“This not-too-sweet tart is the perfect way to celebrate nectarines when they're in season. You could easily use peaches, apricots or plums instead, however, you’ll need more of the smaller fruit.” Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne
- 3 firm, but ripe nectarines, halved, stones removed (see Note)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- whipped cream, Greek yoghurt or ice-cream, to serve
- 90 g soft dates, pitted
- 175 g very soft unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 200 g white spelt flour
- 2 ripe nectarines, halved, stones removed
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ tsp orange blossom water
- 2 tbsp black chia seeds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease a 20 cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
To make the pastry, place the dates, butter and salt in a food processor and process until a sticky paste forms and the dates are only dots in the butter. Transfer to a bowl, add the egg yolks and beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the flour and stir until well combined and the dough comes together. Using a spatula and a spoon, spread the dough in an even layer over the base and 2 cm up the sides of the lined tin. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden and quite crisp.
Meanwhile, to make the chia jam, coarsely chop the nectarines and place in a saucepan with any juices, then add the honey and lemon juice. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until soft and squishy. Using a stick blender or a food processor, process the nectarines until a smooth puree forms. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the orange blossom water and chia seeds and set aside. The chia seeds will plump up during standing.
Using a mandolin, cut the nectarines into 2 mm-thick slices and place in a bowl with the lemon juice as you go so they don’t discolour.
When the pastry case is cooked, remove from the oven and stand to cool for a few minutes, then spread the base with the chia jam. To decorate with the nectarine slices, lay the slices side by side, not overlapping, all around the tart's outer edges with the round, skin side of the fruit touching the tart rim. Repeat with another circle closer to the centre, just overlapping with the first. Repeat again until you get close to the centre of the tart and the nectarine slices are getting tighter and tighter together. At this point, stand the slices upwards to create a rose like centre.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, Greek yoghurt or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
• Spelt flour can be replaced with plain flour. However you’ll lose out on the nutty flavour.
• If your nectarines aren’t that juicy when you are making the jam, add a tablespoon or two of water to help them on their way.
• Whatever stone fruit you choose, make sure they're ripe, but not too soft, or you’ll have difficulty slicing them on the mandolin.
• The pastry case and the chia jam can be made the day before, but this tart is best assembled just before serving