To me nothing tastes more like Summer than fresh peaches. I fill up my bags with them at the farmers market and lay them out in my window sill until they are ready to eat. This year, I found this delicious looking recipe for a Rustic Peach Tart from Francois Payard and took it with me for our weeks vacation at the beach. I did read over the recipe in advance and noted the short list of ingredients, but what I didn’t think about was the tools I would need to make the tart while staying in a rental house with limited kitchen supplies. Which translates to no food processor, mixer, strainer or basting brush at my disposal.
I bought frozen unbaked pie crusts (two come in the package) and while they baked (according to the package instructions), I used a coffee grinder (I know, I couldn’t believe there was a coffee grinder… it’s all about priorities!) for the almonds and I mixed the ingredients by hand. The almond mixture makes enough for at least 4 pies and, while the recipe calls for one pie, I made two.
I stored the rest of the mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for another round of pies. Once the pie crust cooled, I lined the bottom with the almond filling and layered in the peaches. Into the oven it went and once it was done, I spooned a light layer of microwaved apricot preserves over the peaches.
It was heaven! The almond filling is light and does not overpower the peaches, but grounds them with the pie crust. It was such an easy recipe to make, especially after a really hot, long beach day, and a wonderful taste delight at the end of the meal.
The one suggestion would be to really stuff in the peaches and that is probably why the recipe calls for them to stand them up around the pie which I did not do. You have to give it a try and let me know what you think.. so good!
This dessert is the ultimate ode to fresh summer peaches. The ripe tender fruits are not just used for decoration or hidden beneath piecrust. Instead they stand tall in a creamy almond filling. Chef Payard puts this tart in the window at his New York shop, and the gorgeous colors never fail to draw customers in. And the tart tastes as magnificent as it looks.
- A scant ⅔ cup of sugar
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 stick plus 1½ teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 small egg
- 1 small egg yolk
- 1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 5 to 6 ripe peaches, quartered and pitted
- One 9½ inch pre-baked tart shell
- 1/3 cup apricot preserves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the almond cream: Place the almonds and two tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground, about 1 minute.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the remaining sugar on high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the ground almond mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the egg and egg yolk, beat well, and scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary, then beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the flour until just combined.
- Reserve one cup of this almond cream and store the rest in an airtight container for next time. (You can refrigerate the remaining cream for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.)
- Spread the almond cream into an even layer in the prebaked tart shell. Arrange the peaches, standing up, in a pinwheel pattern over the filling, starting from the edge of the tart and working toward the center.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool the tart on a wire rack.
- Place the apricot preserves in a small heatproof dish and microwave on high power for 30 to 45 seconds, until bubbling. Strain the hot preserves through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the tart with the glaze. The tart can be made up to one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Keywords: tart, peaches, fresh, rustic, dessert, summer, fresh fruit