SHF #12: Nectarine Custard Tart

2005-09-16

This is my contribution to SHF #12, hosted by Elise, and the theme is custard.

Nectarine Custard Tart (1)I often make desserts that use custard (crème caramel, pudding, ice cream) so the only difficulty was narrowing down the options. In the end, since nectarines are plentiful this time of year, I made a custard tart with nectarines. The recipe comes from In the Sweet Kitchen, Regan Daley's encyclopedic work. Her description: A sexy understated little tart with a creamy custard that subtly enhances the flavour of the ripe fruit … Fruit and custard tarts such as this are very popular in France.

Instead of making the shortbread crust (pâte sucrée), I thawed and rolled out some leftover dough that I had “inherited” from the last pastry class. After partially baking the shell blind, a coating of egg white helped to prevent the crust from getting soggy. It went back into the oven to let the film dry. Then, I arranged sliced nectarines on the cooled shell, then made a rich custard (egg yolks, sugar, whipping cream, vanilla, peach schnapps) and poured it over top. After baking in a moderately low oven, the filling was just set.

Nectarine Custard Tart (2)This is one of those desserts that has the perfect mix of contrasting textures and flavours. The acidity in the fruit is balanced by the sweet custard and crust. The cooked filling is soft while the baked shell provides a bit of crunch.

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