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.
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
(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 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.