June 14, 2011

My Favorite Tarte

This is for all of those Tarte Tatin lovers out there. If you're like me, you're no fan of making things off-season. In other words, since it's not December, your not munching on clementines right now. A few summers ago, I was in the country and came across the most divine peaches. I knew exactly what I wanted to do the moment I saw them. 

The most classic French Tarte Tatin is made by nestling apples in buttery caramel, covering them with pastry, and baking. My Tarte Peche does the same exact thing. Of course, I simplify things and avoid slicing the peaches. Two reasons for that... 1) it saves sanity and time, and 2) peaches are soft, they would disintegrate if you tried. Once or twice I've added some candied nuts or drizzled on some caramel, but other than some vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche, you don't need a thing.

Tarte Peche
4 ripe peaches (do your best to get them perfectly ripe, too soft and they fall apart, too hard and the flavor isn't there)
1/4 cup butter, (half stick, 4 tbs) unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (1/3 cup if you like things a little sweeter)
2 tbs white sugar (again, 3 if you like things a little sweeter)
1 tbs vanilla extract (you could also use brandy or even a peach flavored liquor)
Egg wash (1 cracked egg, whisked with 1 tbs water)
Pate Sucree (nothing wrong with buying it at the supermarket instead of making it at home! Just make sure you get the kind you can unroll and not the one that already comes in a tin)

-Preheat oven to 375.
-Slice around each peach and carefully pull apart from the pit. Remove pit from peach half. If it's being stubborn, use a small spoon, melon baller, or even a grapefruit spoon to remove. Try to not remove too much flesh, though. 
-In an oven-proof, non-stick pan, melt the butter. Add brown sugar and vanilla, and heat until bubbling. Add the peach halves cut-side down into the sugar. Place in a circle, with one half in the center. Let cook in the pan until just the edges of the peach halves get a good, dark brown, caramelized color.
-Turn off the heat and place the dough directly on top of peaches. Using a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula, tuck the extra dough around the edge of peaches. This does not need to be perfect. Brush the back of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle on the white sugar. This helps with the stability and structure of the tart, as well as taste.
-Place pan in oven for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the dough is cooked and golden brown.
-Immediately, while the sugar is still warm and hasn't hardened, flip the tart onto a serving platter. If an errant peach half sticks to the pan, simply pry it off and place it in its appropriate spot. Let cool, then cut and serve. 


  1. Wow! This looks unbelievably delicious, Duchess! I must try making it this summer.

  2. So classic and elegant. Looks delicious.

  3. Oh my goodness, Duchess, this recipe literally makes me swoon. How brilliant of you NOT to slice the peaches. You just made me a happy camper. :-)