The people at the fruit stand are starting to know me by name. Seems like I'm there a couple of times a week, getting my fair share of cherries, plums, and by far my favourite - peaches. There's only a short window to get really really good peaches here in Sask. They're trucked in from BC, but better that than some warehouse in California, arriving under ripe, sprayed with God knows what and tasting like cardboard. No, this is the only time of year I eat fresh peaches, and I'm savouring every last drop of juice running down my chin.
Biting into a perfectly ripe peach is one of my favourite summertime activities. First I pick it up and hold it to my nose, for longer than is probably normal. Just inhaling. And inhaling again. Sometimes I'll eat one peach right after the other just because I can and no one is looking. The cats don't judge me, that's for sure. Well at least not on my copious peach consumption.
Have I ever told you about my Mom's peach pie? She makes all kinds of delicious pies, but whenever a slice of her peach pie was placed before me, it was truly an experience: buttery crust, warm and sweet peachy filling with hits of cinnamon. Lord knows I harass her every summer to make some, but she hasn't obliged in awhile (what's up with that, Mother dear?). So. It's time I take my peach pie cravings into my own hands.
These hands could have made a perfectly fine double crust peach pie, with fluted edges and the whole bit, but I wanted my peach pie without all of the drama, so I opted for more of a free form tart. (Truth: it was a Sunday and I was lazy and it was hot and I just wanted to curl up in my hammock with Rob Lowe's memoir.) Luckily I had some frozen pie dough from when I made that glorious rhubarb pie a short time ago (that was really smart of me!), so most of the work was already done. Sliced up some ripe and oh so fragrant peaches, tossed them with a little bit of sugar, bundled them up in the pastry and poured over a little dulce de leche, just because I had some in the fridge, and seriously, what could go wrong with that combo? Besides, Emily put some in her peach tart and it looks magnificent.
I purposefully stayed in my kitchen cleaning up the dishes while the tart was baking, just so I could bask in the beautiful smell seeping out of my oven. Took me back to being a kid and asking my Mom when the pie was going to be ready. Just 35 minutes is all it took. I ate a substantial slice warm, without ice cream, just because I couldn't wait (patience is not one of my virtues), but do indulge with vanilla ice cream. A short while later, for the sake of "recipe research" I had a smaller slice this time, but with a good size scoop of ice cream, and yes, it does taste as delicious as it sounds. Be sure to get your peaches before they're gone. Tell them Renee sent you.
Peach Tart with Dulce de Leche
Pastry for the tart can be found here. Roll out as you would for the bottom of a pie. Place the pastry on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
The filling is very simple. 4 peaches, peeled and sliced, tossed with 1 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Place this filling in the middle of your rolled out pastry. Gently fold in the sides. That's the great bit about it being "rustic". Anything goes. Meanwhile melt 2 heaping tbsp of Dulce de Leche, with 1 tsp of butter and pour this over the top of the peaches. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven, and bake for about 35 minutes until golden. Serve warm as is or with ice cream. Serves 4-6.