Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rustic Fresh Peach Tart with Cornmeal Crust

Lee had a gig the other day at a "fall festival" called the Pumpkin Extravaganza, where they had a petting zoo, a few carnival rides (a blues band...natch!  ~Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps Click here for more info on this fabulous blues band!~ ) and lots of fresh produce. Lee loves peaches and brought home a bag full. So, you know what you do when you have peaches? You make a tart! 

I felt a little adventurous so I decided to make a crust with a bit of cornmeal and added some fresh lemon zest and a tiny bit of vanilla extract to the peach mixture. The total combination was divine.

Ingredients for crust~
1 C flour (plus a little more for work surface)
1/4 C fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 TBL ice water (or up to 4, depending on humidity)

Ingredients for filling~
5-6 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into thick slices
1/2 C sugar
1 TBL flour
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg mixed with 1 tsp water (for egg wash)


1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt several times to mix.  Take off the lid and throw in the butter. Pulse until the mixture becomes like coarse meal with tiny lumps of butter in it, the size of peas. 

2. Add 2 TBL of ice water and then pulse again, just a few times. The mixture should look crumbly, but holds together when you squeeze it. It may take up to 2 more TBL of water, depending on the humidity, but start with two.

3. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on your work surface, then gently dump the mixture onto the plastic. Push the dough together, and knead it GENTLY, only a few times. Then form it into a disc and wrap it up with the plastic. Put the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  Cook's note: you have two choices when baking this tart:

  a). Line a baking sheet with foil and roll the dough on parchment paper with flour. Transfer the parchment to the foil lined sheet. I've used this method many times and it works just fine.


  b). Get a SILPAT. These mats were developed in France and can take super-high temps and NOTHING sticks to them!  Here's a link:

The juices from the tart may ooze out and if your baking sheet isn't lined with something, get ready to throw it away because the juices will become melded to the sheet. Trust me on this one. 

4. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm slightly for about 5 minutes before rolling. Flour the parchment or silpat mat. Lightly flour the top of the dough and roll out by rolling and turning, rolling and turning (1/4 turn every time) to a 14 inch circle. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet (still on the parchment or silpat).

I took this picture before I had completely rolled out the dough. It needs to be a 14 inch circle.

5. Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, toss together the peaches, sugar, flour, zest and vanilla. Mound the fruit mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a 2 inc border all around. Fold the border dough over fruit in a pleated pattern (no need to be exact here!).  Brush the edges lightly, with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little more sugar.

No need to be fancy here...

Then slide the whole dang deal onto the baking sheet.

6. Bake until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack; let cool 20 minutes. 

Slice, serve with vanilla ice cream and ENJOY!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the recipe, I made it for my father in law's b-day and everyone raved for ten minutes straight. I appreciate the post!