Nectarine slice

This delicious summery recipe comes from my book  National Trust Simply Baking (see Books). Peaches and nectarines were once commonly grown in England on south- and south-east-facing walls.  John Worlidge, in his Systema Agriculturae of 1697, advises that both should be grown on walls or in glasshouses.  By the nineteenth century, the Worthing area in Sussex had become a major area of peach and nectarine production all grown under glass. Maybe it`s time to reinstate the practice?

This is a simple, modern pastry which works well with buttery home-made puff. You can adapt this recipe to use other fruit such as apricots, plums, apples and pears. 

The flour-weight of my recipe for home-made puff pastry is 225g/8oz flour (see sundries section of index for recipe), but you will only need half the pastry for this dish.  However, its much easier to roll out a larger piece of pastry.  Carefully fold up the trimmings and freeze for another dish. 

Serves 6

225g/8oz puff pastry, flour weight 

3 ripe nectarines, quartered and stoned

1 tablespoon caster sugar or to taste

225g/8oz clotted cream, to serve

1 On a lightly floured work surface, roll your pastry into a large thin rectangle about 3mm/ 1/8 in thick.  You are only going to use half the pastry.  Use a 20 x 30cm/8 x 12in Swiss roll tin as a giant pastry cutter, cut out a rectangle of that size.  Take a sharp knife and lightly run it about 1cm/ in inside the pastry edge, so that you score a line to create an edge for the tart.  Prick the internal rectangle with a fork.  Place on a non-stick baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to fan 200C/gas 7. 

2 Finely slice each nectarine quarter and lay them neatly in slightly overlapping rows on the pastry, taking care not to cover the rim.  Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the nectarine slices.

3 Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and nectarines flecked gold.  Serve warm or at room temperature with clotted cream. 



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