Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rustic Peach-Blueberry Tart

Summer has arrived, and with it comes a beautiful bounty of produce. I have been waiting ever so patiently (because really, what choice did I have?!) for peach season to begin. As strawberry season was on its way out, I lamented that loss, but kept consoling myself with the fact that peaches were just around the corner. So I do not exaggerate when I say that there was much rejoicing when Branstool Orchards announce that they would be bringing peaches to the farm market this week. There may have even been clapping and high-fiving with the kids. An overly excited response? Not if you've not had the intense pleasure of biting into a Branstool peach. {swoon}

I knew that while most of those peaches were going straight from knife to belly, a couple of them would make their way into this beautifully rustic tart I saw in "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook" a couple days before. As luck would have it, some beautiful blueberries were also at the market this week, so it was sealed. As it was just the four of us, I actually halved the recipe (entire recipe given below), but added in an extra peach as the ones I used were a tad on the small-medium side. I didn't realize it as the picture was taken, but I'd actually cut right where the fold was, making the crust appear much thicker than it actually was throughout the rest of the tart. Sorry 'bout that. In most pieces, the fruit extended all the way to the edge of the crust. The sugar-crusted, flaky, cornmeal-enhanced crust.

I'll be honest: I fully expected the girls to pick out the fruit and juices and leave the crust.

But they didn't.

There was actually an "oh, this is so good" uttered while munching. And my oldest told me "While I don't like pie, I really like this." A win on so many levels.


Rustic Peach-Blueberry Tart
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • The tiniest bit of fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 recipe Cornmeal Crust, unbaked (recipe follows)
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
  • 2 tsp. vanilla sugar, or coarse sugar for crust
Put the peaches and blueberries in a medium bowl, add the granulated sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg, and toss to coat the fruit. Let the mixture macerate for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (or alternatively, roll out the dough directly on the parchment/silicon baking mat you will later transfer to the baking sheet. This is my preferred method as it saves me from transferring the dough after it's been formed. I was also light-handed with the flour, which made this work. If you are heavier-handed with flour, transfer after rolling.)

On a lightly floured work surface (or parchment/baking mat, if using), roll the dough into a 12"-in circle. Place the dough (and parchment) on the baking sheet.

Using a slotted spoon (reserve the fruit juices in the bowl), spoon the fruit into the center of the dough, leaving a 2" border all around. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, overlapping the dough as necessary, and press gently to seal the edges. Pour the reserved juices over the fruit.

Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the vanilla sugar. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve the tart warm, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Cornmeal Crust
Makes one 14" crust
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 c. ice water, plus more if necessary
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Add 1/4 c. ice water, stirring lightly with a fork until the flour is moistened, then gently knead the dough 4 to 6 times in the bowl until it comes together. You may have to add up to an additional 2 Tablespoons of water if the dough seems dry.

Shape the dough into a ball and flatten it into a thick disk. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze this dough for up to 1 month. Before using, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then let the dough cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12" circle. Bake according to instructions above.

Source: Ever so slightly adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

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