Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Peaches and Cream Tart

Today I dropped my son off at sleepaway camp. It's the same camp where I spent seven summers, and my son is already a four-year veteran.

Did he get the best bed in the bunk? Darn right he did!

We pulled up at 7:55, and he dismissed me with a "See ya, Mom," at 9AM. We are not sentimental people.

I do admit to a bout of nostalgia when I drove past Baugher's Orchard and Fruit Market in Westminster, Maryland. My mother and I used to stop there on the way home from the last day of camp. My mom is a wonderful, amazing woman. But she was very strict. I knew that our reunion was special because she actually bought me a scoop of ice cream! I was hardly deprived - it's amazing how much junkfood a doting grandmother can slip to a kid. Still, this was a big deal, and I knew Baugher's had the best ice cream in the world.

Photo Credit:
I called my mom on the way home today. She said, "Did you get a scoop of Baugher's Peach Ice Cream?" As a certified adult, I could have gotten a triple scoop, even at 9:30AM. But now I'm lactose-intolerant. Womp womp! (As an aside, Lactaid is like a condiment on the table at Jewish summer camps. #AshkenaziTummy)

I did pick up some gorgeous stone fruits. Look at these Methley and Shiro plums. Summer humidity in Maryland is a bodily assault, but it does make for some pretty fruit.

I used these ripe peaches to make a Peaches and Cream Tart, adapted loosely from a pie in A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove, by Laura Schenone. This is a really beautiful history of women and cooking, with some great recipes mixed in.

You can use any crust you like. I happen to prefer Dorie Greenspan's Sweet Tart Dough, but use whatever works. Or buy judgement.

Peaches and Cream Tart

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (180g)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (65g)
pinch of kosher salt
1 stick of cold butter (113g)
1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons melted butter (42g)
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
3 tablespoons flour (24g)
pinch of kosher salt
2 eggs
3-4 ripe peaches

9-10" tart pan with removable bottom
baking spray
aluminum foil
rimmed baking sheet 

In the food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt to combine. Cut the butter into chunks, add to the machine, and pulse for ten seconds to incorporate. Add the egg and run the processor for about a minute, until it starts to come together in a lumpy ball. Spray a 9-10" tart pan with baking spray, then press the dough into it. You can use your hands and a measuring cup dipped in flour to distribute the dough evenly up the sides. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then slide it into the freezer for 45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 375˚ (350˚ convection). When the unbaked shell is completely frozen, spray a piece of foil with baking spray and press it smoothly onto the bottom and up the sides. The foil is holding the dough in place and preventing shrinkage, so make sure that it completely covers the crust. Place the tart pan on a larger rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaks. Bake for 15 minutes, then pull it out for filling and reduce the oven to 300˚ (275˚ convection).

While the crust is baking, whisk together all the ingredients for the custard. Peel and slice the peaches thinly. Remove the foil from the crust and arrange the peach slices in two concentric circles. If you have a red plum, place it cut side up in the center. Gently pour the custard over the peaches

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling is just set. Let cool on the counter before hardening in the fridge. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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