Finally. Summer has finally begun. The sun is out and at last the temperatures have climbed above seventy degrees. And, even better, stone fruits have arrived! Peaches and nectarines have to be two of my favorite aspects of summer, especially when it means coming up with new ways to use them in baked goods. And this year, first up is the peach. Peach pie is certainly an extremely popular summer treat, but I wanted to try something a little different. And this was the result. The incredibly delicious result.
This recipe comes from one of my very favorite baking books, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. Originally made with pear, I adapted the recipe to feature the newly arrived peaches in my area. And it just so happened to be the perfect means of showing off the delicious summer fruit.
In this dessert, the naturally sweet and fresh-tasting peaches are complemented by a buttery rich and extremely flavorful almond filling. Soft and custard-like near the center but puffed and crackly at the edges, this tart offers a great textural complexity. And this complexity is only perfected by the delectable crisp butter shortbread crust that lies beneath. Then again, what else can you expect of a crust from Annalise Roberts? Nothing short of wonderful.
As for taste, the sweet almond-paste-like filling paired with fresh peach is simply amazing. And the appearance? Stunning. Delicate slices seem extremely elegant even though, in actuality, this dessert is fairly simple to prepare. But we won’t tell anyone.
This tart is delightful simply on its own, but a dusting of powdered sugar adds to the overall “stun factor,” and I know that a dollop of whipped cream would also be an equally wonderful finish, if you so desire. And if you prefer a different type of fruit, I am sure that this tart would be equally delicious with a variety of different subjects: pear, apricot, or nectarine, you are truly only limited by your imagination.
Really, you must try this tart to truly appreciate its deliciousness. There are some things that simply cannot be described, they must be experienced. This dessert is one of them. So grab your baking implements and some fresh ripe fruit, and welcome to summer!
1 cup GF Flour Mix*
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
5 tablespoons cold butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons GF Flour Mix*
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 fresh peaches, sliced thin
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9-inch tart pan and generously dust with rice flour.
Combine GF flour, sugar, and xanthan gum in the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor. Add butter and mix on low (or pulse) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add vanilla and mix well until crust easily holds together when pinched.
Press into bottom and up sides of tart pan. Bake in center of oven for approximately 12 minutes. Remove crust and let cool, but keep oven on.
For the Filling:
Put the butter and sugar in a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the ground almonds and process until well-blended. Add the GF flour and cornstarch and process to blend, then add the egg. Process for about 15 seconds more, or until the almond cream is homogeneous. Add the vanilla and process just to blend. (Alternatively, this filling can also be made using a whisk and stand mixer, or even a hand mixer). At this point, the filling can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, fill the prebaked crust with almond cream, spreading it evenly with a knife or offset spatula. Pat the fresh peaches dry with a paper towel to get rid off excess moisture. Place peach slices decoratively on top of almond cream.
Bake the tart for 50 to 60 minutes in 350 F oven, or until almond cream puffs up and browns. Transfer tart to a rack to cool completely before removing the sides of the pan.
*GF Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch