For the Shortcrust Pastry:
- 1 large egg yolk
- 30ml iced water
- 200g cake flour
- 1ml salt
- 100g very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 50ml icing sugar
For the Vanilla Cream:
- 400ml milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 75g castor sugar
- 45ml flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla pod
- 180ml whipping cream
For the Nectarine Roses:
- 6 nectarines
- Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix the egg yolk and iced water together lightly.
Process flour, butter, salt and sugar together in a food processor (or rub together with your fingertips) until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water mixture and process just until pastry forms a ball – do not overmix. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out to 3mm thick and use to line 4 x Le Creuset 10cm Mini Cocottes.
Blind bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for a further 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool at room temperature.
For the vanilla cream, split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Place the milk in a saucepan over medium heat with the vanilla pod and seeds and slowly bring to the boil. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the flour to this mixture, then whisk well until you have a smooth paste. As soon as the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat, discard the vanilla pod and pour the milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth.
Return this mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. As soon as it comes to the boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Transfer to a dish to cool and press a piece of cling wrap directly on to the surface to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Whip the cream and fold into the cooled custard. Transfer the vanilla cream to a piping bag then pipe into the four cooled pastry cases.
To make the Nectarine Roses, slice the nectarines into thin slices (about 1mm thick). Sprinkle with a little lemon juice and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Cut each nectarine slice in half, then lay 2-3 of these slices in a row, overlapping slightly. Roll up from one end to the other until you have a rose shape then immediately insert into the cream layer of the tartlet.
Repeat this step with the remaining slices, covering about a third of each tart’s surface. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.