Nectarine-and Basil Shortbread Tart


When I saw this in this month’s issue of Food & Wine Magazine, I knew I was all over it.  I think it was on the last page…what were they thinking!!  This is a front page taste as far as I’m concerned.

The only problem…it was made with apricots which are no longer in my grocery store.  However, that didn’t stop me, I used nectarines and it was amazing.  This Nectarine-and-Basil Shortbread Tart is everything I look for in a dessert.  It just hits the spot after a nice meal. 

I will be making this again and again.  Over and over.  The crust is based on a classically made dough combining hard-boiled egg yolk and potato starch.  The pastry cream is infused with basil and the nectarines roasted with sugar and slathered with jam.

I didn’t need any more convincing.  This is going to be a family favorite for years to come.

If you don’t have a rectangular tart pan you can use a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.  You will likely need a couple more nectarines and will have to double the pastry cream recipe.  Bake the tart dough for 40 minutes instead of what is suggested for the rectangular pan.

Enjoy!

Make the pastry cream:  In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the milk with the sugar and basil; bring to a simmer.  Remove the milk from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.  Remove the basil and squeeze any milk back into the pan; discard the basil.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk with the yolks and cornstarch until smooth.  Slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the warm milk; bring to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted. 

Pour the cream into another bowl.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours or longer.

Make the pastry: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 14-by-4-1/2-inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the hard-boiled egg yolk with the butter and sugar at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the flour, potato starch and salt and beat at low speed just until combined.  Using lightly floured hands, press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the side of the tart pan.  Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes or until chilled.

Bake the crust for about 25 minutes, until golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and let stand until cooled, about 1 hour.

Make the topping: Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the nectarine halves cut side up on the paper and sprinkle all over with sugar.  Roast for about 25 minutes, until the nectarines are fork tender and slightly browned around the edges.  Let them stand until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.  Slice into thin pieces.  In a small saucepan, melt apricot jam over medium heat until thin, about two minutes.  Cool slightly.  Brush on nectarines with a pastry brush.

Unmold the crust and transfer it to a serving plate.  Using a small offset spatula, spread the cream evenly in the crust.  Arrange the sliced nectarines over the pastry cream. 

Cut the tart crosswise into strips and serve at once.

Enjoy, this is one amazing tart.

Nectarine-and Basil Shortbread Tart
Adapted from Food & Wine

Pastry Cream
1 cup whole milk, divided
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed basil leaves with stems
2 large egg yolks
2-1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Pastry Dough
1 large hard-boiled egg yolk
1 stick plus 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

Topping
4 nectarines, sides lopped off
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup apricot jam, melted

Make the pastry cream:  In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the milk with the sugar and basil; bring to a simmer.  Remove the milk from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.  Remove the basil and squeeze any milk back into the pan; discard the basil.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk with the yolks and cornstarch until smooth.  Slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the warm milk; bring to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly until very thick, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter until melted.  Pour the cream into another bowl.  Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours or longer.

Make the pastry: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 14-by-4-1/2-inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the hard-boiled egg yolk with the butter and sugar at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the flour, potato starch and salt and beat at low speed just until combined.  Using lightly floured hands, press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the side of the tart pan.  Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes or until chilled.

Bake the crust for about 25 minutes, until golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and let stand until cooled, about 1 hour.

Make the topping: Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the nectarine halves cut side up on the paper and sprinkle all over with sugar.  Roast for about 25 minutes, until the nectarines are fork tender and slightly browned around the edges.  Let them stand until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.  Slice into thin pieces.  In a small saucepan, melt apricot jam over medium heat until thin, about two minutes.  Cool slightly.  Brush on nectarines with a pastry brush.

Unmold the crust and transfer it to a serving plate.  Using a small offset spatula, spread the cream evenly in the crust.  Arrange the sliced nectarines over the pastry cream. 

Cut the tart crosswise into strips and serve at once.

One Year Ago: I Screwed Up

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58 Comments

  1. I think I am going to make this just because I cannot conceive of hard-boiled egg yolk in such a dessert, and I am very curious. It looks divine,I love nectarines, apricot jam, and shortbread… and because you say so I will attempt to make it before I am unable to get nectarines altogether.

    Reply
  2. HoneyB 2

    This is amazing – so pretty and it sounds so delicious! It also gives me a reason to go out and buy a new tart pan. 😉

    Reply
  3. deeba 3

    I would be all over it too…WOW! That’s a stunning tart. Love the basil in it! You’ve done a darned good job with it Cathy! It’s absolutely droolworty!

    Reply
  4. Donna 4

    Front cover worthy.. yes indeed. This sounds wonderful. Basil in a dessert, pastry cream, roasted fruit, shortbread, , heaven lady!!

    Reply
  5. I shook my head when I saw your first photo, Cathy. I thought no way am I going to be able to make that one gluten free … then I read the ingredients and saw that they already ARE gluten free–jackpot!! I’m planning to get basil from a friend to make lemon basil ice cream … now I’ll ask for more so I can make this as well. Will have to wait until after BlogHer Food next week in San Francisco, but I know it will be worth the wait!

    Shirley

    Reply
  6. Lisa 6

    Beautiful! I saw that recipe too then looked at all the ingredients and said…..oh someone else will make it…and you did!

    Reply
  7. Everything you make is so gorgeous!

    Reply
  8. I’m gonna echo Lisa’s comment! I know, how terribly unoriginal of me, but I’m not huge on basil and can’t get past the “hard boiled egg yolk” working in a dessert pastry.

    Reply
  9. Kim 9

    I am totally impressed Cathy. Your dessert is stunning. I also realize that summer has come and gone and I managed to miss having the first bite! A whole year to wait for nectarines to come again. Just received a tart pan for my birthday like yours.

    Reply
  10. Melynda 10

    Very delicious looking, and it has all the good stuff – cream filling, fruit and crust.

    Reply
  11. Barbie with a T 11

    That is just too pretty to eat! I am always looking for ways to use fresh basil. I have lots of it. Thanks for this one!

    Reply
  12. Oooo…that looks so pretty. It’s one of those desserts I hate to cut up because it looks so nice. But I bet it tastes like heaven so yeah, I’d cut into like there was no tomorrow. :)

    Reply
  13. Help. Me. Now.

    Reply
  14. The nectarines look so gorgeous on this delicious tart! I love the addition of basil here!

    Reply
  15. Mmmmm! That sounds like such an interesting combination w/ the basil!

    Reply
  16. That is one beautiful tart. Nectarines and basil sound like an amazing combination of flavors.

    Reply
  17. Marjie 17

    It’s so pretty! Would that I had the patience.

    Reply
  18. This looks amazing! Too much work for me I’m afraid though. Maybe someday when I have time…wait, what’s that?

    Reply
  19. It’s so great that basil can be used so many different ways! This is just a gorgeous tart! I’ve never tried to make a tart I don’t know if it would turn out as nice as yours. Maybe I’ll be brave and try it sometime. ;0)

    Reply
  20. Bob 20

    That looks amazing. I would totally eat all of it. Heh.

    Reply
  21. Lisa 21

    This is just beautiful. What a great use of basil!

    Reply
  22. Becky 22

    Basil rocks….whether it is savory or sweet !

    Reply
  23. annbb 23

    I’ve never heard of a hard boiled egg being used in a crust. Whoda thunk!

    It’s incredibly beautiful and bet it tastes as good as it looks.

    Reply
  24. That is a fascinating dessert all around with both the unusual use of basil and the boiled egg in the crust. After seeing hard-boiled eggs in cookies, I’m becoming more fascinated with offbeat uses for hard-boiled eggs.

    Reply
  25. annbb 25

    Forgot to ask, id you peel the nectarines?

    Reply
  26. You always have great desserts going on. Basil infused cream…hello!

    Reply
  27. Basil-infused pastry cream sounds incredible. Beautiful tart!

    Reply
  28. Absolutely gorgeous!

    Reply
  29. Wow! Does that look good!

    Reply
  30. Lea Ann 30

    Good Grief Cathy! That looks amazing and what a fabulous picture. I don’t know how I missed this recipe, I’ve gone through that magazine about 3 times. Must be the back page syndrome.

    :-)
    Lea Ann

    Reply
  31. dawn 31

    oh yes, oh heavens yes, I will be making this. I can see why you made this.

    Reply
  32. There are desserts and then there are desserts. This tart screams summer at it’s best. I look forward to making this and finishing up the last of my peaches (forgive my fuzzless cousins).

    Reply
  33. Lydia 33

    Beautiful tart! I bought a rectangular tart pan years ago and have found it to be one of the most useful sizes in my kitchen. It’s so easy to cut beautiful portions.

    Reply
  34. Marlene 34

    I am in love with tarts!! I am adding this recipe into the file.

    Reply
  35. Mary 35

    This looks as close to perfect as a tart can get. The color on your crust is to die for. I’m amazed that the shell is not sagging at all. Great job!

    Reply
  36. Kate 36

    Come to mamma.

    Reply
  37. Steph 37

    Wow, your tart looks really good! Too bad peach season is going to end soon.

    Reply
  38. Steph 38

    I’m so sorry, I meant to say nectarine not peaches!

    Reply
  39. Daziano 39

    Basil and nectarines? Never thought of that before!!! 😉

    Reply
  40. leslie 40

    I love a dish that is as pretty as it is tasty

    Reply
  41. Julia 41

    This is beautiful!! It could be on the front cover!

    Reply
  42. Barbara 42

    What gorgeous photos! This looks fabulous and I love the idea of herbs in it.

    Reply
  43. grace 43

    oooh, cathy, how sophisticated and pretty! i’d be proud to take this tart to any gathering, posh or not. :)

    Reply
  44. Ginny 44

    Delicious! I love that! :) Definitely bookmarking for later!

    Reply
  45. pam 45

    That is really an incredible dessert!

    Reply
  46. Debbie 46

    All I can say is wow! What a beautiful tart. I’m sure it is delicious. Great job!

    Reply
  47. megan 47

    I just want to come and eat and drink at your house! Looks so perfect. :)

    Reply
  48. Dana 48

    I’m finally convince I need to buy one of those tart pans! I just love the look of the long rectangular tart. I have that tart in my “make soon” file and glad to know it turned out so well.

    Reply
  49. Helene 49

    Oh my this is such a good looking tart. I’ll have to go back to my F&W mag and look at it.

    Reply
  50. Looks beautiful! I would never have thought to use basil. I picked up a bunch of plums and am thinking of making a tart with them.

    Reply
  51. wow, basil? very interesting. Looks gorgeous.

    Reply
  52. That looks like a rectangle of happiness if I’ve ever seen one. The idea to infuse the basil is great, and as a guy that generally loves any desert topped with a boatload of fruit, I thinks I’ll be trying this out on the weekend. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.

    Reply
  53. Pam 53

    So pretty! I love the combination of flavors – this is a winner.

    Reply
  54. I am very very into pastry cream. So I love this a lot.

    Reply
  55. Bren 55

    well i’m glad you saw this in food and wine for the rest of us! love the sound of nectarine and basil! saw something similar last night on Chopped.. the contestant use passion fruit and basil!

    Reply
  56. What’s not to love? Basil, nectarines, shortbread! Yum!

    Reply
  57. Very impressive creation! Looks delicious!

    Reply
  58. This is beautiful! Great idea to use the nectarines which are so good this time of year anyway!

    Reply

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