Monday 14 July 2014

Peach and Almond Tart

Come Summers and everyone in my household eagerly looks forward to the stone fruits - wonderful plums, peaches, apricots and cherries to make an appearance in the market. Unfortunately for us, just as you start to enjoy them, they start to disappear leaving just a sweet memory behind them. 
So while the season lasts, I make sure that everyone enjoys these luscious juicy fruits to their heart content. Ironically, whenever I have planned to make something with these stone fruits, there never seem to be enough left to make a complete dish. Inspite of my best efforts and careful planning the fruit disappears as quickly as it gets replenished. Moreover any announcement of my plans of baking with the fruit are always met with a huge wave of protest in the house (including dear hubby) as according to my frugivores lot, it is always better to eat the fruit than cook with it.  
Just the other day, I came upon some beautiful looking juicy peaches in the market and picked them up determined to have my way this time. Looking at the plump rosy beauties, ideas of some beautiful desserts started streaming in my mind. I got the fruit home with strict instructions to everyone that they were absolutely off limits.But I knew I had to act quickly as my threat wasn't going to work for too long and one by one the peaches would start disappearing 'mysteriously' from the refrigerator. 
Initially, I started off with a plan to make a Peach Galette as the rustic form of the tart seemed really appealing to me. By the way, a Galette refers to a free form tart. These tarts are not molded in tart pans. Instead filling is placed directly on top of rolled out pastry and then the edges folded up and around the filling giving it a very elegant and rustic look. But somewhere along the way, I changed my mind and instead decided to line the pastry in a tart tin as I really wanted the peaches to shine in this dish. They were after all the main hero of my dish, so I wanted not only the flavor of the fruit to stand out but was keen that they themselves should make a grand appearance.
Peach is really the star of the dish which is why I loved this recipe so much. The crust which I have adapted from The Smitten Kitchen is light and flaky and really easy to work with it. I made a Cherry Pie with it last year and believe me it was so delicious it is memorable. A thin layer of frangipane complements the peaches perfectly and helps up the taste just a notch. If the fruit you are using is too juicy just toss in a tbsp of cornflour or even plain flour which will help to soak in the extra liquid and prevent the bottom to get too soggy. 
So what are you waiting for, hurry up while there is still time and make this before the peaches do their vanishing act from the market. I am sure looking at the mouth-watering delicious pictures you would really want to wait till next year to taste this!!
For the crust
21/2 cups flour (315 grams)
1 tbsp sugar (15 gms)
1 tsp salt (5 gms)
200 gms butter        
4-6 tbsp ice cold water
For the frangipane
1/2 cup flaked toasted almonds
1/2 cup vanilla sugar or 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
For the filling
4-5 fresh peaches, pitted and thickly sliced
2 tsp powdered sugar
Slivered almonds for sprinkling on top (optional)

Cut butter into small cubes and put the bowl into the freezer. In a food processor fitted with a plastic blade pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the butter. Pulse together 15-20 times until the butter has broken down into small bits about the size of tiny peas. Start adding the iced water gradually until the pastry just about begins to come together. Alternatively, if making by hand, rub the butter into the flour, add the sugar and salt and bring it together with the cold water. 
With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough, then wrap it in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for atleast 30 minutes or if you are really pushed for time, in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, before using. 
To roll, take the pastry out of the fridge and place it between two sheets of clingfilm. Using a rolling pin, roll it out until no thicker than 1/4cm thick. Rolling the pastry between sheets of clingfilm is a trick that I have learned from watching Rachel Allen's show 'Bake'. This method is absolutely non messy and it also ensures that the pastry does not stick and no extra flour is needed while rolling . Keep stretching the clingfilm as you roll the pastry. Take care not to roll out too much as the butter need to stay intact to give you that beautiful flaky pastry layer.
Peel off the top layer of the clingfilm.
Flip the pastry with the cling film facing up into a flan tin.  Press the pastry into the edges, cling film still attached, and using your thumb, 'cut' the pastry on the edge of the tin. Remove the cling film.
Prick the pastry base with a fork to prevent it from bubbling during baking. Pop the pastry in the freezer for atleast 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Now make your frangipane or your almond paste. Roast the almonds in a dry frying pan till light golden. Set aside to cool. In the bowl of a food processor or blender finely grind the almonds, sugar and vanilla. Add the egg and blend till smooth. But be careful not to add the whole egg at once. I did that and landed with a very runny almond paste on my hands. The egg should be just enough to give you a thick smooth paste.
Spoon the frangipane evenly over the tart.
Place the peaches slices on top of the tart base.
Sprinkle with 2 tsp of sugar
Chill the tart again in the fridge for 10 minutes. Place in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until crust is golden.
If you desire to glaze your tart, you can brush the top with a mixture of 1 tbsp melted jam or honey while the tart is still hot. 
Leave it on the wire rack to cool for atleast 20 minutes before serving.


  1. this sounds so delicious... feel like having that sliced piece right away...

  2. looks very inviting!!! well explained n easy to follow... glad I found your blog n happy to follow you. Visit my blog too

  3. Thanks a lot. You have a lovely blog too.