16 July 2012

Cheaters Nectarine Tartlet

Tarts are my favorite.  Not pies, tarts.

Maybe it's the scalloped crust?  Although I like the straight-sided tarts too.

Maybe it's the fruit?  Nah, I dig a chocolate tart more.

Maybe it's just the simplicity?  Hmmmm.

Or maybe it's the pastry cream?  Not anymore....

It's summertime and to me that means stone fruits (and tomatoes).  Peaches are coming, but until then I'm indulging in lots o' nectarines.  I call them pre-peaches.

I like surprising Cody every once in a while with a fancy dessert after a simple supper.  To keep things a light--and simple--I ditched the pastry cream in favor of this cheat--non-fat Greek yogurt.

I don't know why I felt so clever this time, but I was very full of myself when I unveiled these beauties.  It could have something to do with the fact that Cody "doesn't like" Greek yogurt and yet I keep sneaking it into things that he absolutely laps up. 

Tasting the nectarines at the Farmer's Market--sweet, juicy, perfumy--I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.  I had tartlet shells on-hand, making assembly a breeze.

FYI--whenever I make a pie or a tart I use the dough scraps to make tartlet shells.  Lay out the scraps, overlapping them just enough, sprinkle over some flour and roll lightly to remarry the dough pieces then lay them into the pans and cut.  Bake the shells and after they've cooled, wrap them well and freeze until you need them.  Sweet or savory fillings work--anything from extra pudding to mini quiche.

After gussying up the yogurt with lemon zest, vanilla and a squeeze of honey, I spread a little apricot jam in the bottom of the tartlet shells and filled them with the yogurt.  I sliced two nectarines very thin and layered the fruit over the yogurt filling and let them chill for a couple of hours.  To make them shiny I could have glazed them with warm apricot jam, but it was just a simple sweet bite for the two of us.

Cody doesn't like Greek yogurt, but he liked the Nectarine Tartlets!

The shells were so crispy that we could pick them up with our hands and bite into their sweet, creamy, crunchy goodness.  The nectarine was the absolute star of this show--as it should be.  And I know we saved a calorie or two by ditching the pastry cream. 

I love summer!!

Cheaters Nectarine Tartlet
yield = 2 tartlets

2          tartlet shells (see below)

faux pastry cream:
3/4 c     non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1          lemon, zested
1/2 t     vanilla
1 T       honey

2 T       apricot jam (optional)

2         nectarines, thinly sliced

For the faux cream:  Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and divide between 2 4-inch tartlet shells that have been coated with apricot jam.

Top with sliced fruit and chill at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Pate Sucre for Tartlets
yield = 9-inch tart or 4- 4 inch tartlets

1 c       flour
1/4 c    sugar
4 T       cold butter, cut into pieces
1          egg yolk
2-3t      cream
1/8 t     vanilla

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour and sugar. Add the butter and mix until coarse and sandy.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, 2 teaspoons cream, and vanilla together. Add to the flour mixture and mix at low speed just until combined. If the dough is not coming together when you squeeze it in your hand, add the additional 1 teaspoon of cream.

Turn out onto a work surface and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness and cut 6-inch circles to lay into the tartlet pans.  Press the circles into the pans (don't stretch!) and trim the excess.  Prick the dough and chill while the oven heats to 350 degrees.

Bake the crusts for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.  Check midway through cooking and press down any dough bubbles.  Cool crusts completely on a wire rack.  Freeze well-wrapped extra shells.


  1. Anonymous18 July, 2012

    love this one...had a smile on my face all the way through...will attempt since you made it sound so easy. thanks.

  2. What a nice summer treat idea. And really could use any fruit or preserve don't you think, maybe do like seasonal fruits. Thanks, you have my mind already spinning of all the ideas.

  3. Top of the range, very interesting and lovely information.