It’s stone fruit season and I’ve been experimenting with a variety of recipes from dreams of white peach bellinis to peach cobblers and other new recipes. This is a new one – a most delicious baked shortbread with green pistachios and sweet tart nectarines. It’s a different recipe but turned out exceptional reviews from co-workers and our very hungry intern.
While this shortbread isn’t the most photogenic of sweets I’ve made lately, it’s equally as delicious. Buttery and nutty from the crust and filling plus sweet from the seasonal nectarines. You could experiment with other stone fruits – peaches, etc.
While you may be tempted to serve this as a evening dessert, I’d recommend it for breakfast or brunch!
Pistachio and Nectarine Shortbread, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold is fine
3/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
1 tablespoon flour
Few pinches of sea salt
6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 2 teaspoons vanilla
1 pound firm-ripe nectarines
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut two 12-inch lengths of parchment paper and trim each to fit the 8-inch width of an 8×8-inch square baking pan. Press it into the bottom and sides of your pan in one direction, then use the second sheet to line the rest of the pan, perpendicular to the first sheet.
Make the crust: Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks, and add it to the bowl, then run the machine until the mixture forms large clumps — that’s right, just keep running it; it might take 30 seconds to 1 minute for it to come together, but it will. Transfer the dough clumps to your prepared baking pan and press it evenly across the bottom and 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes, until very pale golden. For the sake of speed, transfer to a cooling rack in your freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the filing.
Make the filling: In your food processor bowl , grind your pistachios, sugar, flour and salt together until the nuts are powdery. Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the machine. Run the machine until no buttery bits are visible. Add any flavorings and egg, blending until just combined.
Spread filling over mostly cooled crust. Cut nectarines in half and remove pits. Cut nectarines into slices and place on top of the filling.
Bake the bars for 60 minutes, or until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the pistachio portion comes out batter-free. Allow to cool. Finish with powered sugar if you’d like! Cut into squares.