Until now, the only way to score a taste of Karen Hatfield’s divine, market-inspired desserts was to have dinner at Hatfield’s, the Melrose fine-dining restaurant she shares with her husband. We adore the fancy spot, but sometimes we need a finely crafted pastry before dinner (and in sweatpants). The time has come! As of this very morning, the couple’s haute creations are available at their new casual La Brea café, the Sycamore Kitchen. Along with morning sweets like oatmeal brown butter scones and lunchtime savories like pork belly skewers, there are plenty of any ol’ time desserts like this super simple nectarine crostada. You’ll never guess Karen’s secret ingredient for a perfect crust. (Hint: It’s also in your martini.)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 oz. butter, cold and diced
3.5 oz. vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons vodka
1/3 cups water
1. Measure shortening, spread on a tray and place in freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
2. Measure vodka and water together and place in freezer until well chilled (10-20 min.) 3. Measure out dry ingredients and place in the bowl of a mixer.
4. Put butter in the bowl and mix until butter is in about 1/4″ pieces.
5. Cut frozen shortening into pieces, add and mix until broken up. Be careful not to mix too long so the dough starts coming together before adding liquid.
6. Add vodka and water mixture and mix until dough is formed and combined, small pieces of butter is ok.
Wrap in plastic and let the dough chill overnight. Roll out very thin, about 1/8″ thick, chill. Using a 3″ round cutter, punch out circles, and place on a sheet tray. Set aside in freezer. Dough will be very soft so it is important to keep in the freezer.
1-2 medium sized white nectarine
1-2 medium sized yellow nectarine
Pit and slice one yellow nectarine and one white nectarine. Place two halves of yellow nectarine on top of each round then make a new layer with alternating yellow and white slices of nectarine. Cut more as needed.
2 tablespoons cream
1/4 cups raw sugar
1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar
Mix together until combined. Egg wash the edges of each circle. Make about 5 folds around each tart, and press to form around the fruit.
After all the tarts are folded, egg wash the outside and press each fold into the tart so it doesn’t unfold during baking. Sprinkle raw or turinado sugar on the outside of the tart and generously sprinkle granulated sugar on the fruit slices in each tart.
Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes, rotating half way. Bake until crust is golden brown and the fruit is tender. Place on a cookie rack to cool so bottom doesn’t get soggy.
(Courtesy of Karen Hatfield, pastry chef/owner, Hatfield’s & The Sycamore Kitchen)