I couldn't agree more with Anna Pump, author of this week's Cook the Book selection, Summer on a Plate, who believes that "sweets are an essential part of the day...if you serve a fabulous, knockout dessert, chances are your guests may not remember what they had for dinner. Desserts always bring smiles to the table, and no matter how full people claim they are, there always seems to be just a little bit of special space left over."
Today’s recipe is for a classic fresh peach tart. A simple, butter cookie crust is par-baked and then spread with apricot preserves; filled with juicy, sliced peaches; and scattered with crunchy almonds. Anna suggests serving the tart with ice cream or whipped cream. I think it would also be divine with strawberry sorbet.
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Peach Tart with Almond Topping and a Cookie Crust
- For the crust
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup very cold water
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling
- 1/3 cup apricot preserves
- 7 peaches (about 2 pounds) peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
To make the crust, place the flour, sugar, and butter in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse the mixture four times. Add the egg yolk and, with the motor running, pour the water into the feed tube. Process until the dough starts to cling together.
Transfer the dough to a countertop and gather it into a ball. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or longer.
Brush the melted butter onto the bottom and sides of a nine-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Fit into tart pan, pressing dough over the bottom and up the sides. Freeze the tart shell 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
From freezer to oven, bake the shell 15 minutes.
Spread the apricot preserves with a brush over the bottom of the baked crust. Arrange the peaches evenly over the preserves. Dot with the softened butter. Scatter the almonds over the top. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together and sprinkle it over the tart. Bake 45 mintes. Cool.