Every summer, there’s one kind of fresh produce that I can’t get enough of. One kind of fruit or vegetable that leaves me scouring my cookbooks for recipes that feature it, so I have an excuse to have it on hand all season long. In the past it’s been blueberries, green beans, and raspberries, among others.
This year it’s peaches.
Ever since the first peach popped up at the farmer’s market, there hasn’t been a day that my kitchen has been without at least one. I’ve eaten many of them fresh, either sliced into a bowl or eaten right from the basket. I’ve made this salad and this pavlova, and we’ll be enjoying this cobbler for dinner tonight. But if you're ranking overall enjoyment, it’s hard to beat the perfect peach pie.
In my case, the word ‘perfect’ is relative. Certainly the inspiration was ideal. I opened the New York Times magazine early in July to find a recipe for peach pie, accompanied by a photo that was gorgeous enough to haunt my dreams. I was going to make that pie.
Unfortunately, I was stymied by the pastry. My struggles with making a good pastry are fairly well-documented, but this one demonstrated a basic inability to hold together, at all. It was surely doomed.
But I refused to call it a day. Undaunted, I pressed half the dough into the bottom and sides of a tart pan, followed it up with the peach mixture, and covered it with a crumble topping. What followed was the perfect peach tart – the tart of my dreams. No matter what kind of produce I fall in love with next summer, it’s a safe bet I’ll be making this one again.
The Perfect Peach Tart
(inspired by this recipe)
Your favourite recipe for tart dough (enough for one crust)
5 cups of peeled, sliced peaches
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (first amount)
pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (second amount)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Prepare tart dough according to the recipe, flatten it into a 6” disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for up to one hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
To make the pie filling, combine sliced peaches, lemon juice, sugar and 1/4 cup flour and gently mix to combine. Set aside.
Whisk together 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix with the melted butter. Set aside.
Press the tart dough into the bottom and sides of a tart pan with removable sides. Add the peaches and sprinkle with ground nutmeg. Crumble the topping over the top of the tart. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375. Cook until peaches bubble and pastry is golden, an additional 45 minutes to one hour.
(If you're a great pastry maker, check out the original recipe from the New York Times. And invite me over for a slice!)