A Nectarine Tart & The Colour Red

Red. I love red. I wear red in winter, to outcry from my very western-world colleagues. But I offer no apologies. I like the passion, the romance and the strength of crimson and cerise hues. However, I wasn’t prepared for the sight that confronted me at a meeting last Thursday afternoon. This was an office gathering of leaders and future leadership, myself inclusive 🙂 (Ha!). I wore a red sweater to cover up my striped navy blue and white camisole, very nautical. I walked into the meeting room, one of the first to arrive. Shortly after a lady  walked up in a red jacket over a black and white dress. A few minutes after, yet another lady, a leader this time came  in, red beaded necklace, red jacket and red lipstick to go. By the time the room was full with 50 odd people, a cursory survey round the room showed there were a total of 7 women wearing red! I was completely SHOCKED. And it got me thinking about why we were all dressed in the same colour. Of course there were women in every shade of other colour from black to brown, grey and green but the ‘reds’ stood out and in my small mind, I think it was obvious that we had a statement to make.

IMG_2450And not one of ‘love’ as I’d always thought, but rather expressions of confidence and power. This cardinal tint has for ages signaled ‘rank’ in colour psychology, cutting across cultures and biology. In Nigeria and many parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the regalia of chiefs and traditional rulers embraces red, from unique beaded headdresses to red coral necklaces, a mark of being in the higher echelons of society. Apparently in Ancient Rome, the most powerful citizens were literally called “the ones who wear red. Just to share my thoughts with you. Nothing to really do with food especially since I’m sharing a Nectarine tart with you, whose only contribution to this scarlet discussion is its skin.

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In an attempt to clean out deep freezer, I let my pack of ‘about to expire or expired’ filo pastry defrost overnight. Next morning I ground up some pecan nuts, a bit too finely with sugar and cardamom seeds, determined to make a nice ‘carpet’ upon which some fruit could lay upon. Still in a cardamom daze (after this jam), I tossed slices of nectarines in icing sugar and more freshly ground cardamom seeds.

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Beginning with one of my four layers of filo, I began to make my ‘galette’ on a paper-lined baking tray. I brushed on some melted butter, topped with another layer of filo and repeated till all my layers were used up. Then I created the ‘pecan patch’, being careful to leave an inch-wide border round the entire pastry.

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Feeling quite artistic and gourmet, I carefully (as carefully as careful can be) laid the aromatic, sugar-coated nectarine slices in three rows, eating some as I put others down to rest. Once that mission was accomplished, the edges were tucked up, providing walls of constraint for this tart.

IMG_2435Into the oven it went at 210 degrees centigrade and 3/4 of an hour later I was rewarded with a gorgeous looking tart.

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Wanting to give it some shine, I brushed on some softened strawberry jam. And it was ready.

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I let it cool down and excitedly tucked in.

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I was disappointed with the pastry – the filo was chewy and thin, completely lacking in character. Shortcrust pastry would have been SO much better. Next up to join the ‘let-down’ list was the pecan covering. The mix was too fine…..soaking up all the juices of the nectarines and giving nothing back. They would have made more of a statement had they been combined in the shortcrust pastry or at least if the mix was chunkier. And last but not the least, we had the cardamom-spiced nectarines which while nice suffered from an overdose of cardamom on my part. They had a strong menthol flavour, a touch over-powering but edible.

IMG_2460The husband and I enjoyed it nevertheless, die-hards that we are – him with yogurt and moi, with creme fraiche. It looked good but didn’t live up to the hype. I guess you could say the same of me in my red outfit. Yes it looked good and made me feel a surge of confidence but inside, what will quiver will shake and will wobble. No dress is going to take care of that completely, red or white. Neither is a great-looking tart going to be transformed into deliciousness purely on face value. And that L&Gs is the morale of the story. The inside counts!

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I’m sending this on to Weekend Herb Blogging #251, started by Kalyn , run by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once and hosted this week by Anna from Anna’s Cool Finds.

Do you have a ‘red’ thing? Have a great week ahead.

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]A Nectarine Tart & The Colour Red – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

32 Comments

  1. Talk about luscious — gahsh what a beautiful tart! I am digging the use of phyllo dough as well as the juicy nectarines. If only yo uwere my neighbor, I’d politely invite myself over to eat all of the leftovers 🙂 Good thing I’m here in Texas, I have a feeling you wouldn’t have liked that very much!

  2. Yeah Alta, another one of us :-). I also love the fact that you can describe red in different colours from scarlet to russet!

    Thanks Juliana

    Krista dear, a burst of colour often lends sophistication. I’ve been thinking of you all week especially when I adjust my red shawl around my shoulders.

    Velva, I love the way you tell me little cultural bits, like whole paycheck! And now the powersuit.

    Rylan thank you very much
    Lyndsey, i need to infuse my wardrobe with loads more colour

  3. Oh my gosh! The temptation!!!! Please!!! This looks sooo good, the photos alone I want to eat, haha. Thanks for the recipe–you know I never thought of preparing it this way. Yumm!

  4. It dose look pretty! The cardamom sounds wonderful with the nuts and nectarine.

    I wear red a lot, but then I wear color a lot, orange, yellow, aqua! I do notice that not many wear red…or orange for that matter. Well not here anyway!

  5. Presentation is half the battle. The tart may not have lived up entirely to expectations but, sure is pretty. I really like nectarines too. I would gladly helped you eat it.

    Ahhh, the color of red. Red is the business woman’s color. Here in the U.S. we call our red suit, “the power suit”. It’s not uncommon to see a woman in a business setting in a solid red business suit. We obviously are trying to make a statement.

  6. A great looking tart! Stunning…I too love red! It cheers me up. Will be visiting this awesome blog again..
    Warm South African Blessings
    Shel

  7. Stunningly beautiful tart, my friend. 🙂 The colors are marvelous! I too adore red. I have it sprinkled throughout my house, wear it on my toes, and have red shoes and a scarf that never fail to cheer my heart. 🙂 Big hug to you! 🙂

  8. Sorry this wasn’t as tasty as it looks – cause it looks gorgeous! And I am too a red fan. I don’t wear it as often as I should, but in winter, I love to don crimson sweaters. It’s my favorite color.

  9. Beautiful shots….. love the golden brown baked filos and the red orangy nectarine slices. A perfect match which pleases the eyes… and yes, tastebuds of course 🙂

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

    • mademoiselle d, I so agree with you that butter puff pastry would work – need to give it a go!

      5 star foodie, Anna thanks

      Conor, you have been initiated into the power broker’s club. Take this really serious. Really, really serious.

      Thanks Kris.

  10. I never wear read, but last week I found myself buying two red shirts! I must be feeling powerful these days? Or possibly just over winter and black and grey!

    This is so delicate and pretty, shame it didn’t live up to the hype but I guess it lived up to its delicacy?

  11. Like a frangipane tart, but different! Butter puff would probably work best =)

    I’m a big fan of red too, especially for things like bags and shoes to add a splash to colour – in winter, like you said – or to, so often, monochromatic office wear.

    • Monet, I agree with you – I have made things which weren’t worthy of photography but tasted stunning!

      Thanks Oyster Culture, Penny, Sarah, Trissa, Anna

  12. Ahh… yes I love the colour red – I had a red watch I always wear for good luck – it hasn’t failed me yet! Lovely photos of the nectarine tart – it is such a simple recipe – it’s a pity the filo pastry didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to…. but looks delicious nonetheless.

  13. Don’t you hate it when something looks so so beautiful, but it tastes less than stellar? At least you were able to enjoy it though! And I adore the color red…it makes me feel strong, confident and proud!

    • Taste of beirut, I’ll have to stock up on fuschia jackets! And I’m a cardamom coffee lover, to the core!

      Thanks Oui Chef, Pierre

      Norma, well said red is the colour of boldness and courage

      Thanks Celia, Maria

      Joan I agree, there’s something comforting and inviting about red…with a super strong message

      Yeah Rhonda, we must complete this survey. And yes, when we see beauty, its really difficult to see that anything could possibly be wrong. Sometimes, beauty deceives, tells a lie.

      Thanks for hosting WHB, Anna.

  14. I am a big fan of red also. Wore it to my second interview and I am sure that helped cinch me being hired. It’s had to believe that something that looks that amazing ended up being a bit of a disappointment. Thanks for sharing so that the rest of us will know better!

  15. Hey Butterfly, thanks for the visit and comment at my blog. I’ve enjoyed some time here today getting to know you, and love what I see. You are a great story teller, and your photography is top-notch. I’ll be back! – S

  16. How funny! Seven women in red, thinking the same thing probably! Next time, I would wear fuschia! (actually I think red is not very flattering to the skin tone so I don’t wear it ever) I think it is interesting what you write about all these cultures from antiquity bestowing a special status to red.
    The tart looks fantastic, even it it was not perfect and a bit too strong in the cardamom realm; I think the only thing that will take a lot of cardamom is coffee; which is what we have here every day , mixed with the Turkish coffee.

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