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Nectarine, Blueberry Tart

To us, summer means fresh fruit tarts.  We love this tart for its buttery, flaky crust which is the perfect vehicle for the pastry cream base.  You can make this tart using any seasonal fruit, but we especially like the combination of nectarines and blueberries.  Pure summer.  We source our summer berries from one of our favorite bio-dynamic farms in Burgundy from our friends Bérengère and Cyril.

Nectarine and blueberry tart

Makes one 9-inch tart

1/2 recipe Pâte Sucrée (see under "The Cook's Basics")

All-purpose flour, for work surface

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon sugar

Pastry Cream (recipe follows)

4 peaches, sliced

1/2 cup blueberries

confectioners' sugar for dusting

For the pastry cream

1 cup milk

1 vanilla bean, split

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon flour

In a small saucepan over medium heat, scald milk, vanilla bean and 4 tablespoons of sugar by bringing the mixture just to under a boil.  

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add flour and cornstarch and continue whisking until smooth.

Slowly pour the hot-milk mixture into the egg mixture.  Whisk until complete smooth and free of lumps.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Remove the pastry cream to a bowl.  Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the tart

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick.  With a pastry brush, sweep off excess flour, fit dough into the fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing into the edges and using thumb to remove excess dough.  Chill tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang.  Fill with dried beans and bake until the edges are just beginning to turn golden.  Remove parchment paper and weights; continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes.  Cool tart shell completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream and sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form.  Working in batches, gently fold whipped cream into pastry cream; set aside.

Spoon pastry cream mixture into cooled tart shell and spread evenly.  Top with nectarines and blueberries.  Tart is best served the day it is made.