Tuesday, August 24, 2010

{twd} crunchy and custardy peach tart

Nearly two years ago, I heard about a group of bloggers working their way through Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking From My Home to Yours. I was in law school at the time, and my "kitchenette" contained less than one square foot of counter space (unfathomable to anyone outside of New York, I know, but sadly not an exaggeration). Still, I loved to bake, and did so often. So I thought, "I could do that." I read some more about the group, and realized that you had to have a blog to join. I didn't have a blog. Or fancy camera equipment, or cute kitchen props. But I liked to write and take pictures. So I thought, "I could do that." I googled "how to start a blog" (seriously), picked a title, and got to work.

All of this time later, writing this blog has become one of my favorite hobbies. And now it's (finally) my turn to pick this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. Deciding which recipe to choose was easy--I love summer fruits, and since we're in the height of peach season, I knew that I couldn't go wrong with a peach tart.

Dorie's Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart starts with a batch of her sweet tart dough. Peeled peach slices are arranged in the partially baked tart shell, and the whole thing is topped with a light custard and an almond struesel. It's a delicious way to celebrate the flavors of the season. Thanks for baking along with me this week everyone! Enjoy the recipe.

Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours

1-9 inch tart crust made with Sweet Tart Dough with Nuts, partially baked and cooled

For the Streusel
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the Filling
3 large ripe peaches, halved, pitted and peeled*
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract

confectioner's sugar, for dusting

To Make the Streusel: Working with your fingertips, blend all the ingredients together in a small bowl until evenly combined. Cover the streusel tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed. (Wrapped well, the streusel can be refrigerated for up to 2 days).

Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

To Make the Tart: Slice 5 of the peach halves crosswise. The best way to do this is to place each peach half cut side down on a cutting board and slice it crosswise into thin slices, keeping the sliced half intact. Then lift each half on a spatula, press down on the half lightly to fan it just a bit and place it in the crust, with the edge of the outer peach slices almost touching the edge of the crust, so that you have 5 peach "spokes" and an empty space in the center. Trim the remaining unsliced peach half so it will fit into the center of the tart and, using the tip of your knife, cut a little tic-tac-toe pattern in the center of the peach. Set aside while you make the creamy filing.

Whisk the cream, egg, sugar and almond extract together in a small bowl. When blended, rap the bowl on the counter to knock out the air bubbles, and pour the filling over and around the peaches.

Bake the tart for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake the tart for another 20 minutes, at which point you should add the streusel.

Remove the streusel from the refrigerator and, using your fingers, break it up into small bits. Carefully pull the baking sheet to the front of the oven (if you can manage to get the streusel onto the tart without removing the tart from the oven and jostling the delicate filling, so much the better, but pull it out completely if it's easier) and sprinkle the streusel evenly over the creamy parts of the tart.

Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes (total baking time is 50 to 55 minutes), or until the filling is set and the streusel is golden. Remove the tart from the oven and transfer the pan to a rack to cool until barely warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, dust with confectioner's sugar.

*To Peel Peaches: Blanch peaches for 10 seconds in a pot of boiling water, transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool, then slip off the skins.

Storing: The tart can be refrigerated overnight; cover it to protect it from drying and from odors.

Sweet Tart Dough With Nuts
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours
Makes enough for one 9-inch crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in--you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses--about 10- seconds each--until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change--heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To Press the Dough into the Pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don't be too heavy-handed--press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To Partially or Fully Bake the Crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its pan).

To Fully Bake the Crust: Bake for another 8 minutes or so, until it is firm and golden brown. (I dislike lightly baked crusts, so I often keep the crust in the oven just a little longer. If you do that, just make sure to keep a close eye on the crust's progress--it can go from golden to way too dark in a flash.) Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To Patch a Partially or Fully Baked Crust, If Necessary: If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice off a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gently smooth the edges into the baked crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, bake for another 2 minutes or so, just to take the rawness off the patch.

Storing: Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, I prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer--it has a fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.

**My Recipe Notes: I used more peaches than Dorie called for, and, since I couldn't really figure out how to make "spokes," I just arranged the peach slices in circles.


Di said...

Your tart looks lovely!

Katrina said...

Thanks for picking this tart--I'm sure I never would have made it otherwise. It tastes great.

The Mortensens said...

Thanks for picking this tart, Rachel. I loved it! Yours looks fantastic!

cocoa and coconut said...

Looks so beautiful! I've seen everyones take on this tart, and yours is definitley one of the prettiest :)

Anonymous said...

Great recipe choice. I had made this already a couple of times and it tastes delicious.

Hindy said...

Your tart looks delicious! Great recipe coice for the season. Thanks.

Cakelaw said...

This recipe was da bomb - thanks for choosing it! Congrats on surviving law school - no mean achievement. Your tart looks superb - I want it again now!

Natalie said...

I was going to pick this if you didn't! :) It was delicious, a great pick. I love the look of yours- very beautiful and rustic!

chocolatechic said...

Beautiful tart.

Mine is still in the oven, but it smells heavenly.

LaNell said...

I'm Anne Strawberry's mom and as yummy as her tart was, I'm wishing I had yours too! Maybe she'll make it for dessert for the greek/birthday dinner later this week.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

yum--this was so good! yours looks great, and you got such nice photos of it!

Valerie Gamine said...

I love the pattern you made with the peaches! Your tart looks perfect. I can't think of a better excuse for starting a blog than the Tuesdays with Dorie group. :D

Piggy said...

Thanks for picking this recipe, the tart is yummy indeed!

Amber Marie said...

Great pick - I love that you picked it in peach season! Your peaches look very pretty peeping out.

Rachelle S said...

I love how you sprinkled on the streusel and the peaches are showing. Happy TWD week!

Sabrina said...

Beautiful job! Thanks for picking this one! And isn't it fun to pick? I have been waiting almost two years too and next month I get to pick. :)

dorie said...

Three cheers for your 'can do' attitude. I love that you started your blog to bake along with the TWDers and I think it's great that it's become something you love working on.

Your tart is beautiful. The exact picture of what that tart should be.

Unknown said...

I loved, loved, loved this one. Thank you for picking it! Your tart is beautiful - as are those piles of Greenmarket peaches.

You made me remember the first kitchen my husband I shared in Brooklyn - also about 1 (maybe 2) feet of counter space. We have a lot more space now, but we made good meals there too. I miss it - a little!

Shandy said...

Thank you for hosting this week and what a fantastic selection! We LOVE it! Your pictures all look so inviting and SUMMER =). BTW, I had to look up how to start a blog on the internet myself. Feels like such a long time ago.

Jacque said...

oh, wow, yours looks picture perfect. Very nice! Thanks for a great pick, I enjoyed it.

Jaime said...

loved this tart! thanks for hosting

TeaLady said...

This was a perfect pick, Rachel, for this time of the year. Yours is lovely.

Bridget said...

Well, I don't envy you your New York counter space, but I do envy pretty much everything else about where you live! I wish I'd had a wonderful green market to buy local peaches from for this great tart!

margot said...

Your tart looks fantastic! This was a perfect selection for this time of year.

Carol Peterman/TableFare said...

What a wonderful pick to celebrate the lovely peaches in the markets. My thought for next time was to add more peaches; you were a head of the game on that. Nice job!

Unknown said...

I agree that this was the perfect choice and the fact that it was delicious, only makes it better. Thanks for selecting it.

I love the presentation of the pie slice on the white plate.

I, once up a time had a kitchen like you are describing. When you opened the oven, you could only open it 3/4 of the way because it bumped into the refrigerator. I managed but now in a bigger kitchen, I am always complaining that I need more room.

Nickki said...

Your tart looks so perfect. I'm sorry I couldn't make this, but I plan to do so very soon while the good peaches are still in season! :-)

Nancy's Notes said...

OH my! Looks absolutely scrumptious!

Linda said...

Beautiful looking tart! Thank you for selecting this recipe---so perfect for all of the gorgeous peaches in season. I totally enjoyed this!

Jodie said...

Thanks for the great pick! My family loved it!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

My first kitchen - although not in New York - had 1 square ft of counter space, a small fridge, oven, and sink. It was like a play kitchen!

You definitely proved that you could do the baking/blogging thing; look at how beautiful your photos are, and it's evident that you like to write.

Fabulous tart; thanks for the great pick!

Beth said...

I'm with you on summer fruit. I just can't get enough of it! I picked up some peaches and raspberries at the farmer's market this morning, and squeezed them in the fridge beside the freshly picked blueberries waiting to be frozen. Maybe I'll use some of my peaches for this tart!

Leslie said...

Thanks for such a great pick, and for hosting this week! Your tart looks fantastic, but I'm drooling over your photos of the peaches...

Lynne Daley said...

A great pick! I couldn't miss this one. Thanks.