Monday, July 13, 2009

Easy Peach Shortbread Tart

I am doing a little private cooking gig for a friend of mine of Wednesday night. She requested a peach shortbread and I found this great recipe, but I had to test it out first, which I did yesterday. This is delicious. The crust is buttery and crumbly. I know I just made peach crisp, but peach season doesn't last long, so you gotta take advantage. I think peach desserts are quickly becoming my favorite. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get a slice.

Ingredients:
Makes one 9-inch tart
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks (reserve the whites for egg wash)
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
2 pounds fresh peaches, not too soft, ripe but firm (about 4 peaches)
2 tablespoons dark rum (I actually left this out because I didn't have it on hand and didn't feel like buying any. Tart was still great, but by all means use it.)
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sanding or coarse sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the pan by lining a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with a parchment or waxed-paper circle. Lightly butter or spray with vegetable cooking spray, the sides of the pan and the parchment. Set aside.

2. To make the dough: In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with the sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides, then add the vanilla and the egg yolks one at a time, beating a few seconds after each one. Beat until smooth and light, about 1 minute. Add the flour in 2 parts, mixing on low until just combined but not overmixed. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Place half of the dough into the prepared pan and press it out evenly on the bottom and up 1 inch on the sides. Cover the pan and remaining dough with plastic wrap and set aside. (I recommend using a little more than half for the bottom crust. I felt the top crust was a little too thick. It's better if the bottom crust is thicker.)

3. To make the filling: Peel peaches by using the blanching method. Bring a large pot of water to a heavy rapid boil over high heat, and then add peaches. Let peaches stand in the water for 30-45 seconds then transfer immediately with a slotted spoon into a large bowl of ice water. Let sit in the ice water for 5 minutes or until chilled. Remove from ice water.

4. Cut peaches into large wedges and peel the skins off, they should remove easily. In a bowl, toss the peaches with the rum. Combine the flour and sugar in a small bowl and toss in with the peaches, coating well. Pile fruit into the dough-lined springform pan.

5. For the egg wash, whip the reserved egg whites in a small bowl until slightly frothy. Set aside.

6. On a lightly floured surface, such as a cardboard disc or big piece of plastic wrap, press out the remaining piece of dough to 9 or 10 inches diameter. Slide it onto the filling and press it into place. This top crust should fit just inside the dough that extends up the sides of the pan and come all the way to its edges. Carefully seal the seam where the top joins the side dough, making sure the edges are straight and even.

Then brush the top lightly with the egg wash and poke the top with a fork in 5 places. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

7. Bake in preheated oven about 55-60 minutes or until golden brown and filling is bubbling out a bit. Then cool to room temperature before removing the sides. You may want to run a knife along the sides before unmolding. (Be sure that the parchment paper is not stuck on the tart when serving.)

8. To serve: Top tart, warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream, vanilla or peach ice cream, if desired.

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