Make Ahead

Stone Fruit Tart with Honey, Balsamic Vinegar, and Thyme

August 12, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by bridgetheeney
  • Prep time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • makes 1 — 9 inch tart
Author Notes

I was captured by the sight of beautiful pints of stonefruit sitting on gingham-clothed tables at my local farmers' market, and when I came home, I had more fruit than I knew what to do with. At first, I thought of making a galette, and then I considered that I could do more than just that. With this tart, I was selfish. I wanted to make something I knew that I would like, and I paid little mind to what other people were to think of it — but it was a hit. The sweet fruit contrast nicely with the tang of the filling and the floral notes from the thyme and honey sealed the deal. The types of fruit you use don't matter so much — although, peeled peaches proved fickle and weren't as pretty as I'd hoped — and in the future, I plan to throw some cherries into the mix. Maybe some raspberries, too, if they're tart enough.

The time to make this varies — maybe you'll make the tart shell dough and throw it in the fridge to be ready the next day. Come day 2, you make the filling and prepare the fruit. I like to throw the tart shell dough in the fridge, then use the downtime of that chilling to do everything else.

Just as well, I created this recipe originally to use a gluten free flour blend in the crust. It works well with both gluten free flour and traditional wheat flours. If you are using gluten free flour, just be particularly mindful of the dough's feeling and consistently while adding the egg and honey.

I will also admit there is definitely going to be extra fruit depending on how you top your tart. I ended up having about half left over the first time I made it, the second time I topped it all willy-nilly overlapping and I only ended up with a third extra. Genuinely, it was no problem — the caramelized fruit did not live long in my fridge —kismets

What You'll Need
  • Tart Shell Dough
  • 55 grams confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons very cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 180 grams flour (plus more for rolling out)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Filling + Caramelized Fruit
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 nectarines
  • 4 plums
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 6 tablespoons honey, divided, plus extra for presenting
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme, de-stemmed, plus extra for presenting
  1. Tart Shell Dough
  2. Crack the egg into a small bowl and add in the honey. Stir until well-mixed.
  3. Combine the sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Drop your cubed butter over the sugar and pulse until it is coarsely cut into the sugar and salt.
  4. Add your flour to the food processor bowl and pulse for three or four 5-second intervals. Add a third of your egg-honey mixture and then pulse once more. Add in the second third of the egg-honey mixture and pulse for ten seconds or until the dough clumps up. If the dough needs more moisture, add the rest of the egg-honey mixture. If the dough becomes too wet, add in a tablespoon of flour at a time until it is no longer sticky. Once it feels sturdy enough and not too wet, turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead gently to ensure all dry ingredients are well-incorporated. Shape into a round and then tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Chill for at least two hours.
  5. Coat 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  6. Roll out your chilled dough on a floured surface until its roughly 1 inch larger on all sides than the tart pan (its diameter should be about 11 inches from any side). Place the dough on the pan. Trim any excess, and then use excess dough form a double layer on the pan's side for an extra-thick wall. Then, use any further excess to patch any cracks that may have happened to the dough. Pierce the dough all over with a fork.
  7. Spray aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray and press greased side closely against your tart. Use pie weights if you desire to prevent the bottom from puffing. Put tart shell in oven to bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove tart shell from oven and remove the foil. Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Bake approximately 5 to 10 minutes longer or until the shell is golden all over. Be mindful of the shell and that it doesn't darken too much and burn.
  9. Allow tart shell to cool before adding filling.
  1. Filling + Caramelized Fruit
  2. Add the cheeses to a mixing bowl and then beat until well-combined. Then, add in the honey and salt and mix well. Taste filling and add more honey, 1 tsp at a time, if a sweeter filling is preferred. Allow to chill in fridge.
  3. Prepare the stone fruit by cutting each in half and removing the pits. There is no need to peel the fruit. For the nectarines, cut each half into wedges just slightly bigger than 1/4 inch on its widest side. Be mindful to keep the wedges fairly even-sized. For the plums, cut each half into wedges about 1/4 inch on its widest side.
  4. In a nonstick pan, heat to a medium temperature and then add 3 T butter, 3 T honey, and all of the balsamic. Stir to combine as the butter melts. Add half of the fruit and stir to coat it in the honey mixture. Allow the fruit to cook until softened and caramelized, about ten minutes. If there is enough of the honey mixture remaining, add the uncooked fruit to the pan. If there is not enough, melt the remaining butter and honey, and then add the remaining fruit and cook as stated before.
  5. To all of the still warm fruit, toss in a bowl with the salt and thyme. Allow to cool in fridge.
  6. Once both the tart shell and fruit are cooked and cooled, begin assembling your tart. Fill the tart shell with the cheese filling and smooth it down with a rubber spatula. It should be at or almost at the top edge of the tart shell.
  7. Place the chilled fruit on top of the filling in any pattern or not-pattern. If desired, drizzle honey over the top of the tart and sprinkle more thyme on top.
  8. Serve immediately, or chill until service.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

2 Reviews

judy August 23, 2021
Sounds devine. Daring to add thyme and balsamic vinegar. I have never gone in that direction with desserts, though have tasted a few that are pretty good. I might give this a whirl. I make a similar tart that I call peaches and cream pie, using lemon, cardamom and anise as my flavor profile. I was about to make it again. I think I will try your flavor profile. Also, I always add an egg to my cheese custard. Just as if it were cheesecake. I might even try your tart dough. I have never in my lifetime had much success with piecrust or tart dough and have finally, after decades, simply relied on Pillsbury refrigerator pie crust. It never fails...But you have inspired me to give it one more try. Thanks for the inspiration.
kismets August 23, 2021
The thyme is a must, but if you’re wary about the vinegar, it’s no issue to leave it out! I think it adds the tiniest amount of bite that cuts the fat richness of the filling well. I’d also give the fruit a taste to see how acidic or ripe it is.

Your pie sounds absolutely delicious. I think I might have to try those flavors soon. I’m partial to citrus, so I think it’s something I’d enjoy a lot!

I usually only add egg to the custards I’m baking! This is pretty similar to my cheesecake filling, but that also has eggs + extra yolks + heavy cream.

This is a pretty foolproof tart recipe, I’ve had a lot of luck with it. I’m sure you could do it by hand, too, but The food processor cuts a lot of the work out of it, but I do enjoy working time efficiently, so I do appreciate it.