Tarte de nata com Nêspera.This years solution to an annual challenge.
you my recipe for Bolo Nespera many times, so what was left? Chutney naaaah, compote naaaaah, all that left was another cake or wait a minute, a tart. This was to be a tart like no other, a nespêra custard tart. No mean little tart, a tarte grande, this elegant tart could be made with just about any fruit.Those lovely little Portuguese Rocha pears immediately rush to mind but Nêsperas work particularly well this time of year. I garnished it with some mint leaves and storm clouds changed.
Tarte de nata com nêspera
Makes 8 servings
11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter (cut into small pieces)
3 tablespoons ice water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups nêsperas, peeled, seeded and halved (use ripe pears if nêsperas are unavailable)
Mint leaves, to garnish
For the crust: Process the flour and butter in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. With the motor running, add the water through the feed tube and process until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.Press the tart dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9- or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for 20 to 30 minutes until very firm.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Prick the bottom of the tart shell at 1-inch intervals with a fork and line the crust snugly with foil. Bake 12-15 minutes until crust is set and just beginning to brown. Remove foil and bake until crust is golden brown, 10-12 minutes more. Set the crust on a wire rack and cool completely.
For the custard: In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, and whisking constantly, boil for 4-5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the hot-milk mixture to the egg. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and, whisking constantly, simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thicker. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the butter, vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg, and stir until the butter is melted. Pour the custard into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
For the tart: Bring the water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil, then remove from heat. Gently stir the loquats into the thin syrup and let them sit for about 5 minutes. This will help set the fruit’s color and assure an even flavor. Pour the nêsperas into a strainer and let most of the syrup drip off.
Spread the custard evenly into the tart crust. Arrange the nêspera halves on top and garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.