25 September 2009
Almond Peach Tart (in easy steps)
I was sitting in the park babysitting the other day and trying to finish reading a sentence in my book with very little success. It was then that I gave myself an important piece of advice: Hope, I said, get your reading done in your twenties. The thing is, the girl I babysit for is adorable, well-behaved and 8-years-old, so pretty independent when it comes to running around the park with her friends, but keeping on eye on children is simply not conducive to reading Proust. You start a sentence and then half a page later, amid a myriad of subordinate clauses, dashes and parenthesis (MP loves parenthesis), you're desperately trying to hold on to the subject of the sentence and then all of sudden it's "can I have a drink of water?", "look how high I can climb on the jungle gym!" or "Max won't let me play with him..."
If I ever have children, it's not like I'll give up reading - I couldn't - but I won't be reading Proust, just like I probably won't be making slow-cooked mutton with honey and almonds, or homemade Foccacia. Of course it's not just children that keep one from getting things done. I rarely have time for a time-consuming kitchen project even now.
This peach tart, however, is perfect because you can make it in short steps in between running around doing other things. (To make it kid-friendly, you can cook the peaches in butter instead of in wine.) I made the poached peaches, pie crust and ground the flour/almond mixture one day, stuck them in the fridge and finished the tart the next day.
5 peaches (yellow or white)
3/4 cup muscat or other white dessert wine
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp + 1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp white sugar
3 Tbsp brown sugar
Score the peaches and drop in boiling water for 15-2o seconds. Plunge immediately into ice water so they stop cooking. Peel and cut into slices.
In a large frying pan, mix the muscat, lemon juice and sugar with the peach slices and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer 7-10 minutes. (You can keep this mixture in the fridge for a day or two before making into a tart.)
Drain peaches, reserving the juice. Pour the peach/muscat liquid into a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC, roll out your homemade pie crust (or pull out your favorite store bought) and bake crust for about 20 minutes. In a mixer, grind 3 Tbsp of sliced almonds with the flour and white sugar. Line the bottom of the crust with mixture and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and add the peaches, pouring the reduced liquid over them, and sprinkle 1/4 cup of almonds and 3 Tbsp brown sugar on top.
Broil for 3 minutes or until almonds start to brown. Let sit at least 10-15 minutes before serving (if you can!).