"You're a peach!"
And, all you fellow English majors out there – comment below to identify this line from one of my favorite poems:
"Do I dare to eat a peach?"
I do! I do!
As fresh peach season creeps up the East Coast, from Georgia to South Carolina to Pennsylvania to New York, and soon to New England, I'm digging out my peach recipes.
Like cobbler and crisp and shortcake; and (drum roll, please) one of summer's ephemeral luxuries, peach pie.
Or in this case, a rustic peach tart.
With raspberries. Just because I can.
Much as I love simply biting into a fresh peach – and yes, when you get a good one, all of those clichés about peach juice dripping down your arm are absolutely true – I love even more lightly sweetened warm peaches nestled in a golden crust, redolent of cinnamon, just begging for a generous application of vanilla ice cream. Homemade, of course.
First off, if you don't know the secret to peeling peaches so they're smooth as a – well, smooth as a perfectly peeled peach – take a look at this:
How to peel a peach perfectly – no knife needed.
I've riffed on our original Rustic Peach Tart recipe, adding more raspberries, plus cinnamon, almond extract, lemon juice... changing the thickener... lowering the sugar... Feel free to toe the line and follow the original, or come along with me as I break the rules (as often happens).
First, make a batch of your favorite pie crust. You need one crust, but it has to be a substantial one; bank on using at least 1 1/4 cups flour in your single crust.
I'm partial to our Classic Double Pie Crust. I just went ahead and made the entire recipe, then used half, and froze half for another pie day.
Wrap the single crust you're going to use, and chill it for 30 minutes.
Roll the chilled crust into a 13" to 14" round, and center it in a 9" pie pan.
Pretty ragged, eh?
THAT'S OK, IT'S RUSTIC! The word "rustic" covers all kinds of less-than-perfect baking outcomes.
Start preheating your oven to 450°F.
Next, the filling. Here's what I used:
4 to 5 large ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (about 5 to 6 cups sliced peaches); use 2 pounds frozen/thawed sliced peaches, if you like
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Pie Filling Enhancer
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
Pie Filling Enhancer is my personal favorite fruit pie thickener, but feel free to substitute your own favorite. Our blog post on thickening fruit pies offers our thickener test results, and interesting information on this subject in general.
Mix everything together, using 1/2 cup of the raspberries.
Spoon the filling into the crust. Fold the crust up and over the filling; it will only cover it partway.
Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.
Bake the tart for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Remove it from the oven, and stir 1/2 cup of the raspberries into the hot filling. Place the remaining 1/2 cup raspberries on top, pressing them in gently.
So, what's with all this extra raspberry stuff? Why not just mix them all in right up front?
Because raspberries are super-delicate, and fall to pieces as they bake. By the same token, they're perfect just gently warmed; they retain their shape and flavor, melding nicely with the rest of the filling.
The result –
One totally awesome salute to peach season!
Once again, here's my favorite Classic Double Pie Crust recipe. As you can see, it makes a lovely crust for this tart.