A surplus of stone fruit on the kitchen counter is one of the most emblematic scenes of late summer. This year has been no exception, with the smell of sticky-sweet nectarines and plums filling the house. Dave and I managed to gobble down our stock of plums, but couldn't quite make our way through the particularly large bounty of yellow nectarines, which this week have been teetering on the brink of overripe, a few fruit flies buzzing above their tender skins.
For fear of letting these precious goods go to waste, I set out to bake with the remaining fruit. I toyed with the idea of a tart or cake, but ultimately decided a nutty frangipane (which is texturally somewhere in between the two) would best complement the saccharine flesh of the nectarines.
I also had a couple of delicate figs on hand from the market, and thought a few purple slices woven into the fanned gold would be nice. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the end result was superb. I'll surely be making this recipe again before summer passes. As for those in snow-laden Michigan (or wherever you call home), bookmark this one for the season to come - that, or give it a try with apples or pears, either of which I imagine would work beautifully.
Nectarine + Fig Frangipane
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup almond meal, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
Zest of 1 lemon
2 nectarines, halved, pitted, and sliced
2 figs, halved and sliced
Powdered sugar, to finish
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until smooth and light, about 3 minutes. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour, 1/2 cup almond meal, and lemon zest until just combined. Cover dough with cling wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread batter into a greased 9-inch cake tin or springform pan. Arrange fruit, overlapping the slices, into rows or in a spiral, pressing gently into batter. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons almond meal and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Allow frangipane to cool. Dust lightly with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.