The produce at the Farmer’s Market reflects the blurred lines of summer and fall. Apples comingle with peaches, green beans lie with summer squashes, and pumpkins roll with hearty greens. You can switch your affection and embrace autumn bounty—or you can still have a summer fling with ripe stone fruit, which is at its peak.
This tart is my last dance with summer fruit using a simple free-form technique to create an almost effortless dessert. You can easily switch the fruit combination to suit your palate—or what you find best at the market. The tart is good enough for breakfast. I did just that … without guilt.
Easy Fruit Tart
yield: One 8-inch tart
1-1/2 cups (7-1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, frozen
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3-6 tablespoons of ice water
1. In food processor, pulse flour and salt to combine. Scatter butter and shortening pieces over flour, then pulse until texture resembles coarse bread crumbs and butter pieces about the size of small peas remain, ten to twelve 1-second pulses. Sprinkle 3 tablespoon water over mixture and pulse until dough begins to form small curds and holds together when pinched with fingers. If necessary, add remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve result.
2. Empty dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap; dough will be crumbly Gather dough into a 6-inch disc by pulling up sides of plastic wrap and press lightly with heel of your hand. Wrap dough with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold but malleable, about 45 minutes.
Note: If dough has chilled for longer than 45 minutes and has become too firm, let stand at room temperature counter 10-15 minutes until malleable.
2 nectarines (about 8 ounces), cut into thin wedges
1 plum (about 4 ounces), cut into thin wedges
1 cup of raspberries or blueberries
3-5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Combine nectarines, plum, raspberries and sugar in a medium bowl. Toss gently to coat fruit evenly with sugar.
1/2 cup almond paste
Ice water for brushing
1 tablespoon demerara or sprinkling sugar
6-8 fresh figs, whole or halved for decoration (optional)
1. Place almond paste between two plastic wrap and roll into a very thin disc, about 10 or 11-inch in diameter. Set aside.
2. Lightly dust a piece of parchment with flour and roll pastry dough into a 12-inch round disc. Transfer parchment onto a baking sheet, place almond disc on top of pastry round. Pile fruit filling in the center, about 8-inch in diameter. Carefully fold 2-inch outer edge of the dough towards the center, overlapping the fruit filling. Repeat around the circumference of the tart, gently press dough to secure.
3. Refrigerate tart for 20-30 minutes. In the mean time, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400℉.
4. Remove tart from refrigerator and brush dough with ice water and sprinkle sugar evenly over dough. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 40-50 minutes. Rotate half way during baking for evenness. Cool on baking sheet over wire rack for 30 minutes or to room temperature. Cut into wedges and serve.