xmas week 2017 - nectarine and summer berry tart

Welcome to Day 1 of Xmas week. When I started thinking about Xmas week this year I didn't have a theme in mind. Some years I've done cookies; another year candies. I've featured cherries and desserts as well, so this year I decided to mix things up a bit so you'll be getting a little bit of everything.

Today's offering is a dessert that you can make ahead to bring to the Christmas table. As it's summer time in Sydney the tart features summer fruits but you could use any soft fruit you have on hand or even frozen berries.

I used the nectarine and summer berry tart featured on the front cover of  the Popina Book of Baking as my inspiration. I used my own almond shortcrust pastry recipe, then jazzed up her filling recipe with some vanilla and grated lemon rind. While the lined tart shell was chilling in the fridge, I made the filing and sliced the nectarines. Just 45 minutes later the tart came out of the oven ready to be glazed with some warmed apricot jam. I took the tart into work and it was demolished in record time. I had my slice with a dollop of cream and it was absolutely delicious.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 gram eggs. My oven is a regular gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20ºC.

Nectarine and summer berry tart – makes one 23 cm tart

¼ cup icing sugar
35g almond meal
200g plain flour
Pinch salt
100g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten

45g unsalted butter at room temperature
90g caster sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1½ tsp baking powder
90g plain flour
2 tbs milk

2 nectarines, pitted and sliced
A handful of blueberries
A handful of raspberries
A handful of strawberries, hulled and halved
Apricot jam, warmed

To make the pastry, place the icing sugar, almond meal, flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Whiz the mixture for a few moments to remove any lumps from the icing sugar and almond meal. Add the cold butter and whiz a few times until the mixture starts to form breadcrumbs. Add sufficient egg until pastry starts to form around the blades. Remove the pastry from the food processor; flatten out before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out thinly. Line a 23 cm round tart tin with the pastry, trimming the edges. Return the tart shell to the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 190°C. In a small bowl cream the butter, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla until soft and creamy. Beat in the egg, then the baking powder and finally the flour. If the mixture looks a little thick add 1-2 tbs of milk. Spoon the filling into the prepared tart shell and level before topping with the nectarine slices and the berries.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is puffed and golden and the fruit has sunk a little into the filling. Remove the tart from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes before glazing the top of the tart with the warmed apricot jam. Serve with a dollop of cream.

See you all again tomorrow with some more Christmas goodies.

Bye for now,


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