The Nectarine Tart Story
The beginning of the Nectarine tart story has to start with a quick lay of the land. Currently I’m helping at Chateau de Gudanes which is situated in a tiny 344 person town. They know the exact number of people and that it might increase to 346 soon. Monday in little bitty towns in France are much like Sunday, except it’s kind of a tease. Where as you know that everything on Sunday is closed, well on Monday everything is open as normal except the one place you have to go- the grocery store.
This might have lead to me becoming the subject of discussion for an hour around town when I walked down the mighty hill into the town square in a rather cute sundress in the height of lunch hour; subsequently standing there gapping because not only the grocery store was closed, but also my second choice the Tabac (small gas station like store), and my third, the boulangerie. My thought was for the boulangerie I could walk in and say you’re croissants are the best in town (har har) … I’m in a bit of trouble, trying to make a tart as refreshments for an interview, and I need something n’importe quoi! that could top it! Then my hope was that he would completely understand being a fellow baker and sell me a little cream or something.
But I’m not yet on little town French time and everything was on the normal two hour lunch break and not set to open for another 30 minutes and I was on a time limit- the interview started right now. I slowly started back towards the hill resigned to the fact that the tart would just be a plain tart, and then slowly stopping as I passed the one and only restaurant in town that was bustling. hmm! I walked inside to where I was then ushered back outside by a rather suspicious waitress. Not having time to prepare my French, the exchange went something like this “I made a tart for an interview for a magazine (but I could have said store because the words are so similar)(but I couldn’t think of the word for newspaper!). Do you have some creme fraiche?” That’s all I could muster which garnered lots more suspicious glances and debating with another waitress then much going back and forth between the kitchen and the dining area. It was quite the scene. hehe
I did leave though with a glass from the restaurant full of cream from the region that had been carefully wrapped in plastic. But it doesn’t stop there, of course I ran into someone I knew, an older French gentleman, who asked me in French “Are you going up to the Chateau now? With just that?” Why yes…why yes I am!! I’m quite scandalous. 😉
The nectarine tart in question was fairly simple because I was running super low on ingredients. Simple sweet pastry crust par-baked, a bit of plum jam made at the Chateau last summer brushed on the bottom, then nectarine slices arranged on top, skin side down, and coated with browned butter. Popped in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the nectarines were soft but not broken down, and the tips were just starting to brown.
ps- after all that they didn’t end up using the cream, but the newspaper writer did want to mention the cooking classes we will hold at the end of July.
pss- I made another tart to take down to the restaurant as a thank you the next day- a little tart legere au citron. The Chateau is now worried that the restaurant might steal me.