With this much sweet goodness, it's worth the extra time in the kitchen.
For the Custard
- 175ml (6fl oz) milk
- 100ml (3½fl oz) double or regular cream
- 0.5 vanilla pod, split down one side or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g (2oz) caster sugar
- 2 tblsp plain flour
- 375g (13oz) puff pastry (all butter or homemade)
- 3 ripe nectarines, halved, stones removed and each half sliced into 6 wedges
- 2 tblsp caster or granulated sugar
- First, make the custard. Place the milk, cream and the vanilla pod, if using, in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Set aside to allow the vanilla to infuse for 5–10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using a hand-held electric beater, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flour until pale in colour and thick. Reheat the milk and cream, removing the vanilla pod (this can be wiped clean and reused another time), then pour, while whisking, onto the egg yolk mixture.
- Tip back into the saucepan (with the vanilla extract, if using), and stir over a low to medium heat for a few minutes, stirring all the time with a wooden spatula, until thickened.
- It will need to simmer for about 2 minutes to thicken. It should coat the back of a spoon. Take out of the saucepan, put into a bowl (or onto a plate if you need to cool quickly) and allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured worktop until just 4–5mm (1/4in) thick. Trim the edges with a knife, then cut in to six rectangles or squares.
- Turn each one upside down (so that the cut edges are now cut upwards, which will encourage the pastry edges to rise well), then score (about halfway down through the pastry) a 1cm (1/2in) border around each (like a picture frame, this will rise and hold in the custard).
- Leaving the borders free, spread out a generous heaped tablespoon or two of custard to thickly cover the pastry, then arrange the nectarine slices over the top and sprinkle each pastry with the sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden.