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Recipe

Nectarine and almond tart with homemade vanilla pastry

Celebrate summer with this gorgeous nectarine and almond tart. With a shell of crispy vanilla pastry, a layer of homemade almond paste and a topping of beautifully arranged nectarines, this tart looks and tastes like a ray of sunshine.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus chilling
  • Serves 8
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Ingredients

  • 100 g softened butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar, plus 1 Tbsp extra
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 4 nectarines
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
  • Cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)
Vanilla bean pastry
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 125 g cold butter, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 small chilled egg, lightly beaten

Method

  • 1
    To make the vanilla bean pastry, place the flour, icing sugar, butter and vanilla into a food processor. Process in short bursts until it reaches a fine crumb consistency. Add the egg and process again in short bursts until the mixture just starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather the pastry. Press into a flat disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 2
    Roll out the pastry on a sheet of baking paper to about 3mm thick. Use to line a 23cm loose-based flan tin, gently easing it into the corners; trim excess. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a sheet of foil over the base and side of the pastry. Fill with baking weights (or beans or rice). Place the tin on an oven tray. Bake on the lowest shelf in the oven for 25 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. Remove the foil and the weights and bake for a further 15 more minutes or until lightly browned and the base of the pastry is cooked through. Cool.
  • 4
    Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour and lemon zest; beat until just combined. Add the ground almonds and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  • 5
    Halve the nectarines, remove the stones and slice very thinly.
  • 6
    Spread the almond mixture over the base of the cooled pastry case and arrange the nectarines decoratively on top. Sprinkle evenly with the extra caster sugar and bake for 1 hour or until the edges of the nectarines are browning and filling is set.
  • 7
    Brush the surface of the tart with the warmed apricot jam and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
  • 8
    The pastry case can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The base is also suitable to freeze. You can warm the jam in the microwave.

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