‘No Time’ Summer Peach Tart

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If you haven’t yet visited Food52’s website, you’re in for an appetite-inducing good time. Food52 is a one-stop online wonderland of recipes and cooking tips. As a devoted Instagram follower, Food52’s photo feed never fails to inspire me to cook or bake when I have time or make me infinitely jealous of those who have time to cook or bake when I don’t. After trying several baked good recipes from Food52’s website last year, I made the wise decision to invest in their Baking Cookbook, a compendium of easy-to-create, mostly sweet, treats.

Since then I’ve created numerous dessert concoctions from the cookbook and have been so pleased with the recipes’ results that I’ve gifted copies of the cookbook to friends, too. I want everyone to get in on these desserts. (Their Cream Cheese Cookies call for five ingredients and little of your time but deliver melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.)

And if you’re always short on free time like me, five ingredient, minimal prep recipes are a wonder. In an ideal world, cooking helps me slow down and be mindful of the recipe’s steps. I do not live in an ideal baking world right now, so fast prep and excellent results are at the top of my list when it comes to selecting recipe experiments.

Below you’ll find my slightly adapted version of Food52 Baking’s Peach Tart. August is peach overload in Colorado. Thanks to good growing conditions along the state’s Western Slope, I get to enjoy ripe peaches for a fraction of the price paid during other times of year here. At $0.77 a pound, I made off with a big bag of peaches from the grocery store with this recipe in mind. As soon as Alice was down for a nap, I got busy in the kitchen.

The result? A lightly sweetened crust with a cookie-like texture and a tender fruit filling that comes from a slow bake time. I highly recommend trying this recipe. If you’re not a fan of peaches, another ripe stone fruit like plums or nectarines will yield similar results. I meant to bring this to work to share last week, but it never made it out of the house. Sorry, work friends!

 Peach Tart
Image by author.

Peach Tart
(adapted from a Food52 Baking Cookbook recipe)
Makes One 11″ tart

Ingredients
Crust
– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 1/4 cup mild olive oil
– 2 TBS whole milk or half-and-half
– 1/2 tsp almond extract

Filling
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3 to 4 TBS all-purpose flour
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 2 TBS cold, unsalted butter
– 4 medium ripe peaches, pitted and thickly sliced (about 1/2-inch wide)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. In a small bowl, whisk the oils, milk, and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it.

2. Then, transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan (you can use a smaller one if needed). Pinch off pieces of the dough and use them to cover the sides of the pan first. Then pat out the rest of the down so it covers bottom of the pan and meets the dough on the pan’s sides. It should be about 1/8-inch thick all around.

3. In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 TBS flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and the butter. (If your peaches are especially juicy, add 1 TBS additional flour.) Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, with a mixture of fine grains and tiny pebbles.

4. Starting on the outside, arrange the peaches overlapping in a concentric circle over the pastry; fill in the center in whatever pattern makes sense. The peaches should fit snugly. Sprinkle the pebbly butter mixture over top.

5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature. We ate ours plain, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream would also be a good move.

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