Rustic Nectarine and Blueberry Crostata

This is the ultimate summer tart really. A tender, flaky crust, filled with frangipane, fresh nectarines and blueberries.

Nectarine blueberry crostata5

These nectarines were so fresh, sweet and juicy, they were almost too good to use in this tart – almost! Any stone fruit and berries would work in this, but nectarines are my favourite summer fruit and work really well together with the blueberries.

The frangipane cream on the base of the fruit plumps up as it bakes in the oven, so as the tart expands, you can see little bits of the delicious almond mixture peeping up through all the juicy fruit.

I love making free form pies like this as they are so easy and the crust is so forgiving! It doesn’t have to be perfect; this is a lovely rustic and home-made tart, the perfect dessert on a hot summer day.

Nectarine blueberry crostata1

Ingredients:
Crust:

240g of plain/all-purpose flour
2tbs soft brown sugar, packed
½ tsp salt
170g butter, cut into cubes and refrigerated
Iced water

Frangipane:
60g ground almonds
60g room temperature butter
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
Zest of half an orange
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 tbs plain/all-purpose four

Fruit filling:
50g soft brown sugar – you might want to use more if your fruit is not overly sweet
2 tbs plain/all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
4 nectarines, each one cut into 8 wedges
1 small punnet of blueberries
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:
1 egg, beaten with a little milk to make a wash
Demerara/Turbinado sugar for sprinkling – about 2tbs

Nectarine blueberry crostata4

Method:
Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Add the iced water 1tbs at a time, while pulsing, until it just comes together. Turn out the dough, form into a circle, wrap in cling film and leave to chill for 30 minutes.

For the frangipane, use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat the almonds, butter, zest and salt together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg, almond extract and flour until smooth. Chill this until completely firm. I cheated and stuck it in the freezer while I prepared the fruit.

Nectarine blueberry crostata

For the fruit filling, my nectarines were super sweet, so they didn’t need too much sugar, but if you find yourself with rather tart fruit, then you can add a little more sugar.

I placed the nectarines, blueberries, four, salt and vanilla into a bowl and tossed gently until everything was coated. Everything was very juicy, so I didn’t need any extra liquid, but a squeeze of orange could be added at this stage too.

To assemble the tart, roll out the dough into a large circle on a lightly floured piece of parchment, or non-stick liner to a thickness of around a £1 coin.

Scrape the frangipane into the centre of the dough and smooth out with the back of the spoon, or an off-set spatula, leaving a good 2 inch border all the way around.

Leaving any extra juices behind in the bowl, pile the fruit (or very artistically arrange) on top of the frangipane, still leaving the border behind.

Brush the dough border with the egg wash and fold the crust up and over the filling, pleating and gently pressing down to seal the crust in place. The centre of the tart will remain exposed.

Brush the outside of the crust with the egg mixture and sprinkle the Demerara/turbinado sugar generously to coat. Then chill the tart until the whole thing has firmed up – around 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Nectarine blueberry crostata3

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F

Place the tart, still on the parchment or liner, onto a large baking sheet and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden colour and the frangipane filling is cooked through. The tart will expand and spread out a little as it bakes and the frangipane filling will puff up and around the fruit.

Nectarine blueberry crostata2

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for around 10 minutes if serving warm with vanilla ice cream, or leave to go completely cold. The tart will firm up as it cools, making it a perfect dessert to take on a picnic.

2 thoughts on “Rustic Nectarine and Blueberry Crostata

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