First off, I am not, nor do I pretend to be a baker (neither am I a butcher nor a candlestick maker :D). But this sure is good. While I absolutely love candy, I am not a big dessert affectionado. Our meals almost never include dessert primarily because Baby Lady & I are HUGE wine fans and would rather consume our calories in wine. We also are more into savory foods as opposed to sweet foods. Nevertheless, periodically, we are invited over to friends for dinner and are requested to bring dessert or we entertain guests at home and do a full blown 4 – 5 course meal. Also, every now and then we get a hankerin for something sweet.
This recipe is from an evening we were invited to some friends for dinner and requested to bring dessert. As you can see, it was peach season. Peach season in Texas can be pretty awesome. Just on the other side of Fort Worth is Parker County. Parker County is known for its peaches. Luscious juicy gems with such gorgeous colors. Parker County peaches are sold only in Texas, mostly north Texas, and mostly in Parker County. Because any excuse for a festival is a good excuse, every year they have the Parker County Peach Festival. We had just come back from the festival with a bushel of fresh picked peaches that we needed to use. So, I decided a peach tart would be perfect for dessert with our friends. This is what I came up with.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
For almond filling
- 3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
For the Top
- 4 firm-ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 – 2 Tbsp reserved
Cut butter into bits and freeze. In a food processor pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Add frozen butter and pulse mixture just until it resembles coarse meal. Add 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until barely combined. Transfer dough to a bowl and stir in just enough ice water to form a ball. Flatten dough into a 6-inch disk. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
In food processor blend filling ingredients until very smooth. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring filling to room temperature before using.
Peeling peaches can seem like a daunting task but it is not. First, get a large pot, fill it 2/3 with water and bring it to a boil. While the water is heating, get your peaches. Set them stem side down and cut an X into the top. The photo below is after the peach was peeled but it shows where and how to make the cut.
Once you have cut the X place the peaches in the boiling water and let sit for roughly 20 – 30 seconds. Remove the peaches from the water and immediately immerse in cold water to stop the cooking from the residual heat. You will notice the skin around the X cut has begun to curl ever so slightly. Grab the skin with your fingers and peel. It is remarkably easy to peel the peach now.
One the peaches are peeled, halve and pit peaches and slice thin. In a bowl, mix sliced peaches, sugar and lemon zest. Set aside.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to fit 9 inch tart pan and fit into pan. Prick dough all over with a fork and bake 15 minutes. Let cool. When cooled, spread filling into tart pan and arrange peach slices on top overlapping slightly, over filling. Sprinkle 1 – 2 Tbsp sugar on top. Cut butter into bits and dot with butter. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until crust is golden and peaches are tender.
Let cool. Serve & enjoy!
NOTES: If you want a glossy sheen to your tart (not done here) you should either make a simple syrup (equal parts of water and sugar heated to dissolve the sugar) and brush the top after baking with the simple syrup. Alternatively, heat and thin some apricot or peach jam with water and brush the top after baking. I didn’t do that because I personally like the natural flavor of the peach but your mileage may vary. Possible serving accompaniments are: vanilla or honey ice cream, whip cream, raspberry sauce, or raspberries.