It has been a tough week for many people in Brisbane, and in Queensland and in fact all over Australia. We have had unpredictable weather with floods, and flash flooding. At first there was a lot of anxiety around but when time passes and the reality of the situation starts to hit you, the soul begins to ache a bit. I was lucky enough not to be flooded. I have still felt great sadness for people I know and people I don’t know.

Whenever I feel sad I bake. I have done this since I was about 16. My Mother used to say to me when I was moping around the place “Why don’t you bake some cookies, make yourself useful!” So I would whip up a batch of cookies and true to what my Mother said I would feel more useful.

This tart was featured in January’s Gourmet Traveller. I thought it looked beautiful and I am very happy with the finished product. Mind you I haven’t tasted it yet!  The recipe called for a mascarpone sorbet but I have not got around to that yet either. This tart is a bit of a marathon effort on it’s own.

RECIPE

Ingredients
For pastry dough

  • 300 grams all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams icing sugar (I changed this to brown sugar as I had run out of icing sugar)
  • 200 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped of seeds

For frangipane filling

  • 50 grams of icing sugar
  • 100 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 150 grams of castor sugar
  • scraped seeds from 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50 grams all-purpose flour
  • 8 firm-ripe nectarines
  • 135 grams of almond meal
  • 2 tbsp peach or nectarine jam ( I could only find apricot)

Grilled Nectarines
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 80°F.

Slice nectarines into cheeks and scatter icing sugar over and a baking paper lined oven tray. Place nectarines cut-side down and bake for 3-4 hours.

Meanwhile for the pastry

Pulse flour, sugar, and  in a food processor until combined. Add butter and vanilla seeds and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add yolks, and pulse just until incorporated and dough begins to form large clumps.

Turn dough out onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. Smear each portion once with heel of your hand in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together using scraper and form into a ball, then flatten into a rectangle.

Put dough in tart pan and pat out with well-floured fingers into an even layer over bottom and up sides so it extends about 1/4 inch above rim. Chill 30 minutes.

Lightly prick tart shell all over with a fork, then line with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake shell until golden around edge, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake until shell is golden all over, about 15 minutes more. Cool shell completely in pan on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling:
Beat together  butter, and caster sugar with vanilla seeds until pale. Add eggs, flour and almond meal and refrigerate for 1- 2 hours

Spread frangipane filling evenly in tart shell. Place nectarine wedges, skin sides down, In a pattern in the filling, being careful not to push too far into filling.

Bake tart  at 180 degrees until frangipane is puffed and golden and edges of nectarines are golden brown, about 1 hour.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

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