this summer i’m participating in summer fest 2009, wherein culinary ideas and inspiration about summer produce are traded by a group of food lovers and bloggers. a group, you say? but she never joins ‘groups’. i think she hates groups, in fact! yes, i have a rep. i come from a long line of non group-joiners. what that is, i don’t know. it’s like a bad habit. i’m trying to be more aware of some of my not-so-good habits, diversify, break out of the same old rut, say yes when i would reflexively say no. always a good thing, ya know, to stretch those rigid muscles?
i found distributing the crust evenly in the pan to be very zen-like. it sort of reminded me of sandcastle-building.
i did my best to keep the filling-eating within normal limits. i was not successful. somehow i still had enough to fill the tart pan so no one would know.
nectarine and mascarpone tart (serves 8-10)
adapted from bon appetit
mascarpone cheese is like an italian cream cheese, but it is extremely luxurious. it is a little pricey,but since the whole dessert is not very expensive to make, resist the urge to use all cream cheese. there is some chilling time needed, so plan accordingly. we ate the leftovers the next day, and it still appeared and tasted very fresh.
25 gingersnaps, coarsely broken up
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted pure butter, melted
1-8 ounce container mascarpone cheese
6 ounce cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon peel (about 2 lemons)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger (i skipped this-i wanted a silky smooth texture to the filling)
3-4 small nectarines, halved, pitted, cut into thin slices (a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will discourage browning)
1/4 cup peach jam, warmed
2 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
preheat oven to 350. process gingersnaps in a food processor into a fine grind. add melted butter and pulse until combined. press mixture into botton and sides of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. bake crust until darkens, about 8 minutes. set aside and cool completely.
beat all ingredients for filling, except crystallized ginger , in a medium bowl or stand mixer until smooth. add ginger, if using, and mix with a spoon. spread gently into prepared crust. cover loosely and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
after chilling, arrange nectarine slices in an overlapping pattern on top of filling. brush with jam. sprinkle with chopped crystallized ginger. serve, or refrigerate up to 6 hours.
next time i think i’ll leave off the jam glaze. it doesn’t need it. it was perfect with just the clean and fresh taste of the fruit alone (see below). this would be perfect with plums, figs, or even fresh berries.