to create an exceptionally elegant and scrumptious dessert.
Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons cold butter
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 3/4 cups light cream or half and half
- Contents of 1 vanilla bean cut lengthwise and scraped out
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Cognac
- Fruit topping:
- 7 medium nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons red currant jelly, heated slightly
In a medium saucepan, heat the half-and-half and the vanilla bean to just a simmer, and then immediately remove the pan from the heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the sugar until they are smooth and add a small bit of the hot vanilla cream, stirring constantly.
Immediately transfer the warmed egg mixture back into the hot cream and continue whisking until they are completely incorporated. Heat the mixture over low-medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reads 170 degrees on a digital candy thermometer or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, stir in the Cognac, and chill the custard.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, large-tined fork, or a food processor on pulse setting, cut the chilled butter into the flour until it resembles coarse sand with a few pea-sized pieces of butter still visible. Sprinkle the cold water onto the mixture and toss gently a few times, just until it forms a ball that holds together.
Separate the dough into two balls, flatten slightly into thick disk shapes, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for several hours before working with it.
Preheat an oven to 375F. Roll and trim the dough to make a circle large enough to fit a 10-inch fluted tart pan. Fit the circle into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Line the line the dough with pie weights or dried beans and bake it for 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and bake the shell for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside the pastry shell, still in the tart pan, to cool.
Once the pastry is cool, spread the cold custard across the bottom surface of the tart. Arrange the nectarine slices in a spiral pattern on the custard. Brush the nectarines with the melted red currant jelly and serve the nectarine tart cold or at room temperature.
This fresh nectarine tart recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.