I have been hugely enjoying fruit this summer. And let me just tell you that that’s an incredible understatement.
Recently it has been nectarines and peaches that have been my addiction. Especially some truly wonderful peaches grown in local orchards. We bought a whole box of peaches a week ago, some of which we enjoyed fresh ~ but I also made a few batches of jam, froze pie fillings, and froze some peach halves in lemon juice & sugar also. So yesterday Gabriel and I simply had to return to the local orchard and buy more. They are beyond delectable. Last week we had some called Lady Zee, and this week we are loving the Angelus variety.
Tonight for our small group dinner (finally reconvening after over a month off), I am bringing dessert and what am I bringing? Fruit dessert! Now, if you know me, you likely know that I really and truly do not like fruit desserts much whatsoever. Especially cooked fruit. But this dessert I’m bringing tonight? A fresh peach tart. No
tainting baking of the fruit involved. Plus it involves cream cheese, which makes most things simply lovely to my tastebuds.
Inspired by this recipe, but constrained by a desire not to spend oodles of money on the deliciousness of mascarpone cheese right now, I came up with a slight variation (or two maybe). I also cut some corners on time because I tend to do that whenever possible with cooking & baking.
Following, below, is what I ended up creating and figured I may as well share my creation with you since I wrote it down anyway. 🙂 I hope you can find some juicy, plump, rosy, sugary peaches and give this a try before the end of summer really arrives. It’s just too delicious (and pretty eye-catching, to boot) to pass up!
End-of-Summer Peach Tart
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 Tblsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter. Once incorporated as you would a pie crust, add 2 egg yolks, and finally 1/4-1/3 cup of ice water.
Pull into a ball, flatten into a disk, and transfer to a cookie sheet that you’ve lightly dusted with flour. Stick the cookie sheet with dough disc into the freezer.
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
While the oven heats and the dough chills, wash up your dishes. After about ten minutes, take the dough out of the freezer, roll it out, and fit it into your tart pan. Make sure it goes up the sides, and cut off the excess. (I used the excess in a little tin pie pan and let Gabriel sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon, then we baked it for a snack.) Line the tart with foil or parchment, and fill with beans/pie weights. Bake at 375 F for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.
While the tart shell bakes, prepare the filling.
In my KitchenAid mixer, I used the whisk attachment to bring 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to peaks (they were stiffer than “soft peaks” but you want to make sure you don’t let it turn into butter). Meanwhile, as that magic happens, in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, mix together 16 oz. of softened cream cheese and 1 cup of powdered sugar until very creamy. Add 1 tsp vanilla and the zest of half a lemon, incorporating well. Once the whipping cream has peaks and the cream cheese mixture is ready, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Place that bowl in the fridge.
When the tart shell is done baking, stick it in the freezer and let it cool off (~10 minutes). While the tart shell cools off, peel, pit, and thinly slice a few peaches (I used two very large peaches; they were each nearly the size of a softball). Once your peaches are prepared and your tart shell has cooled, spoon the cream cheese mixture into the tart shell, and smooth the top with a spatula. Lay the peach slices attractively on top.
Put 1/4-1/3 cup of peach jam into a small microwavable dish. Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between (I did two 30-second increments). Once the jam is pourable, use a pastry brush to brush the peaches on top of the tart with the liquified jam.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh herbs or edible flowers, and chill for a few hours before serving.
Truly delicious, especially with a peach mojito. Oh man: end-of-summer heaven! 🙂