Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cherry-Peach Rustic Tart

I should really call this a "Summer Tart" - it can be made with any combination of favourite summer fruits and berries. But I had a surfeit of peaches and cherries, so "cherry-peach" it is. (Aren't "peaches and cherries" lovely words? They have such a cheerful sound.)

Less fussy than pie, a rustic tart comes together very quickly. Use your favourite pastry recipe or, if you like, purchased dough. Here's the recipe I used:

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter (1/4 lb.)
3 tablespoons ICE water - the colder the better

I like to make pastry in the food processor. Pulse to combine the dry ingredients, then cut the stick of butter into cubes and dump those in.

Pulse a few times until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, then add the ice water while running on the lowest speed. Turn off as soon as water is added. It's okay if the dough doesn't come together.

Turn the wet dough crumbs out of the processor onto a flat baking sheet. (If you don't own a baking sheet, flip over any large baking pan and use the flat bottom.) Break up any big chunks with your fingers, then quickly and gently compress into a loose ball. You don't have to knead the dough; just push it together from the edges and top, using cupped hands (dust them with flour if necessary). With a dough scraper, turn the lump over and gently compress again until there aren't any crumbs falling off. Handle it as little as possible. This will keep the butter from melting and give you a flakier pastry.

Don't knead - just gently compress

All incorporated and ready to roll

Heat oven to 375º.

Roll out the dough, directly on the baking pan, into a rough circle about 1/8" thick, dusting with flour as necessary to keep the rolling pin from sticking. Remember, this is a rustic tart. The dough doesn't need to be perfectly round, and ragged edges are fine. Loosely cover and pop it into the refrigerator while you prep your fruit.

Next you'll need 2-4 cups of sliced fruit. I used 3 large peaches, sliced into 12 slices each, and about 16 large cherries, pitted and quartered (halved cherries would work too).

Toss 2 - 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and desired spices with the fruit. I added a bit of freshly grated nutmeg to mine.

Remove pan from refrigerator. Run a bench scraper or very thin flat spatula gently under and around the edges of dough to make sure they aren't stuck to the pan...

...then pile the fruit in the middle.

Fold the edges of the pastry up and over the fruit, overlapping as you go.

Fold away

I like to sprinkle a little raw sugar over the crust before baking. White sugar works too. Or you can leave it plain.

All ready for the oven

Bake for 10 minutes at 375º, then 40-45 minutes at 350º. (You can lower the temp to 325º if the crust starts getting too brown.) Fruit should be tender and easily pierced with a toothpick or cake tester.

Remove pan from oven and cool on rack. If you like, brush the filling with preserves to add a nice gloss. (I was out of preserves so I brushed mine with honey.)

Slice and serve, with or without ice cream. We voted for "with".

And the best part is - I can have leftover tart for breakfast. Life doesn't get much better than that.

Some other possible fruit combinations: nectarine and blackberry, plum and blueberry, apricot and cherry, and, in my opinion the most sublime flavour marriage imaginable: peach and raspberry.  But use any combination you like - I think all stone fruits mingle well and will work with most berries.

Happy baking!

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  1. Mmmmmm, my mouth is watering. Very explicit instructions - just what I need, thanks!

  2. The title made me drool, the photos made my tummy growl, and now I'm beyond hungry!!! Those photos are so delicious looking!!!

    I'm big on peach raspberry, too. Peaches are just now ready on the other side of the state, but we can't get over there yet. I love to make fresh peach ginger cobbler...

  3. I'd vote for ice cream, too. :-)

  4. Anne - you're very welcome. Perhaps you'll have more baking time on your hands now that school has started.
    Deb - These peaches came from Illinois - no one seems to grow them in Wisconsin. I miss California summer fruit.
    Regula - how are you? I'll save some ice cream for you. :)

  5. That looks very nice - I could do with some for my breakfast right now!

    Pomona x

  6. Wonderful recipe. I tried and it came out well.. Thanks for sharing. Buy Spices Online


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