peach tart

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The Colorado peaches have arrived in Minnesota, y'all! Exciting times. That means I bought my annual 20 pound box of peaches and our family will be eating peaches for dayzzzzz. No one complains. But I do feel a bit like Bubba from Forrest Gump, rattling off all the ways I want to prepare peaches: grilled peaches, peach pie, peach ice cream, peaches in my pancakes, peaches on my salad, peach galette.... and of course, this peach tart! 

I had extra tart dough in my fridge from when I expected to make a chocolate walnut tart earlier this week (but didn't have time), so I slapped that in a tart tin, baked it off, and filled it with a creamy no-bake filling and topped it with fresh peaches. I love when Frankensteined recipes come together to make legit deliciousness, and this is one of those times. 

If you use an 8 or 9 inch tart pan, then halve the dough recipe. You will have leftover dough and filling if you use a 10 inch tart pan with the recipe below, so feel free to make mini tarts (if you have tiny tart pans) or line muffin tins and blind bake the same way (you may get more slouching of the dough with a muffin tin). I can attest that it is acceptable to eat spoonfuls of the filling alone over the kitchen sink - it is that good.

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Peach tart 

Partially adapted from America's Test Kitchen and Ask Chef Dennis' recipe
Makes about 8-10 servings in a 10 inch tart pan

Ingredients

Walnut tart shell (adapted from America's Test Kitchen)

  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup (4 oz) powdered sugar
  • 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling (from askchefdennis.com)

  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 c (3 oz or 85 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Peaches

  • About 9-10 fresh peaches
  • A few tablespoons of apricot or peach preserves

Equipment you'll need to git 'er done:

  • 10 inch tart pan (I use the kind with a removable bottom)
  • Ceramic weights or rice or beans or whatever you use as weights for blind baking
  • Food processor
  • Electric stand mixer (can do without, but makes the job easier)
  • A sharp knife and patience
  • A pastry brush

Method

1. Make and bake the tart shell
    In a food processor, grind the walnuts and sugar until finely ground, about 10-15 seconds. Add the flour and salt. Pulse to combine. Scatter butter pieces on top and pulse until you have a course, crumbly cornmeal texture (about 12-15 pulses). Whisk the egg and vanilla together in a separate small bowl. Slowly add the egg mixture to the walnut mixture with the food processor running. Mix until it just comes together (about 15-20 seconds). 

    Turn the dough out onto some plastic wrap, make a dough ball in the middle, then cover completely with plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a disc shape and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

    Let the chilled dough sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before rolling it out (on a floured surface) to about a 13 inch circle. If it becomes hard to work with or very sticky, place the dough round on a baking sheet, cover it with plastic, and refrigerate until more firm (about 15 minutes).

    Transfer the rolled dough to the tart pan by gently rolling the dough around your rolling pin, then draping it over the pan. Press the dough into the fluted edges of the pan. The finished edge should be 1/4" thick. You can patch together the dough if necessary. Wrap the tart pan in plastic wrap, place on a large plate or cookie sheet, and freeze (or refrigerate) for about 30 minutes.

     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the dough-filled tart pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, add your weights to fill the shell, then blind bake that sucker for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Then remove the weights and bake for another 5-7 minutes until he bottom looks baked through. Then let cool on a wire rack. See this site for info about blind baking.

2. Make the filling
     Using your stand mixer, blend the mascarpone, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix well. Transfer this to a large bowl and set aside.

     In the same stand mixer bowl (no need to clean), whip the heavy cream to soft peak stage. Fold this gently into the mascarpone until completely incorporated. Spread the mixture into the pie crust (should be about 1/2 inch deep) and level with an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

3. Cut and arrange the peaches.

     Now I apologize that I don't have process photos for how to make the peach roses. I didn't realize this would turn into a blog post while making it, but I had some requests for the recipe, so here we are.  I watched this video and used the same general ideas: slice the peaches thinly, overlap the edges, roll them up in a spiral, and get arrange them on the filled tart. It's messy and the peaches are super slippery, so be careful with your knife wielding. 

    Put the fruit preserves into a small microwaveable bowl and zap for about 30 seconds. Use a pastry brush to dab the preserves onto the peaches to give them a nice shine and slow the oxidation process a bit. 

4. EAT

     You want to eat this soon after making it for the best presentation. The fresh peaches will start to brown and wilt a bit.

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