Brown butter nectarine tart
It seems like every summer I have the impromptu and magical experience of suddenly smelling the delicate aroma of ripe nectarines wafting through the air. At that moment, whether it’s at a farmer’s market or grocery store, I know it’s time to make this recipe.
This is my favorite summer dessert. It is another of my mother’s recipes, but this one has almost no changes aside from conversion to grams. I asked my mom to make this tart so many times when I was growing up that I am unable to tell how much of my appreciation for it is the pure nostalgia of every slice.
The filling is fluffy and light, not too sweet. It develops a wonderful almost meringue-like crispy shell that adds beautiful texture.
This recipe is scaled for an 11 inch tart pan. I highly recommend a tart pan with a removable bottom. I like to double the recipe for the crust and keep one ball of dough in the freezer in case of emergency.
- 170g (1 ⅓ cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 113g (1 stick or 8 tbsp) cold butter
- 3-4 tbsp ice water
- 1 large egg
- 90g (7 tbsp) sugar
- 15g (2 tbsp) flour
- 75g (5 tbsp) butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 nectarines or peaches cut into eights
Making and blind-baking the crust
- Preheat oven to 425F/220C (use convection if you have it).
- Combine flour, sugar and salt in bowl.
- Using your finger tips combine the in butter until mixture resembles crumbs, work quickly so that it stays cool.
- Add ice water, tossing with a fork or lightly with fingers until pastry holds together.
- Shape into a ball and flatten.
- On lightly floured surface, roll out into an 13 inch circle.
- Fit into 11 inch tart pan.
- Fold in pastry overhang against sides.
- Use a fork to poke holes throughout the bottom of the dough. This will allow steam to escape and prevent the bottom from lifting up.
- Line with parchment paper or foil and fill with dried beans or rice.
- Blind bake 12 minutes. Remove parchment paper and beans carefully and bake.
- Bake 10 minutes more until light golden, don’t overdo it.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Lower oven to 350F/180C (use convection if you have it)
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned, the milk solids should become a vibrant rusty red color. Watch it closely because it can burn easily.
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Stir in flour, then cooled browned butter and vanilla extract.
- Spread filling in tart shell; arrange nectarine slices on top.
- Bake on a cookie sheet 30 minutes until a deep gold. May need more or less time depending on your oven.
- If your oven doesn’t have a convection fan, the baking times will take a little longer.
- This tart goes very well with homemade whipped cream.
- Keep the pastry shell in the tart pan throughout the whole recipe. Once the tart has been baked, do not try to remove tart from pan right away. Let it cool 10-15 minutes before trying to remove it from the tart pan as the crust is very tender.
- I prefer nectarines to peaches in this recipe because the texture of the skin is less noticeable, but either works perfectly. I have also made this recipe with pears, and I am sure it would work with many stone fruits as long as they are not overly juicy.
- If it’s a hot day, place the butter in the freezer for a few minutes before making the pastry to give yourself more working time.
- To make extra pastry crust, I double the pastry recipe. I split the finished dough ball in half and wrap it cling wrap. Then place it in a zip top bag. When it’s time to back it only need 15 minutes to thaw at which point you can start beating it down to shape with a rolling pin. The fact that it’s cold makes it easier to work with.