Delaware used to be one of the top peach growing states in the US – back in the 1800’s that is. Hundreds of thousands of acres of peach trees were harvested in the county I live in. Sadly, in the 1920’s a disease devastated the peach trees and now there are only a handful of orchards still growing peaches. But, luckily for me, they are near my house!
I picked up a bag of white peaches from one of my favorites, Paradise Orchards in Felton, DE. They only sell their peaches from a little stand along the main road. If they are out there with peaches, I can’t resist stopping to buy some. These were destined for a peach tart.
Now, just because we no longer are peach empire doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate the peach. We spent a pleasant morning at the Wyoming Peach Festival before I made my tart. The star of the festival is always the peach ice cream! (Of course Arielle had to make a goofy face at me whenI wanted to take a picture)
After the festival, it was time to make the peach tart.
Warm tart and ice cream go particularly well, but we did not have ice cream. So, while the tart was baking, Arielle made some ziploc bag vanilla ice cream. It may not have been much to look at, but the flavor was spot on! The tart was nice and warm, it immediately started melting the ice cream. What a great treat!
Short Crust Pastry:
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 – 60 ml) ice water
1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) fresh ripe peaches (from Paradise Orchards)
2-3 tablespoons (30-40 grams) granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
In a food processor, using the pastry blade, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds).
Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary. Do not process more than about 30 seconds.
Turn the pastry out onto your work surface, gather it into a ball,cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour to chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.
Once the pastry has chilled, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 14 inch (35 cm) square.To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness).
Transfer the pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you slice the peaches.
Wash and rub the peaches to remove any fuzz. Cut the peach following the suture from stem to blossom end and then up the opposite side. Gently twist the two halves of the peach and it should easily separate. Remove the seed and cut into 3/4 – 1 inch (2.5 cm) slices. You will need about 4 cups (1 pound) (454 grams) of sliced peaches.
Place the peach slices in a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Then add about 3 to 4 tablespoons (30 – 40 grams) of granulated white sugar, or to taste.
Arrange peach slices randomly on the pastry, leaving about a two inch (5 cm) wide border. Scrape any remaining sugar from the bowl and sprinkle over the peaches.
Gently fold the edges of the pastry up and over the peaches, pleating as necessary. Make sure to seal any cracks in the pastry.
Bake the tart in a preheated 425 degree F (220 degree C) oven for about 35 -45 minutesor until the pastry is golden brown. Reduce heat by 25 degrees (4 degree C) if the pastry starts to burn. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Best served warm, within an hour of baking. Enjoy!!
Makes one – 12 inch (30 cm) tart.