Boy, have I been homesick lately. I know that Texas is in the midst of a horrible drought and suffering from record-breaking heat, but I still miss it. I don’t need you to understand.
I know it is no surprise to any of you who read this blog to hear that I miss the food almost as much as I miss the people and places. One thing in particular that I miss is my dad’s peach tart. Made with Hill Country peaches, it is sublime. You cannot beat butter and freshly picked fruit, right? It makes the house smell wonderful when it is baking and it is a delicious finish to a summer meal. And, I know I am loved when Dad sets aside the last piece and lets me have it for breakfast the next day. It is just as good cold as it is warm. Sigh.
Here’s how to share some love in your house…I only hope you have enough to save a piece for breakfast.
Makes two tarts
Modified from Fine Cooking Magazine
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
16 Tbsp very cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup of ice water
approx. 1/4 cup brown sugar
Mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the cold butter into cubes and drop into flour mixture. Cut in with knives or pastry cutter until it resembles tiny peas. Add ice water all at once and mix just until the dough comes together. Take care not to over mix.
Gather the dough with your hands and shape into two disks and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Sometimes if the kitchen is really hot or we are in a hurry, Dad and I will cheat a bit and put the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Be careful, though. Don’t put the dough in the coldest part of the freezer or it could become tough. Just so you know, Mom thinks we are taking too great a risk with her dessert and she doesn’t like that we do this.
After the dough has chilled, roll out each disk of dough between two sheets of wax paper to about 1/8-inch thickness. Take care not to over work the dough and just remove one disk from the refrigerator at a time. You can place the rolled dough in a tart pan or just lay out on a baking sheet for a free form tart or galette.
If you go with the rustic shape, place the rolled dough on a parchment covered baking sheet. Put the fruit in the center of the dough round and fold up about 2 inches of the dough all around and pleat slightly to secure.
Slice the peaches and arrange on top of the dough in the tart pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. You may decide to use a little more or a little less.
Regardless of the shape, bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes. The formal tart needs to cool on a baking rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the tart pan ring. The galette should cool about 5 minutes, then slide off the baking sheet to cool on a rack.
Serve warm or cold.