Nectarine Tart

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I am a nectarine tart and I am easy to make. I am adapted from Amanda Hesser’s “Cooking For Mr. Latte” (her recipe is for a peach tart) but, if you ask me, I’m much prettier than a peach tart. A peach tart would be a homogeneous glop of orangey yellow fruit; I, on the other hand, am a homogeneous glop of orangey yellow fruit with hints of red. Those hints of red make me magnificent.

The most shocking thing about me (besides my time served at Sing Sing) is how easy I am to make. Most tarts intimidate with the dough assembly, the refrigeration, the rolling it out, the getting it into the pan. Not so with me: to make a tart like me, all you do is dump a bunch of stuff into a tart pan (or, if you don’t have a tart pan, an 8 X 8 square pan will work too), stir it together, press it into the corners and cut off the excess. To be more specific: in the pan, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (I’m made from olive oil and it makes my taste elusive!), 2 Tbs milk, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Pour the wet stuff over the dry stuff, mix gently with a fork, and when it comes together push it out so it comes to a height of about 3/4 inch (or, if using a tart pan, til it comes up the sides of the tart.)

Now’s the easy part. Take five peaches or nectarines (or, according to Amanda, you can also use apples, pears, apricots or plums), peel them, and slice them thickly (about 6 slices per fruit). Arrange the nectarines over the pastry, fit them in snugly.

In a separate bowl, mix together 3/4 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 Tbs cold unsalted butter. Squish it all together with your fingers until it becomes crumbly–like a bowl of tiny pebbles.

Sprinkle those pebbles over the fruit in the pan and place it in the oven (preheated to 425) for 35 to 45 minutes, until it’s shiny and there are thick bubbles and the crust is a golden brown. Cool on a rack and that’s it!

You can serve me with ice cream or whipped cream; just don’t serve me with court papers, I don’t want to go back to Sing Sing! Hope you enjoy me.

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