I suppose it's ironic that although my blog is entitled "The Savory Life," my first post is about pretty little dessert items.
I'm actually not the biggest dessert fan; I'd much rather indulge in a slice of cheesy pizza than a piece of chocolate cake. That being said, I do occasionally remember that my husband has an insatiable sweet tooth, and making him something special helps me feel a lot less guilty than going out and buying him a package of Oreo's (which he wouldn't complain about, but still).
Anyhow, these little tartlelettes are a nice compromise between our taste preferences; although sweet overall, the nectarines pack a nice zing, and the delicate crust encompasses those sweet and tart flavors in buttery savoriness.
*Crust adapted from: Paule Caillat's unique tart dough recipe, via David Lebovitz's blog; filling adapted from: this lovely pastry cream recipe
- for the crust:
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp canola oil
6 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 slightly rounded cups all-purpose flour
- for the filling: 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 Tbsp spice rum or other liqueur (optional)
for the toppings:
- 3 ripe nectarines, pitted & thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp apricot preserves
- 2 Tbsp water
- cinnamon & powdered sugar, for garnish
for the crust:
- Combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, & salt in a medium saucepan, and heat on medium high until bubbling & just starting to brown around the edges (keep a close eye on it, or you'll have caramel!)
Meanwhile, put the flour in a heat-proof bowl. When the butter mixture is ready, quickly stir it into the flour, until the dough just comes together.
Once the dough is cool enough to handle, transfer an apricot-sized piece to each of the pans and press into the edges with your fingers (if making two large tarts, simply split the dough in half between them). Reinforce the sides with a fork, and prick the bottom 10 or so times. Reserve a small piece of dough for patching any cracks after baking.
Set tart pans on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 410 degree oven for 10 minutes; remove and set aside to cool.
for the filling:
In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Stir in the flour & cornstarch until smooth.
Meanwhile, heat the milk & vanilla bean on medium until milk just starts to foam. Remove from heat and take out the vanilla bean; scrape the seeds into the egg mixture. Slowly add milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in the crème fraîche until thoroughly combined.
Pour mixture back into the saucepan and heat until just boiling, whisking constantly, until thick and creamy. If you are using liqueur, whisk that in as well. Pour back into a bowl and cover the surface immediately with plastic; set aside.
for the toppings:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut each nectarine around the seam, then again so it is quartered. Cut each quarter from the pulp and slice the fruit about 1/4 inch thick; set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the apricot preserves and water in a small saucepan until a smooth glaze forms.
Fill each tart crust halfway with the filling, then layer the nectarines in an overlapping, decorative pattern. Brush a thin layer of the apricot glaze over the top, then bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are golden and nectarines are fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. (You could refrigerate them until ready to serve)
Carefully remove the tarts from their spring-form pans and place onto plates. Sift cinnamon and powdered sugar all over the top and enjoy!