Vanilla Poached White Peach Tart

27 July 2007

Although I love making puff pastry (or croissants for that matter), I tend to struggle to find the patience for it – I don’t mind doing a lot of work in one go, but I often get bored when it comes to the lengthy waits involved… So I need to be in the right mood to get started, but it makes it all feel worthwhile when I taste the hot, buttery, flaky pastry fresh from the oven – it’s such a rewarding moment :)

I had bookmarked some of the dishes from Essence by David Everitt-Matthias – a beautiful book with many interesting recipes. (Although I must say that there are quite a few ingredients you can’t easily find even in the UK. Oh and Joycelyn created a gorgeous chocolate délice from this book here) I wanted to use the puff pastry for his fig tatin with browned butter ice-cream and burnt orange syrup – and I have tried making it – the browned butter ice-cream was delicious, the caramel and rich butter flavour was somewhat addictive and it certainly made me hopeful for the final dessert. Then I made the fig tatin – when I peered into the oven, the rich caramel bubbling down from the side of the ramekins, looked enticing and smelt lovely. But when I actually tasted it, my initial thought was just ‘OK’... maybe my execution wasn’t good enough, but I wasn’t that mad about it, especially the slightly soggy texture.

I still had some pastry dough left, so I moved onto a simpler recipe using my all time favourite fruit, peaches. I adapted a tart recipe that I found in Elle à Table Japan (issue 32) and I was happy with the result, another summery dessert for our non-summer here in the UK…!

I made a similar peach tart last summer – in that recipe, peaches are poached in spicy syrup and baked with the pastry. I love both of of them, but this one is slightly ‘juicier’ especially if you serve the peaches in halves (pictured above) rather than smaller slices.

For the pastry cream, I added some crème fraîche into the custard this time, but you can serve as it is if you would rather, or add mascarpone, ricotta etc. You can use other stone fruit instead of peaches too. For the pastry, make sure to use best quality butter you can find. If your dough gets too soft to handle, don’t carry on, you don’t want the butter to melt out of the pastry – chill in the fridge for a while before continuing. I adapted the pastry recipe from the Eric Kayser book – I’ve tried some other tarts from this book and they have turned out lovely. I’ll try to write more next time.

Vanilla poached white peach tart

For the puff pastry

240g unsalted butter
100ml water
1 tsp white wine vinegar
250g plain flour
1 tsp sea salt

For the peaches

4-5 white peaches
180g caster sugar
150ml white wine
150ml rosé wine
1 vanilla pod (cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out)
200ml water

For the pastry cream

200ml milk
50g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod (cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out)
2 egg yolks
10g plain flour
10g corn flour
Crème fraîche

For the puff pastry, melt 50g of the butter and cool. In a food processor, sieve in the flour, salt, melted butter, vinegar and water then mix thoroughly (but don’t overmix it). Roughly shape into a rectangular block, cover with cling film and rest for an hour or so in the fridge (or you can leave overnight).

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle (about 7-8 mm thick). Place the remaining butter between two sheets of greaseproof paper and roll into a rectangle slightly smaller than two thirds of the dough. Place the butter on the dough, leaving one third of the dough free; fold this third onto the butter, and fold the other end of the dough (with the butter) on top. Be sure all the edges are sealed and that the butter is completely enclosed.

Roll the dough out into a long strip of about 7-8 mm thickness. As before, fold one third of the strip into the middle, then the other end on top of that. Roll into a strip again, at 90 degrees to the original strip; fold again as above and cover with cling film then chill for an hour.

Repeat the above procedure twice more, so that the pastry has been rolled and folded a total of six times. The pastry is now ready (after chilling another hour) to roll out and use as you need to (you can freeze this for later use).

For the poached peaches, place the sugar, both types of wine, vanilla seeds (with pod) and water in a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes on a gentle heat.

Cut a small cross in the bottom the peaches and cook in the syrup for 7-8 minutes, making sure to turn them so they cook evenly. Take out the peaches from the pan, and peel the skins when cool. Simmer the syrup down to two thirds of its original volume.

For the pastry cream, place the milk, half the sugar and vanilla seeds (with pod) in a pan then bring to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar in a bowl, then sieve both types of flour into the yolk mixture and lightly mix.

Take the vanilla pod out from the pan and pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture (keep stirring!). Sieve this custard back into the pan and put on a medium-high heat, constantly stirring until it thickens enough to bubble (it’s important to do this quickly, if you cook the mixture too long the gluten becomes too thick). Remove from the heat and place the pan into the ice-cold water to stop it cooking further.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Roll the pastry on a floured surface to a thickness of 2-3 mm (always make sure to use as little flour as possible), rest for a half an hour in the fridge.

Cut into your desired shapes (I used shallow round tart cases this time). Cut some baking paper to fit the bases of the tarts and weigh down with ceramic baking beans to stop the base rising.

Bake for about 10 minutes, carefully remove the baking paper (and beans) then bake another 6-7 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Mix some crème fraîche into the custard. Spoon into the tart cases, place the peaches on top, then pour over the wine syrup. Serve immediately.

Food - Sweet        33 comments    Permalink

  • Peaches are at their height here, so this post is just the ticket.

    Posted by tut-tut | 27 July 2007 #
  • Keiko I admire anyone who makes their own puff pastry.I have made it only once in Home Economics class when at school. The poached white peaches look wonderful.

    Posted by Barbara | 27 July 2007 #
  • Dear Keiko, Your pictures make it seem like you’re having a beautiful summer over there :) I particularly love the image of the tart with the dot of glistening wine syrup on its plate.
    Utterly divine!

    Posted by S | 27 July 2007 #
  • Yum Keiko! I love the look of your tartlets. I made some peach tarts last week actually, but with an olive oil crust.

    Posted by bea at La tartine gourmande | 27 July 2007 #
  • so simple but so nice !! just for summer time

    Posted by mercotte | 27 July 2007 #
  • wonderful, delicious and inspiring !!
    thanks and nice WE

    Posted by Liz Collet | 27 July 2007 #
  • Looks beautiful Keiko. I recently baked a peach tart myself… Isn’t it the best summer fruit?

    Posted by Cenk | 27 July 2007 #
  • 桃の光沢に夏の光を感じます。

    Posted by y_and_r_d | 27 July 2007 #
  • How wonderful! The peaches and their colour look absolutely delicious.

    Posted by Dolce | 27 July 2007 #
  • Beautiful as always Keiko! It looks so simple yet so perfect!

    Posted by Anita | 27 July 2007 #
  • oh, your peaches picked up such a lovely blush from the poaching. They are beautiful!


    Posted by L | 27 July 2007 #
  • dear keiko, your tarts are so beautiful it makes my heart break! i love the fabulous blush pink hue. also, the combination of white peaches, rose wine and vanilla – just reading it makes me go completely weak in the knees!

    Posted by Joycelyn | 28 July 2007 #
  • lovely photos and a delicious recipe! glad to see you back!

    Posted by Maninas: Food Matters | 28 July 2007 #
  • I love, love, love your blog! As a foodie, restaurant manager, and photographer I love reading your updates! I also shy away from desserts, so this is my new hobby! You’ve inspired me. I also am an animal fan… we have 4 dogs and 5 cats living here in Rhode Island!! Thanks so much for your work!

    Posted by gastronomica | 29 July 2007 #
  • I wish the fig dish had worked out…it sounds great on paper. But the ice cream alone might be worth trying. I just got Eric Kayser’s book, but haven’t used it yet. I’m glad to hear your endorsement. I have to try puff pastry. The color of those peaches is stunning, by the way.

    Posted by Julie O'Hara | 31 July 2007 #
  • wonderfulls pictures, congratulations!

    Posted by cendrine | 31 July 2007 #
  • What a beautiful blog you have! I found you on Tastespotting and can’t wait to browse your posts. I’m thinking I’ll forego the work of making the pastry by getting the frozen stuff in the store and then make these delicate tarts tonight using golden plums I just got at the farmers market. Thanks so much for the lovely idea! Your photos are just amazing. :)

    Posted by jennbecluv | 31 July 2007 #
  • Your blog is absolutely stunning!!! I still can’t believe you made your own puf pastry.

    Posted by Julie | 31 July 2007 #
  • I want to cook this one,

    but I can’t bake a Tart.
    I want to eat this.

    Posted by moonisup | 1 August 2007 #
  • This is lovely Keiko. I especially love the pink hue on the peaches. Funnily enough I also made a peach tart the other day, not as elegant as this but it was quick and easy enough to satisfy my craving for peaches :)

    Posted by ilingc | 1 August 2007 #
  • those white peach tarts look absolutely divine. I love Eric Kayser’s book. I have not tried that particular pastry cream but it sounds delicious what with creme fraiche!

    Posted by veron | 1 August 2007 #
  • hi keiko, how delicate and beautiful these are. just lovely…

    Posted by aria | 1 August 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    these small tarts looks gorgeous. I am speechless!

    Love xxx – fanny

    Posted by fanny | 2 August 2007 #
  • ok, definitely time to hit the local market for some fresh peaches for this recipe! thanks for sharing keiko :)

    Posted by Lil | 3 August 2007 #
  • oh…my
    your blog is not only delicious but beautiful

    Posted by Mrs.ThePoint | 4 August 2007 #
  • Great pictures and so inspiring…..

    Posted by Edgardo | 6 August 2007 #
  • Oh Keiko – another lovely post! I love peaches too but for some reason I always end up cooking with nectarines more than peaches. Also have to admit that I have never made my own puff pastry – never enough time (or counter space in my poky kitchen!). Love the pink colour of the poached peaches and glorious pics as always.

    Posted by Jeanne | 7 August 2007 #
  • Beautiful. A perfect little sweet thing for the hot days.
    Ciao from not-so-hot Amsterdam! Nicoletta

    Posted by Nicoletta | 9 August 2007 #
  • Oh! Look at the colour! It is so very gorgeous!!!! Love it!

    Posted by Ginger M | 10 August 2007 #
  • Oh my goodness, that looks SO GOOD. I want to make those right now.

    Posted by Kelli | 12 August 2007 #
  • Hello Keiko,
    Came here via google, after receiving a huge bag full of Okayama peaches, and wondering what use to make of them. I’m a British girl living in Hiroshima, so it’s always interesting to hear the perspective of my my opposite! I love living in Japan, but it really is so horribly hot now that I wish I were in the UK! Your photos and your food are astoundingly beautiful! I’m off to buy the ingredients to make these peaches! これから時々お邪魔させてください!

    Posted by Jax | 8 August 2008 #
  • Hi Jax – thank you so much for your kind note and I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you. I’m glad to hear that you love living in Japan – have you been in Hiroshima for a long time? I’m so envious that you had a bag of okayama peaches – I think I would rather eat them as they are :) I know it was very hot in Japan this summer and I hope you survived (I keep saying ‘cold’ since I moved here, as you know it’s much drier in the UK and it makes you feel colder even in the summer!) Thank you again and また遊びに来てください :)

    Posted by keiko | 28 October 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    My grandmother has the same name as you. She came from Japan over 50 years ago to live here in California. She has shared many traditional Japanese recipes with me.
    I admire your blog very much. You are living a dream.
    You have really mastered the art of cooking. Your website is gorgeous. Stunning photography… innovative recipes…

    Posted by Camille | 9 July 2011 #

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