Nectarine Tart

This tart is by far the most beaaaautiful thing that has come out of my oven. Of course its martha's recipe, who else would create such a beautiful work of art? When i first got her Baking Handbook, i saw the photographs of this tart and deemed it "too hard" for me to do. Of course, that same week we had to learn Pie Dough in our cooking class and immediately my mind went to Marthas Nectarine Tart. However, instead of the traditional pie dough (pate brisee), tart dough is used in this recipe. This dough is awesome because you don't need to use a food processor to make it perfect and it is easy, easy, easy:

Tart Dough

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons heavy cream

In your electric mixer bowl, cream butter & sugar using the paddle attachment for 2 mins.
Add egg yolks and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Add 3/4 cup flour, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, until flour is incorporated.
Add remaining 3/4 flour along with salt and cream and mix until you cant see any more flour, about 1 minute.
Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Wrap it up and stick in the the fridge for at least 2 hours before use or overnight. Can also be frozen up to 1 month (thaw in fridge before using).

For this tart, its better to make the dough a day before because it will take forever to finish the tart in just on session (I did, and i think it took me 5 hours total because i started from scra-a-atch)

Alright, so you have your dough (First, preheat oven to 375 degrees)

Lightly flour your work area and roll it out until it is 12-inch round and 1/4 inch thick; fit the dough over a 9-inch round fluted tart pan (with or without a removable bottom. the bottom just makes it easier to remove the tart as a whole. I used one without the removable bottom and it was gobbled up the same). Press the dough lightly into the pan and trim the excess dough flush with the pan (I rolled over the top with a rolling pin and it cut off the excess perfectly). Chill tart shell for 30 minutes, until firm.

Prick the bottom of dough all 0ver with a fork, line with parchment paper leaving at least a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights (i used rice, asian style) so the bottom of the tart doesnt bake up bubbles.

Bake until edges are lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the parchment and weights; continue baking until lightly golden all over, 20-25 minutes more.

While this is baking you can proceed to make heart of the tart. that rhymes.

Nectarine Tart

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Chambord or brandy (i used brandy)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ripe but firm nectarines (about 2 1/2 pounds)

Get ready to slice some nectarines!

Basically you have your nectarine and you slice all around the seed for four chunks and further slice those 4 pieces into 1/8-inch-thick slices. you will have small pieces and big pieces, which gives the "roses" that you will create, some dimension.

So start with one of the smaller pieces and curl the slice around itself, skin side up. Then wrap another slice around the first and the third slice around the second, so on so forth, until you have achieved a "rose" (1 1/2 inches in diameter), obviously using the large pieces at the end to give it a nice shape. One trick is to make these roses on or around an offset spatula because if you try to transfer it to the baked tart shell with just two hands, it might fall through the middle because the fruit is slippery.

After the first rose, use something small to keep it form moving while you form the next rose, for me it was jordan almonds. haha

keep on, keepin' on ... til you have this:

if you have extra nectarine pieces, you can stuff them into any gaps that you have. its so preeetty ...

To make the filling:

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk occasionally until butters solids begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, lemon juice, brandy/chambord, and salt until light in color and doubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Add flour and reserved browned butter and whisk until well combined.

Pour evenly over fruit, use a spoon to fill in any spaces.

Bake ...rotating tart halfway through, until crust is golden brown and filling has slightly puffed, about 40 minutes (mine took only about 35, you should really watch it towards the end because you dont want the fruit to get too dark). Cool completely on a wire rack.

it looks, and is, SOoo good. Sometimes when i finish a project, i think "omg, i do NOT want to ever do this ever again" and i might have felt that way during this tart (remember, this took me like 5 hours) but after seeing how beautiful it came out and all the raves from the people who were lucky enought to eat it. i would DEF make this tart again. Try it!
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