Friday, September 23, 2011

Peach Tart

Late summer peaches are some of my favorite things to eat in September--they're always sweet and small and perfectly juicy. I also happen to like to make tarts--they come together easily and always look super impressive, allowing me to take a lot more credit than I possibly deserve. And so we come to the peach tart, seen above. Pretty little thing, eh? I whipped it up last weekend to have after a Sunday supper of roast chicken and sauteed greens, and it was the perfect thing to top the meal off with. xo

Peach Tart
1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/4 cup mild olive oil
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
3 to 5 small ripe peaches, pitted and thickly sliced (about 1/2-inch wide)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stirring enables the salt and sugar to sift the flour, so you don’t need to sift it in advance. In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it. Then, transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan (you can use a smaller one if needed), and use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. This will work if you pat firmly and confidently, but not if you curl your fingertips into the dough. It should be about 1/ 8-inch thick all around; trim and discard excess dough.

In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the butter. (If your peaches are especially juicy, add 1 tablespoon additional flour.) Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, with a mixture of fine granules and tiny pebbles.

Starting on the outside, arrange the peaches overlapping in a concentric circle over the pastry; fill in the center in whatever pattern makes sense. The peaches should fit snugly. Sprinkle the pebbly butter mixture over top (it will seem like a lot). Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature, preferably with generous dollops of whipped cream. 


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