The other day, it occurred to me that a Peach Curd Tart would be perfect for the summer. The Georgia Peaches have been so good this year I have used them every way I can think of.
Many fruits can be made into a curd. The basics of curd are fruit, sugar, an acid, eggs and or yolks and butter. For the Peach Curd, I used a dry white wine which gives a more subtle taste but lemon juice can also be used.
I was surprised that it only took 2 large peaches to make more than enough puree for the Peach Curd. Several weeks ago, I posted the Dutch Peach Pie. For that recipe, I thought that peeling the peaches was best because I didn’t want them to juice a lot. However, for this recipe, I favor removing the skins by dropping the peaches in boiling water for a few minutes until the skins slip off easily. This method slightly cooks the outside of the peach and they usually will juice more.
The crust for this Peach Curd Tart is the French Pate Sucre Crust which is a somewhat sweet crust. It is easily put together in the food processor and I prefer this method as opposed to creaming the sugar and butter in a mixer as the finished pastry stays firm. However, it does soften easily due to a large amount of butter. It is easily worked by rolling between wax paper and chilling when it becomes soft. While only 1/4 inch thick after baking, this crust stayed crisp even after 4 days in the refrigerator. This is now my favorite crust for a fruit tart.
By drawing a circle on the wax paper, it is easy to roll the pastry to the correct size. Having said that I usually overshoot it slightly which is fine. It is best to have some leftover dough as the crust has a tendency to crack when fully baked. It is easy to patch when the dough comes from the oven and no one will know the difference.
After the Peach Curd has been poured into the shell, it is necessary to cover the curd by laying plastic wrap directly on top of the curd. This is a soft but stable curd as you can see. It cuts beautifully. While I didn’t try it, I can’t see why this tart couldn’t be made in its entirety and frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator.
While I chose to pipe a lattice top on my tart, you can do whatever you want.
Pate Sucre Pastry Crust
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (175 grams or 6 1/8 ounces)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces (114 grams or 4 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounces)
2 egg yolks
Have a 9”x1” tart pan with a removable bottom available.
Place the flour in the bowl of a processor. Pulse several times. Add the cold butter and process until the butter is indistinguishable. Next, add the sugar and process briefly to mix in. Finally, add the yolks and process until the crust comes together.
Shape it into a disc about 1” thick. If it is soft, wrap it in film and place it in the refrigerator to firm up. It may also be made several days ahead. Let it sit at room temperature to soften slightly before rolling.
On a piece of wax paper at least 15” long, draw an 11” circle in the middle of the paper. I used a dinner plate the right size. Turn it upside down so the marking is on the bottom. Place the dough in the center of the circle. Tear off another piece of paper the same size and cover the dough. Roll the dough from the middle outward to fill the circle. If it extends over slightly that is fine. If the paper wrinkles underneath, turn the wax paper sandwich over so the bottom is on top and gently remove the wax paper. Replace it over the dough and smooth it out. Continue rolling.
Mark the circle lightly into the pastry with the back of a table knife through the paper. If the dough is soft, refrigerate it briefly. Remove the top piece of wax paper and cut the excess dough away. Chill if the pastry is really soft.
Holding the paper by the edge pastry side down, center the dough over the tin. Let it sit there for a few minutes if really cold.Then press it into the shell making sure the edges are pressed into the sides and the bottom edge is at a 90° angle. If the dough is soft, refrigerate or freeze briefly to firm up. Remove the paper. There will be some overhanging dough. Turn it inward and press it into the sides of the pan. Trim any remaining dough from the top edge of the tart. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
About halfway through chilling, preheat the oven to 375°F. Tear a piece of foil about 13 inches long and spray one side of it with a baking release. When the pastry is firm, line with the foil, spray side down. Place the pan on a baking sheet and fill the pan to the top with pie weights or with beans.
Bake for 25 minutes, remove the weights carefully by grasping all four corners of the foil and lifting out. Return the crust to the oven and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more until completely baked. If the crust cracks pinch off a small piece of the reserved unbaked dough and cover the crack. Smooth it out using a pointed offset spatula. Cool completely.
1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
12 ounces fresh ripe peaches (340 grams or 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams or 3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup dry white wine or lemon juice
5 egg yolks (85 grams or 3 ounces)
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (4 ounces or 114 grams)
Dissolve gelatin in the water. Set aside.
Place peaches in boiling water for several minutes until the skins will slip off easily. Run under cold water and skin peaches. Remove the pits. Puree the peaches in a blender or food processor. Add the sugar, wine or lemon juice, and yolks. Process to blend.
Place in the top of a double boiler. Add the butter. Place over hot water and, stirring constantly, bring to 172 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from over the water. Tear the gelatin, which will have become a semi-solid blob, into pieces and add it to the hot liquid. Whisk into the Peach Curd.
Immediately, pour it into the baked crust, cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about six hours or overnight until set.
Lattice Topping for the Peach Curd Tart
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 to 13 powdered sugar (30 to 45 grams or 1 to 1 1/2 ounces)
Place the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until stiff.
Fit a piping bag with a #2 open star tip and pipe straight lines across the tart about 1” apart and 1/2 ” from the edge of the tart.Turn the tart 90° and pipe straight lines on the diagonal. Finish the edge of the Peach Curd Tart with a ribbon of whipped cream.
Yield: One 9” tart. Store in the refrigerator.