Rustic Nectarine and Cornmeal Tart

This is such a simple dessert that showcases summer’s vibrant flavors. You can fill this easy-to-make cookie-like crust with whatever you please, like peaches, berries, and pears.  Because the tart is “rustic,” you don’t have to worry about rolling the dough out perfectly.  I love cornmeal, and think it adds a great textural component to this bright, juicy dessert!

Rustic Nectarine and Cornmeal Tart
adapted from Wall Street Journal’s Rustic Pear and Cornmeal Tart
Makes one 12-inch tart
Total Time: 2 hours

Cornmeal dough
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
• ½ cup cornmeal
• pinch of kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

Fruit filling
• about 3 cups sliced ripe nectarines (6-7 nectarines)
• 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (raw or cane sugar), plus more to garnish
• ½ lemon, juiced
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger
• ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

In a large bowl, cream together butter and ½ cup sugar. Add eggs and mix until smooth and pale golden. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, ½ cup cornmeal, salt and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients into butter mixture in batches, mixing until dough starts to come together. (It may look slightly crumbly.) Drizzle with olive oil. Mix 15 seconds more, then, form dough into a ball in the bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour and pat into a flattened round. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. (Dough may also be made and chilled a day ahead.)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place sliced nectarines in a bowl. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, lemon juice, ginger, and cardamom. Let fruit macerate 15-20 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (the fruit syrup will leak out and harden). Unwrap dough on parchment and roll it into a rough round, about ½-inch thick and 14 inches in diameter. It will be very rustic looking—don’t try to even out the edges. Spoon fruit mixture into center of round, mounded slightly, and leaving about a 2½- to 3-inch border around edges. Gently fold edges of dough over fruit, leaving about 6 inches of fruit visible in center (if dough tears while folding, gently press it back together). Sprinkle top generously with turbinado sugar. Bake until nectarines are soft and fragrant and crust is firm and golden, about 30 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

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