All kinds of good things are now in season. You know what that means, right? That's right kids, it's pie time! Per Andy's request, I picked up some nectarines from the store for pie. I wasn't sure what type of pie it would end up being as I was certain I didn't have a recipe that called for nectarines, but I was confident I could find something or improvise.
This recipe was originally called "Alsatian Plum Tart" and as the name suggests, called for plums. After a few tweaks, I ended up with the following recipe."Nectarine Custard Tart" a.k.a. "The Supreme Nectar Pie of Goodness" 1 lb. ripe nectarines, cut into wedges 1 Tbsp. Southern Comfort 1 Tbsp. Cognac brandy 2/3 lb. shortcrust pastry (or your pie crust of choice) 2 Tbsp. strawberry jam Custard Filling 2 eggs 1/4 cup superfine sugar 3/4 cup heavy cream grated lemon zest of a small lemon 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the nectarines with the liquor and set aside. They will be absorbing the goodness of the SoCo and cognac during this time.
Roll out the pie crust pastry and line a 9in. pie pan with it. Chill for 5 or 10 minutes in the freezer if the pastry has gotten too soft and room temperature. Prick the base with a fork. Line it with foil or parchment paper, fill with baking beads, and bake for 15mins or until slightly dry and set. Brush the base of the pastry shell with a thin layer of jam. You may need to warm the jam a bit if it is too thick to work (10 sec. in the microwave should help). Bake the shell for 5 more minutes. Reduce the oven temp. to 350 degrees.
Now it is time to make the custard filling. Beat the eggs and sugar until combined. Then add the cream, lemon zest, vanilla, and any juices that have been released from the nectarines. Arrange the nectarine slices in the pastry shell, making sure to get an even layer over the entire pie. Pour the custard mixture over the nectarines. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the custard has setup and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
This particular experiment was quite successful. As this is a tart, it is not as sweet as a traditional American pie. If you prefer something sweeter, you can add sugar to the nectarines and/or more sugar in the custard. Of course, plums or peaches or any other similar textured fruit will work just as well or perhaps even better. Cooking is all about experimenting. :)