Last Peaches of Summer

30 09 2014
mmm...peaches!

mmm…peaches!

There is nothing like a fresh, juicy peach in the tail end of summer, especially one from Georgia! I ended up in late August with a whole bag of them and, being on an “afternoon tea” kick (obsessed with all treats little and delicious), I got this craving for peach tarts. Now, peaches are fine on their own, but every now and then it’s fun to do something different.

Never having made tarts before, I pieced together different recipes.

Pre-made crust sounded much easier than from scratch. I ended up with this graham crust – the only kind of this size Publix seemed to offer. Now, this wasn’t bad; the taste was fine. But the graham crumbled apart super easily, so I had to leave the tarts in the tins.

peach tarts2

I really like the fruit tarts at Le Croissant Gourmet in Winter Park, so instead of the easier marscapone no-bake filling, I opted for a custard/pastry cream recipe. Seemed more authentic to me. You have to boil milk (2 cups) and sugar (1/4 cup), and separately whisk an egg and 2 egg yolks – then add 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch (for thickening) to the eggs. Then you combine both, mixing (so the hot egg won’t cook), and then pour back into a pan and cook over the stove. The whole time you’re at a low boil and stirring. Eventually it turns into this disgustingly gloppy stuff, but apparently that means your doing it right. You take it off the heat and add a bit of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring until it’s mixed in. Personally, I don’t know about the butter. I feel like it might not be necessary. Then the extra weird part is, when you put it all into a container to chill in the fridge, you put plastic wrap on top – and pat it down so it touches the gloppy stuff.

And that’s more than the average person ever wanted to hear about custard.

pressing the wrap to the custard stuff - ick

pressing the wrap to the custard stuff – ick

From that point, it was easy. You just spoon the custard stuff into the pastry shells and top with fruit. I tried some with the peaches peeled and some not. Taste is the same, though with peel is harder to cut if you need to eat in in multiple bites (like these.)

filling the shells...

filling the shells…

making glaze

making glaze

You could be done there, I guess, but to really be official, make a glaze – this makes it glossy and sort of seals things in. I used 1 tablespoon of water and 1/2 cup of peach jam/preserves – mix that over a stove for a bit. Voila!

pretty completed tart on the left, 3 more to glaze! :)

pretty completed tart on the left, 3 more to glaze! 🙂

fluffy, rich, and delicious!

fluffy, rich, and delicious!

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