The stone fruits of summer

If you could take a peek into my kitchen, you would see about half a dozen bowls lined up one next to each other. Each one filled with a variety of stone fruit. Apricots, nectarines, white peaches, Rainier and Bing cherries, Saturn peaches, and one last lonely red velvet apricot.

“Where is the cherry pitter?” asks Jon, “I want to make a nice cherry salad for Miren when she comes home from camp.”

He chooses a white bowl. In it, cherry juices are splattered making the most beautiful red mess. “I think I am going to add some herbs to it, just like you do.”

Mint and thyme. In they go.

Needless to say, we are eating plenty of stone fruits these days. Sliced nectarines in muesli in the morning, peaches with sunflower seed butter as a snack, or even in salads.

Greens with cherries, sliced apricots, Serrano ham, a bit of crumbled feta and thinly sliced watermelon radishes. A simple lemon vinaigrette is enough for me. I love Serrano ham with stone fruits – the sweet and salty.

Memories of summers in the Basque country.

Between all the travel, coming and going, the kitchen becomes a familiar place for all of us. We line up the step stools and we whisk, stir, and fold.

Putting all the stone fruits to good use in tarts, roasted over custard, and turned into ice cream.

Jon and Miren help me fold packets of parchment. They toss the fruit in sugar and vanilla bean.

The fruit macerates for a few minutes – most delicious syrup forms and we finish baking them in the oven.

Oh the red juices… goodness.

And then we end up making a tart together.

Nectarines and pistachios baked in a millet and almond pastry with a lemon and honey custard. This one melts in your mouth. As it should.

I use the leftover dough to make small tartlets with lemon custard and stone fruits. Mini treats.

Tomorrow I am off to New York City for a photo shoot. I cannot wait to see what fruits I will find there. Union Square never disappoints.

Tell me, what stone fruits are available in your area and most importantly…

what are you making with them?

Nectarine and pistachio tart

makes a 6-inch tart

Pastry crust

(makes enough dough for one 6-inch tart and six 2.5-inch tartlets)

2/3 cups (90 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60 g) millet flour
1/4 cup (25 g) almond flour
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (110 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 to 7 tablespoons ice water

Combine the first five ingredients in the food processor and pulse to aerate. Add the diced butter and pulse ten times until the butter is the size of peas. Add the ice water and pulse until it comes together. It will not form a ball. Transfer the dough to your work surface and knead a couple of times. Wrap it in plastic wrap, flatten it, and form it into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Dust your preferably cold work surface with superfine brown rice flour. Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Fill a 6-inch tart mold with the dough. Cut off excess and refrigerate for 20 minutes. The excess dough will be good to make mini tartlets.

Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Lightly dock the bottom of the tart dough with a fork. Cover it with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove beans and bake for another 5 minutes.

In this time, prepare the filling.

Nectarine and Pistachio Filling

3 tablespoons pistachio meal
3 to 4 medium nectarines, pitted and sliced
2 eggs
2 tablespoons acacia honey or other good-quality honey you prefer
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Zest 1 lemon

Sprinkle the bottom of the prebaked tart with half of the pistachio meal.

Arrange the sliced nectarines on top.

Whisk together the eggs, honey, butter, and lemon zest in a bowl. Pour this mixture over the nectarines. Top with the remaining pistachio meal.

Bake the tart for 25 to 30 minutes until it is golden brown. Let it cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

To make the mini tartlets, simply using the pastry dough above. Fill with a pastry cream and top with fruit and pistachios.


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80 Responses to “The stone fruits of summer”

  1. I picked up a few peaches at the farmer’s market on Saturday. I roasted them and drizzled over a little raspberry-strawberry compote for the most delicious breakfast ever!

    I love roasting fruit – it brings out so many more layers of sweetness!

    {http://thelittlebite.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/roasted-peaches-with-berry-compote/}

  2. Mallory says:

    I had some pretty awesome cherries for dessert last night. I’m so glad that they are coming in to season! And that tart looks superb by the way!

  3. Oh golly – these photos are spectacular. The clean whites with the turquoise and the fruit… those TARTS – so perfect. I love that Jon wants to cook for Miren :) We haven’t quite arrived at stone-fruit season here yet (still enjoying those strawberries) but I can’t wait to try this! I am going to try your trifle recipe this week, actually. Hoping almond milk works instead of whole milk, I’ll let you know :) So beautiful Aran!! Have a GREAT time in NYC!! xo

  4. FrenchFoodie says:

    Lovely post as always, I enjoy the atmosphere your writing conveys. Being a French expat from the southwest, these fruits bring me right back to the farmer’s markets and summer holidays… Living in LA now, we have all the same stone fruits you describe, eating them pure, and making apricot flans, clafoutis, and raw peach, apricot and mint compote for my toddler.

    http://frenchfoodiebaby.blogspot.com/2012/06/at-farmers-market-for-bites-of-summer.html

  5. Beautiful post Aran! My favourite fruits are stone fruit, especially peaches and apricots. I usually eat them too quickly to actually have time to make anything with them! ;)

  6. mina says:

    These photos are so lovely – as usual.

    Have a great time in NY!

  7. so many good things to be found here. lovely and fun and nutritious.

  8. so many good things to be found here. lovely and fun and nutritious.

  9. beautiful, i can not wait to be in full summer fruit season here. Oh how sweet is jon, wow touched my heart that he said and did all that.

    beautiful images and those tartes are so pretty.

  10. I too love all stone fruits. I bought the first Rainier cherries I’ve seen today. Red velvet apricots are my favorite, but they’re very hard to find here in Michigan. I have peach muffins waiting for me in the morning.

  11. Anonymous says:

    hello,i’ve been
    curious where you get your
    little patterned flatware…
    both regular and plastic.
    They are so happy.
    Can you let me know where
    to find them? :-)
    Love your blog!
    ~connor

  12. tinajo says:

    I love all kinds of stone fruit too, they are both beautiful and delicious. :-)

  13. Stone fruits are just wonderful and your tart looks amazing! It is fun to bake with summer fruits.

    Gorgeous pictures!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  14. GAELLE says:

    Hello ! Beautiful tartlets. I see you got some new spoons :). I started to bake with peaches & apricots and combined them in a crumb cake; it tasted like summer. I also roasted some apricots in the oven with a sprinkle of nutmeg & vanilla sugar, and ate them with yogurt… That’s just the beginning !

  15. Emilia says:

    Amazing pictures! And the fruit! Mmmm!!!

  16. Mary says:

    Qué preciosas tartaletas de frutas!!! Siempre es un placer venir a tu casa a disfrutar de tus magníficas fotos y tu elegancia!!!

  17. Sini says:

    Those tarts are beatiful, Aran. And gorgeous pictures as always. I really liked the story of Jon making salad for Miren. So sweet! The love for food really runs in the family.
    Right now I’m sitting in front of the computer and eating a nectarine (and trying not to make a big mess as the juice is running down my fingers). I think cherries are awesome on their own or with vanilla ice cream (one evening I had a bowl of vanilla ice cream, cherries, pistachios and a splash of Grand Marnier – heaven). I also like to make clafoutis mostly using cherries or apricots. And not to forget all those beautiful and delicious tarts and pies!

  18. Ana Cooks says:

    So sweet and colorful as usual! ;)

  19. Tina says:

    Gosh this almost looks too good to be true. I get all hungry :-)

  20. The Little bite- yes roasted fruit is definitely my favorite too. Intense flavor.

    Anile and Mayssam – you are so sweet… I miss you.

    Connor- I got those from France but I think Anthropologie is carrying them now.

    Thanks everyone!

  21. Picnic Lane says:

    You are so inspirational! I miss summer fruit so much. It’s winter here in Australia. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next :)

    Check out my food blog

    http://www.picniclane.blogspot.com

    xxx

  22. Evitaa says:

    What a lovely summer you have! :)
    Stone fruit… yummy, I love muffins with them, crumble, tarts.

  23. En dos palabaras, im presionante como dijo Jesulín el torero. Argazkiak dira beste mundukoak, benetan, jarraitu horrela. Stone fruits, hezurdunak dira, ezta?
    Mosuak

  24. Madalen- eskerrik asko! zu zelan zabiz? ez dakit aurten udan Zornotzara joango garen baina ia hurrengoan alkartzeko aukera dekogun bai? Gorantziek eta besarkada handi bet.

  25. Oh, I just love the picture of the peaches and cherries in the white colander! So soft and pretty. I remember seeing bag after bag of cherries at Pike Place Market when we were there.

  26. I wait all year long for peach season! Just can’t get enough good peaches. Cherries are a favorite of mine, too, but they’re not grown locally.

    As always, lovely pictures.

  27. Iratxe says:

    ¡Qué delicia Aran, qué hermosura de fotos!. Qué momento maravilloso con tus niños en la cocina… Oso beautiful!. Yo espero por el trailer… Besotes,

    http://www.cocinaamiga.com

  28. Iratxe- el trailer esta precioso. Todavia sin acabar pero creo que os gustara

  29. Riley says:

    I need a cherry litter in the worst way! The tart looks beautiful, as always.

  30. Pili says:

    Aran, hace tiempo que te sigo y aun no había comentado (no se porque…). Que delicia de tarta y tartaletas!!! En mi nevera (que fuera hace mucho calor y se estropean enseguida) hay melocotones, cerezas, nectarinas, paraguayos, albaricoques… Me encanta la fruta de verano!!! Y creo que la idea de hacerla al horno esta genial. Aunque con este calor, no se si me atrevo a encender el horno!! Besos

  31. Pili- pues gracias por comentar. Lo aprecio mucho. En cuanto a asar la fruta, lo puedes hacer en la sarten con un poco de mantequilla, azucar y vainilla. Un poco de cada es suficiente.

    Thanks all!

  32. Deeba PAB says:

    Stone fruit have ruled my kitchen this summer too. The teen is forever pitting cherries for her granola, and I love whirring oatmeal peach & apricot smoothies as a ritual for them every evening. Your tart is GORGEOUS! Light, beautiful, summery…like your pictures. WOW!! I get a light happy feeling each time I visit Aran!

  33. I’m jealous – we’re still a few weeks away from stone fruits but I can’t wait until they are ripe. We’re looking forward to cherries, peaches and apricots. I think I’ll buy a few boxes for jams and whatever else we can think of.

  34. Your photos and the description of your kitchen are delightful, warm and relaxing. Here in New Hampshire, stone fruits are imported for the time being from other places. We’ve been especially enjoying fresh cherries from Washington State. Local fruit available and ready: STRAWBERRIES and more STRAWBERRIES. It’s been a good year. My family likes them fresh from the bucket but we also made Brown Sugar Shortbreads to go with them recently. Heres a link to the post: http://www.gathering-flavors.com/2012/06/fresh-strawberries-with-brown-sugar.html . Keep enjoying.

  35. Maja says:

    So sweet and colorful Aran!

  36. Rowaida says:

    Love love your tarts and fabulous photos love love

  37. Eileen says:

    So beautiful–and that tart looks delicious. I personally have plans for a plum-almond-yogurt cake when I get home today. :)

  38. I definitely could not say this about most people, but you really know how to eat! I love the delicacy with which you approach these amazing fruits. The tarts, the roasting, the peaches and sunflower seed butter, the nectarines with salty meat in salad…the fruit and musseli – it all sounds fabulous!

    I just got ahold of a bunch of raineir cherries and bing cherries…working on a fresh cherry scone at the moment – looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

  39. valerie s. says:

    Such a pretty little tart, all the different fruits in one bite!

  40. Do you have any tips for quickly pitting so many cherries?

    Thanks!

    http://www.hsinrusocial.com

  41. You make me yearn for the return of summer down here in New Zealand. I love those mini fruit tarts.

  42. Dean- I will be there next month and I’m looking forward to all the berries. delicious!

    Eileen- that sounds great and actually, I have a similar one in my upcoming book :)

    The Hsninru Social- we use a cherry pitter similar to this one http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Cherry-Pitter/dp/B000NQ925K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340831002&sr=8-1&keywords=cherry+pitter

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment!

  43. Melissa says:

    We have so many stone fruits to choose from here! I love peaches and cherries the most. This week we made a Cherry Jam Tart. I blogged about it today too. It was so delicious. A nectarine tart sounds lovely. Maybe that will be next.

  44. Aran,
    Por favor Avisame cuando vas a Union Sq farmers mkt y si puedes, te invito a comer a Pure Food & wine despues.

  45. Alexandra- estaremos con los niños asi que quien sabe como andaremos… Pero te lo agradezco. La proxima seguro.

    I love all your uda along ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  46. Smash says:

    We had grilled pork chops with a nectarine and avocado salad last night. Like we did last week, and the week before. . . :) still can’t get enough!

    This year’s crop in California has been spectacular! The melons have been great too. I forget what a blessing it is to have chilled pieces of Santa Claus melon or watermelon waiting for me when I get home until summer rolls around.

  47. Ann says:

    Love the stone fruits! The photos and pictures were so lovely I ran right over to the local Santa Monica farmers market to grab some fruit to make the tart. Thank you!
    In grace
    Ann

  48. Jaime says:

    Beautiful post Aran! I am missing those glorious summer fruits in the UK! Can’t wait to get back there and get my hands on some stone fruits. I’ve been thinking a lot about cherry clafoutis and peach crumbles…my godmum makes the most amazinf peach cobbler and she gave me the recipe recently – can’t wait to make that and sit in the sun with a glass of icy cold homemade pink lemonade. xx

  49. Thos mini tartlets with pastry cream are so simple and decadent too. I love the idea. Thanks for inspiring as usual :)

  50. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful post, as always!…
    We have amazing apricots, nectarines and dark orange peaches, black cherries, and a local variety of dark red cherries with a wonderful aroma and crunchy flesh. In about a month from now we have a variety of plums that we call “vanilla plums”, purple red, aromatic and delicious, and also white plums.
    Unfortunatelly we don’t usually have other berries, like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and currants.
    Greatings from Creta Island, Greece.
    Dimitra.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and I forgot, I make tarts, clafoutis (not very common in Greece, but my daughter loves them), cakes with almond meal and cherries, upside down nectarine or plum cakes, yogurt muffins, and of course…we also eat them plain!
    Dimitra.

  52. Victoria says:

    Dear Aran, this is the first time I’m commenting on your blog, but I’ve been a longtime reader and admirer.
    We have delicious peaches and cherries this week. All are imported from Spain or France, because the summer here in Belgium is very cold, but they’re so good that on most days I want to make dinner out of them. I also make compotes, jams, serve them with jamon.

    P.S. I recently came back from Donostia, and I fell in love with the Basque Country and food. Everything was just so delicious. A simple tomato sprinkled with salt and olive oil was a revelation. It’s hard to duplicate these tastes outside, of course, but every now and then I make some dishes I learned there. The people were the main reason I fell in love with the place–so full of good humor, generous, proud and friendly. I left with many new friendships.

  53. Victoria- that’s wonderful. So excited you enjoyed your time in the basque country. It’s special for sure.

    Thanks

  54. tutusandtea says:

    This looks absolutely delectable and perfect for a summer treat… Stone fruit at its finest! A lovely post indeed, thank you!

  55. The pictures you have make every dish looks so amazing! great job!

  56. a. maren says:

    mm you make such amazing things. summer fruits are my favorite. also i wish i had a cherry pitter.

  57. cowboy says:

    helo,

    This blog is very nice. I love this picture & this fruits.Thanks to all of you!!!!!

    Southwestern Kitchen

  58. Congratulation for you blog, I like it a lot.
    I am an Italian living in Germany and recently I also decided to jump in the blog-adventure. I write in Italian and English too and I really hope to create contacts and get some feedback. Your blog is really inspiring. Cheers, Letizia
    ps: I love stone fruits! ;-)

  59. Rachel says:

    Wow! I just love your pictures! They make me feel so at home and make everything that you make!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  60. Please tell me where I can buy those pretty spoons that you use the photos on your site. Sorry for my english, I´m brasilian.
    Cecilia Brandao

  61. Taylor says:

    well, your blog is definitely one of my new favorites.
    ciao from your newest folllower!

  62. Flor says:

    Me encantan tus recetas y las fotos me hacen viajar, son realmente inspiradoras.
    Muchas gracias por compartirlas!!!
    Saludos desde Buenos Aires…

  63. Susie Hunt says:

    Oh my! That’s one of the prettiest food blog posts I’ve ever seen, thank you, thank you for your hard work and summery inspiration.x

  64. In love with your blog! Following via bloglovin’ =)

  65. Diana says:

    This is so lovely! I really want to make these tarts. I was wondering if you have a preferred brand of millet flour? I haven’t found any local shops that carry it, so I thought as long as I have to order it I should try to get a good brand.

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and inspiration!

  66. Diana- I actually really like Bob’s Red Mill. I get most of my flours from them. Thanks!

  67. Nicole says:

    Wow where did you get that flower spoon!? The white plastic one? Its gorgeous!

  68. Must make these this weekend. Look too delectable to pass up!!

  69. Hi Aran, I love your post and it instantly reminded me of the mouthwatering plum cake that my grandmother from Transylvania likes to make during summertime. So, I decided to make an updated version with peaches and plums to reminisce about the time back home in my good old Transylvania! :)

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  77. Rosalie says:

    Beautiful pictures! It looks delectable. We are enjoying peaches, apricots, and all sorts of berries! I just discovered your blog and look forward to getting to know you!

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