nectarines

The fruit flies have arrived.

Every September, I start hoarding stone fruit. Peaches. Plums. Pluots. Nectarines. I stack the fruit in kitchen baskets and try to savor summer’s flavor as long as I can.

It doesn’t take long for tiny flies to start buzzing ’round the ripened orbs. That’s my sign that the family either needs to eat faster or I need to make this tart.

Call it the last hurrah of summer or our adieu to the season we love best, but I’ve already made two of these stone fruit tarts. The recipe, which originally hails from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Parties!” is infinitely adaptable. Use any kind of stone fruit you desire: Nectarines, white peaches, apricots or a medley of every summer fruit you have on hand. Substitute any kind of nut you have in your pantry, and use your family’s particular flavorings of choice. I’m all about almonds and cardamom this year. But pecans and vanilla were my staples last season, and walnuts and cinnamon are divine.

My family doesn’t mind. They eat stone fruit tart no matter how I make it. (The fruit flies just have to find someone else’s basket to buzz around!)

Stone Fruit Tart (adapted from “Barefoot Contessa Parties!”)

nectarine almond 2

While the original recipe calls for 2 cups of all-purpose flour, I’ve played around with almond flour this year. Subbing 1 cup of almond flour for a cup of the all-purpose yields a tart with a grainier, nuttier texture. Using almond flour alone, as in the tart pictured above, gives you a gluten-free dessert that’s more candy- than cake-like. It’s delicious, but be warned: If you use only almond flour, you’ll want to eat every bite of tart the day it’s made. Otherwise, the fruit’s moisture turns it into mush.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into half-inch dice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-4 large stone fruits (nectarines or peaches) or 2 pounds small fruits (plums, apricots, pluots)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Place the flours, almonds, brown sugar and spices in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

Drop the butter dices into the dry ingredients:

nectarine flour and butter

Using your hands or a pastry cutter, blend the mixture until everything is moistened and the butter is about the size of peas.

Combine the egg yolk and almond extract and whisk to combine. Add to the flour, sugar & butter mixture and combine until the dough comes together.

Press about half of the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

Slice the stone fruit into 1/4-inch thick slices. Nestle it into the crust, placing the slices as close as you can without overlapping:

nectarines in pie

Sprinkle the rest of the flour, sugar and butter mixture on top of the tart:

nectarine in almonds

Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes to be sure the tart isn’t browning too quickly. If it is, place a sheet of foil over it to keep the crust from burning. The tart is done when the crust is brown and the juices from the fruit are bubbling.

Cool for 30 minutes, then remove the sides from the tart. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store, covered, at room temp.

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