Rustic Peach Tart
I have this fantasy that I should be able to create beautiful things effortlessly. Why? Because that’s how everyone else does it of course! Things that look effortless but aren’t really, at least not for me, perplex me. Frozen puff pastry is one good example. I’ve bought puff pastry and put it in my freezer several times and brought it out to thaw with hopes of creating delicious beautiful desserts. But I have this fear of rolling it. I keep thinking of like biscuit dough and I probably shouldn’t mess with it too much. Or if I keep rolling it I’m going to roll away the layers of puff from the dough – so I end up either being afraid or in a hurry and it just doesn’t turn out. Generally I’m usually not pleased.. But hope springs eternal- I did it again. I brought home the best puff pastry I could find at Whole Foods Market -put it in the refrigerator to thaw and got to work on some beautiful fresh peaches that I bought at the farmers market earlier.
The whole idea behind a rustic tart is its free-form easy effortless construction. Anybody can make a rustic tart right? Especially if they’re going to use pre-made pastry. I cleaned and scored the peaches. Once I dipped them in hot water they peeled easily. Freestone peaches are lovely to work with- these split in half easily and the seeds came out clean. I gave them a rough chop and threw them in a pan with some cane sugar from Mexico and a squeeze of lemon. I also mixed in a couple of tablespoons of a delicious raspberry freezer jam that I made a couple weeks ago to add some tartness. Lastly, there were a few nectarines that needed to be used up so I chopped them and gave them to the pan as well. I let the jam cook down on medium high heat for 20 minutes or so. Afterwards I put it into a bowl and slipped it into the freezer to cool down. Now for the pastry.
The whole idea behind the rustic tart is its freeform easy effortless construction. Anyone can make a rustic tart right? especially if they’re going to use pre-made pastry! I took the thawed pastry out of the packaging and unfolded on to a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. It immediately cracked. (of course!) I smooshed the cracked edges back together and rolled it out some. I feel like maybe not enough, it may have been too much frankly I don’t know. It fit into a half sheet pan. I brushed the pastry with a bit of an egg yolk mixed with water and placed the cooled peach jam in the center of the puff pastry. I brought the edges of the pastry in toward the center and cut some of the corners off. Some of the corners I tucked under. Some of the corners I just left as they were. (see what i mean?) Of course the filling started leaking out immediately. This was not the glamorous effortless experience I was looking for. All of my fears and insecurities realized right here in front of me. I try to stop the leak as best that I could, and sliced a few beautiful perfect peach slices to lay on top of the jam for nice presentation. I brushed the whole thing with the egg mixture and sprinkled raw sugar over the top. I put the completed tart in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then into a 400° oven for about 20 minutes. I took the oven down to 350 and gave it another 15 or 20 minutes
Instead of whipped cream I had some ice cream on hand that I’d made last week. It’s a lovely vanilla bean and bourbon that complements the peaches perfectly. The tart tasted great when it was warm. But I’m not very happy with the pastry on bottom. Maybe that’s just the nature of puff. Maybe it was the leaky juices, maybe I undercooked it? The bottom seemed hard but not really cooked. Do you have experience with puff pastry? Did you have a beautiful effortless experience? If so please give me your feedback in the comments. I want it too!