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Nectarine Tart

Nectarine Tart

Don’t make this tart. Let me rephrase. Don’t make this tart unless you’re obsessive about detail, have a high tolerance for nit-picky tasks and two hours to kill.  Oh, and if you have a tendency to spurt forth with four-letter words when a hot tart slips from your hands onto the table and smashes the entire fluted rim of a certain just-baked dessert, you may want to think long and hard about calling that bakery downtown. If, on the other hand, you still want to proceed, may the Gods of all tarts sweet and savory bless you every step of the way. You’ll need it.  Should you decide to accept this mission however, your patience, time and guests will be rewarded with this stunner of a dessert that tastes every bit as wonderful as it looks. But hurry, grab a fork or this tart will disappear quicker than a dewdrop on a rose petal. June 2010 097 Let me guide you through the process. First I made the crust. The original recipe (from Martha Stewart, wouldn’cha know?) calls for a standard pastry crust. But I made one using amaretti cookies, since the flavor goes so well with peaches and nectarines. So make the crust and let it cool. I made the mistake of not buttering the tart pan well enough, making it a little difficult to remove the slices neatly when it was time to cut into the tart. Now comes the tricky part – making the roses. I pitted the nectarines, split them in half, then sliced each pitted half with a mandoline. You could use a knife too, but it’s harder to get slices with a uniform thickness. If you make the slices too thick, they’ll be resistant to curving into a circular shape. Too thin and they disintegrate or they’re a mess to handle. The nectarines should not be dead ripe, but not rock hard either. Somewhere in the middle is perfect. Once you have slices, then cut them in half down the middle. Work on one nectarine at a time to get the hang of it. Don’t slice all of them at once. June 2010 076 Using a knife, make a little hole in the center. This will make it easier to roll nicely. You’ll see what I’m talking about once you start making the roses. June 2010 077 OK, now take one little slice of the nectarine and coil it around on itself. Stand it up on end. The moisture in the fruit will help the slices stick to each other. June 2010 078 Take another slice and wrap it around the last one you rolled. June 2010 079 Continue with this procedure. June 2010 080 Keep going. June 2010 081 You’re getting there. June 2010 082 Ah yes. That’s it. Now place (carefully) each rosette on the cooked pastry shell. Oh quick, see that fluted edge. That’s what fell by the wayside when I tried to unmold a tart from a very hot pan. June 2010 074 When you’ve got the tart shell completely filled, you’re ready to pour in the topping (and ready for a rest). June 2010 083 Take it out of the oven and wait for tart to cool before attempting to extract it from its removable bottom. Otherwise, the hot tart is likely to slip from your hands, plop on the table, and that pretty fluted rim you worked so hard to achieve will be history. Take my word for it. (Well, actually make that a few four letter words that shall remain unsaid here in this family blog.) June 2010 086 Even if do manage to mangle the fluted rim, there’s likely still plenty of crust left to hold it all together and present your piece de resistance. June 2010 133 Nectarine Tart Printable Recipe Here Amaretti Crust 3/4 cup amaretti cookies 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup almonds 6 Tablespoons butter Place cookies, sugar and almonds in food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and whir a few seconds longer to blend. Press into 9″ tart pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. 6 or 7 nectarines Filling: (This part is a Martha Stewart recipe) 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Chambord or brandy
1/4 tsp salt
1. Make and pre-bake a tart shell according to a recipe of your choice.  Set aside to cool completely.
2. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat, whisk occasionally until butter solids begin to brown, about 5 mins. Remove from heat, set aside.
3. In medium bowl, whisk egg, sugar, lemon juice, Chambord and salt until light in color and double in volume, about 2 minutes. Add flour and reserved brown butter, whisk until well combined.
4. Slice nectarines into 1/8 inch slices. Make roses by loosely coiling a thin slice of nectarine for the center, then wrapping each additional slice around it, offsetting each slice from the previous one. Make and transfer enough roses to fill tart shell, filling any gaps with extra nectarine slices.
5. Whisk filling briefly, pour evenly over fruit, using a spoon to fill empty spaces. Bake at 375F, rotating tart halfway through, until filling has slightly puffed, about 40 mins. (When tart came out of oven, I brushed the rosettes with a little melted apricot jam, and filled in the empty spaces where the filling looked sparse. Actually I think you could eliminate the filling entirely and this tart would taste delicious with only the rosettes and apricot jam.) Cool on wire rack. Makes one 9 inch tart. (I stupidly used a very large tart pan – about 11 inches – and it took forever to fill with rosettes. Plus the filling amount given in the original recipe was not enough to cover the entire surface very well. I filled in with apricot jam at the end as I mentioned above.)

This Post Has 56 Comments
  1. Well, I am the tart queen, but will not be making this tart in my lifetime.
    It is so beautiful, I have never seen nectarine roses before!
    This wins the award for most beautiful dessert, and you win the award for most patience!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous and I love your honesty about not making it unless you're really ready for it! Brava Linda.

  3. Linda,
    you will have to make it again!
    I only tasted it with my eyes, and it was gone before my turn.
    I confess I cleaned the crumbles on the plate with my finger: it did not need any more butter,it was just perfect.

    Sei proprio bravissima.

  4. Linda, this is truly one of the most beautiful tarts I have ever seen. I'm sure it tasted just as amazing! I'm not even going to attempt this one since I don't think anything would come close to your masterpiece!!!

  5. Looks like a bouquet of rosettes. I'm sure it was delicious with the nectarines and the amaretti crust — but who would dare cut it after all your work?!

  6. Wow. Few words. Stunning. Delicious.I don't think I could make it! (Without killing someone which is frowned upon). But wow. I'm coming to NYC in August and maybe you can make it for me???

  7. Linda this kicks major booty – wow, I love the nectarine florets – I made a plum carpaccio with similar florets but this blows that away….

  8. I will have to take your advice and avoid making this (too labor intensive right now), but I still have to comment about how beautiful it is!

  9. Linda,
    You honestly are an artist. That's simply the loveliest thing I've EVER seen. I can't wait to make it.

  10. Wow, I've never seen anything like this, it's too beautiful to cut into, that's a labor of love for sure! I may not make the whole tart but I would attempt a mini one. I really love that rose technique!

  11. its the most breathtaking tart Ive ever seen. I am so putting this on my to make bake and do list! I wonder if i cld use red apples…maybe it wld be too stiff to curl. Nectarines are not easily available here n if they are they are costly..I think. Ive never bought them b4….hmm time to rack my brains for an alternative if htere is one… I have to make this ..or ill never be happy.

  12. Linda, beyond the monotony of prepping and rolling up nectarine rosettes, this tart is easy and definitely worth the fuss, gorgeous!

  13. Unbelievable, Linda! I am so impressed! I honestly don't know whether I'm ready to make this, I'm still afraid to use a mandoline (a klutz like me tries to stay away from sharp gadgets).

  14. I tasted the tart and it was delicious!
    I do not know if I will be making it after my last attempt of the Easter Braid!

  15. Simply stunning!

    I am so very tempted to try it, even with your frank and honest assessment. And believe me, I will publish mine too, even it fails and I can only offer a link to your beautiful version.

  16. How beautiful! The rosettes are gorgeous. I'm going to pray for patience before I begin this :-). I can just imagine how delicious the completed tart must be. I salute you, my friend. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  17. Oh my goodness this looks so pretty! Definitely work intensive, to say the least, unless you have the help of a food stylist and sous chef in your kitchen to help, as Martha does…lol

    The nectarines really do look like would be a perfect treat to make for a June birthday or garden party.

  18. I think that's the pretties tart I've ever seen. What a gorgeous presentation. This is a dessert that will definitely impress my guests.

  19. How beautiful. Those nectarine roses are so lovely. Thanks for the warning though. I can tell you I won't be trying it. I will just enjoy looking at yours

  20. Never. In a million years. But I am so glad to have blog friends like you that will. Linda- this is an absolute masterpiece, should be in a food museum.

  21. This is truely the "Tart of all tarts". How amazing! I have never seen anything like it! This is what I love about food blogs. You get to see what people are doing all around the world. One day I may remember this post when I have lots of time and a very special occasion. I hope that day is soon!

  22. That has got to be the MOST beautiful tart I have ever seen, Linda. You must have the patience of a saint and the hands of an artist. Gorgeous! And I bet it tasted as good as it looks.

  23. Absolutely the most beautiful tart I have ever seen. May I suggest making a 13 inch next time, and sending me the extra 2 inches?

  24. I can't stop coming back to look at this picture. You should frame it and hang it in your kitchen. A true work of art.

  25. Questa torta è assolutamente magnifica. In tutto e per tutto. Quella crosta all'amaretto e le pesche che si sposano così bene con quel guscio. Un vero capolavoro. E posso immaginare (mi hai fatto ridere), quando la torta ti è volata di mano ed ha rischiato di distruggersi sul piano di lavoro. Io non avrei frenato la lingua e quella bella parolina di 4 lettere sarebbe esplosa nel silenzio! Bravissima davvero. Pat

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