Sunday, 7 December 2014

Nectarine and Pistachio Tart

I found a very nice recipe in The Telegraph, for a Peach and Pistachio Tart.  However my local supermarket has been out of peaches for at least a week, so I resorted to using nectarines instead, as well as making a couple of other minor changes to the recipe.  

I will produce, below, the recipe as I amended by me.  It is quite simple to follow.  The only major issue I had was that I needed 100 grams of ground pistachios.  I think I would have more chance of finding a needle in a haystack that finding ground pistachios.  Neither the supermarkets, nor the health food shops sell it.  Not only that, but they don't seem to sell pistachios without the shell.  I therefore had to buy 2 x 200gram packets of the nuts with shells on.  Then I had the laborious task of shelling them, and trying not to eat too many as I worked.  Then I had to grind the nuts to a find crumb before use.  It took some time, but I got there in the end.  

One thing I forgot, was to remove the excess pastry after the blind baking.  I only realised I hadn't done it once the tart was back in the oven.  So I had to let it cook and then try to remove the excess. However as the pastry had cooked, and shrunk slightly from the edge of the tin it was a delicate operation to do, and the result is a little bit untidy.  That is not going to affect the flavour, so I am not unduly worried.

The pastry is a simple, egg free one, so blind baking can be down without beans, as it is not likely to rise.  One little tip, in that respect, is that when you have lined the tart tin with the pastry it is pressed against the side and lays flat against the base.  When you cook it, using a loose bottomed tart tin, you may find that the base starts to bubble or balloon.  That is because air is getting under the base of the pastry, so just take a tooth pick, or something similar and make a single hole.  The pastry will immediately deflate.  Then when you have blind baked you can use a bit of the excess cut from the rim and fill the little hole.  A little egg wash will make sure it is sealed, if you pop it back in the oven for about 30 seconds.


Nectarine and Pistachio Tart
Ingredients:

Pastry:
  • 100g/7oz plain flour
  • 100g/3 ½ oz butter
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp cold water
Filling:
  1. 125g/4 ½ oz butter
  2. 125g/4 ½ oz caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  3. 50g/2oz ground almonds
  4. 100g/3 ½ oz ground pistachios
  5. 50g/2oz plain flour
  6. 3 eggs, beaten
  7. 3 ripe nectarines, quartered
Method:
  1. Put the flour, butter and sugar into a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs (or use a food processor).
  2. Stir in 4 tbsp cold water and quickly bring the pastry together into a sticky ball of dough. 
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. 
  5. Put the pastry on a floured surface and roll it out to 3mm thickness, then press it into a 24cm tart tin using your fingers. 
  6. Cut away any pastry that hangs over the edge. 
  7. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.
  8. In a food processor or by hand, beat the butter and sugar together until light, then stir in the nuts, flour, eggs and ½ tsp of salt. Mix well. Spoon over the cooled tart base and spread evenly.
  9. Toss the peach slices in the vanilla seeds and a tbsp of sugar and arrange in concentric circles on top of the pistachio mix. 
  10. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the peaches are just coloured and the pistachio frangipane is firm.

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