Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tarte aux pêches (Julia's way then mine)

Here's a great little tribute to Julia, and her peach (or apricot) tart (MAFC I p. 639), written just after her death for the Washington Post. I have simplified it just a bit to get it in the oven in 10 minutes flat, but I think it's almost as good. And then I add a recipe, just as fast, that is, in my experience, more typical of French cooking, with custard.

For 6 people
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

9-inch pastry round (such as Pepperidge Farms)
8 to 10 fresh apricots or 3 to 4 freestone peaches
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pea-sized dots
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup apricot preserves
  1. Halve and remove the pits from the peaches. Cut the halves into slices.
  2. Fit the prepared pastry into a fluted pastry pan with a removable bottom.
  3. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar in the bottom of the pastry shell.
  4. Place the peach slices in concentric circles, close together in the shell.
  5. Sprinkle on the rest of the sugar. Dot with the butter.
  6. Bake in the middle level of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit has colored lightly and the juices have become syrupy.
  7. Meanwhile, microwave the apricot preserves and 2 tablespoons of sugar for one minute. Set aside
  8. Slip the tart onto a rack. Decorate with the slivered almonds, and spread on the apricot glaze.

And here's one with a custard, the way you see it in French pastry shops--and almost as pretty.

Tarte aux pêches et amandes

Serves 6-8

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

1 round of pastry for a 9 inch pie pan
1/2 cup pulverized blanched almonds (4 ounces in a food processor with 1 tablespoon sugar)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
2 eggs
  1. Lay the pastry over a 9 inch fluted tart shell with a removable bottom and crimp the edges.
  2. Halve and remove the pits from three or four ripe peaches and arrange them tightly in the shell, cut side down.
  3. Combine the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a wire whip until blended.
  4. Pour the mixture over the peaches, pushing it off the tops of the peaches.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden, the custard is golden in places, and set.
  6. Let cool for an hour on a rack. Remove the tart by carefully pushing it up from the bottom.

All these very French, very easy peach tarts have almond powder. 10 minutes with a prepared crust and don't peel the peaches.

Much the same thing from Marmiton, with cream (not fraiche) and diced peaches.

Another similar: great photos

Maizena is cornstarch!

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