We’re well into summer mode down here in NZ, which means the supermarket shelves are brimming with beautiful, luscious stone fruits. One of my favourites is the nectarine. When they’re ripe and the juices are flowing, there’s nothing tastier. So, what better time to enjoy this Nectarine Frangipane Tart?
There’s something rather wonderful about the marriage between the sweet, nutty texture of frangipane (almond pastry cream) and the juiciness and freshness of fruit. Add to that, the crisp buttery-ness of the pastry and the tangy richness of the cream topping, and you have a winning culinary delight.
Thanks to the New Zealand Taste Summer Cookbook, Summer 2020 for the recipe. I slightly adapted it to heighten the flavour – adding in some almond essence and extra lemon zest into the filling. I also made a tangy cream topping, combining heavy cream with sour cream to balance out the overall sweetness a bit, and it certainly did the trick. Finally, I substituted white Spelt flour for the plain flour – I much prefer its taste and it’s an easier grain to digest – my family loves it!
Not only does the dessert look stunning with its concentric circles of fruit, enveloped by clouds of nutty frangipane, but it certainly delivers in taste as well. The perfect late summer dessert. Enjoy!
NECTARINE FRANGIPANE TART
- 1 Electric Beater
For the vanilla bean pastry
- 1-3/4 cups plain flour (I used white Spelt flour)
- 1/3 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 4.4 oz cold butter, chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 small egg, lightly beaten
For the filling:
- 3.5 oz butter, softened
- 1/3 cup caster (superfine sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp plain flour (I used white Spelt flour)
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
- 1/4 tsp almond essence
- 1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
- 4 nectarines (I used 'Yummy Hunnys' nectarines)
- 1 tbsp caster (superfine sugar, extra)
- 2 tbsp apricot jam,warmed
For the topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4.4 oz sour cream
- 2 tbsp light muscovado sugar (or to taste)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the pastry:
- Place the flour, icing sugar, butter and vanilla into a food processor. Process in short bursts until the mixture has a fine crumb consistency. Add the egg and process again in short bursts until the mixture just starts to come together.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather the pastry up into a mound. Press into a flat disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry on a sheet of baking paper to about 3mm thick. Line a 23cm loose base flan tine with the pastry, gently easing it into the corners; trim excess pastry.
- Freeze for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Place a sheet of foil or baking paper over the base and side of the pastry. Fill with baking weights (or dry beans or rice). Place the tin on an oven tray. Bake on the lowest shelf in the oven for 15 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. Remove the foil and the weights and bake for a further 15 minutes or until lightly browned and the base of the pastry is cooked through. Cool.
For the filling:
- Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, lemon rind and almond essence; beat until just combined. Add the almond meal, beat until smooth.
- Halve the nectarines, remove the stones and slice thinly.
For the cream topping:
- Place the cream, sour cream, muscovado sugar and vanilla in a medium sized bowl and beat with electric beaters until thick (it will be dense rather than light and aerated). Place in fridge until needed.
- Spread the almond mixture over the base of the cooled pastry case.
- Arrange the nectarines decoratively on top (I overlapped them in two concentric circles).
- Sprinkle evenly with the extra tablespoon of caster sugar and bake for 1 hour or until the edges of the nectarines are browning and the filling is set (a skewer poked into the frangipane should come out clean). (The frangipane will rise and envelope some of the fruit – this is perfectly normal).
- Brush the surface of the fruit with the warmed apricot jam and serve warm or at room temperature with dollops of the cream topping.
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