- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Time-consuming desserts often get sidelined in the summertime whirl of activity.This baked tart recipe, a luscious summer dessert using a fresh nectarine and almond filling with an apricot glaze, saves preparation steps by using frozen puff pastry — great for cooks who want more time to work on their tans. The recipe makes enough almond filling to store and get a head start with a second tart, later.

Almond nectarine tart

½ package frozen puff pastry (package about 16 ounces)

2 eggs, beaten well

7-ounce package almond paste

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted

⅓ cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 large nectarines

3 tablespoons apricot preserves

Thaw one pastry sheet at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Carefully unfold pastry onto a lightly floured counter. Roll dough into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut a ½-inch strip from all sides. Transfer rectangle to a lined or ungreased cookie sheet.

Lightly brush tart base with some of the beaten egg. Lay the reserved strips along edges, brushing corners with a bit of beaten egg to secure. Brush top of strips with egg, reserving remaining egg for filling. Trim edges and prick bottom of pastry (not edges) with fork.

On large-hole side of box grater, grate almond paste into mixing bowl. Add sugar, remaining egg and butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in flour. Spread one half of almond filling (3/4 cup) on pastry bottom, being careful not to let it overflow onto edges.

Cut nectarines into slices slightly thicker than ¼ inch. Place on top of filling, making 3 rows. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove pan to wire rack. Melt preserves in microwave or saucepan and brush onto tart. Cool and serve. Makes 12 servings

Note: Keep extra almond filling refrigerated for up to 3 days, or freeze (up to 1 month), for the next tart. Thaw filling overnight in the refrigerator, but do not use the microwave.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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