What's For Dessert: Fresh Peach Tart

Let's take a quick break from all my garden and tomato talk with this delightful peach tart, shall we? D picked up a bagful of tennis-ball-sized peaches from our parking-lot produce guy the other day. I tossed around the idea of doing a cobbler or crumble, but in the end, figured it was about time I attempted to make a tart.

Of course, given my pastry-dough phobia, I opted for a recipe that used a pat-in crust rather than one that required rolling out. One of these days I will be less intimidated by pastry dough, but this past Sunday was not that day.

The original recipe instructions warn bakers to not overmix the dough; I think I might have mixed it a bit too much as it was a bit crumbly on the edges going in, and remained quite crumbly after baking. The crumbliness had no affect on the taste however -- the crust is light in texture and the almond flavor shines through. 

The addition of a crumble on top -- which melts into the peaches as the tart bakes -- adds a bit of sweetness and the addition of flour helps to soak up any extra juiciness so the tart shell doesn't get soggy. I couldn't help but add in a little spice and added a dash of my favorite three -- cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. 

The resulting tart tastes like a slice of summer. And of course, it wouldn't be summer without a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

makes one 11-inch tart

For the pastry:
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons organic skim milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 5 small ripe peaches, pitted and sliced (about 1/4 to 1/2-inch wide)

For the crumble topping:
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oils, milk, and almond extract. Pour the oil mixture into the flour mixture and use a fork to mix together. The dough should be just dampened; don't overmix.
4. Spoon the dough into the tart pan and use the pads of your fingers to pat the dough into the pan, covering the bottom and sides in a thin layer. 
5. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add the butter cubes and use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles pebble-sized (and smaller) crumbles. 
6. Starting on the outer edge, arrange the peaches in an overlapping circle over the pastry. I filled the center with peaches going the opposite direction; use whatever pattern is pleasing to you. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over top the peaches. 
7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Remove the tart from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Remove the tart from the pan (carefully!) and serve warm or at room temperature. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side is always a good idea. 

(adapted from this Food52 recipe)