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Peach Tart Help

DaisyM May 16, 2009 11:55 AM

I was recently in Paris and the absolute best dessert I had was a carmelized peach tart on a puff pastry crust. It did not have any kind of filling and was very rustic. It was cut in squares and the peaches were placed cut side up and carmelized with a little bit of glaze.

Of course the pastry was homemaded (Not a chance I would even attempt that!), but I think a good frozen puff pastry would work as the crust. My question...how do I get the peaches to carmelize WITHOUT burning the crust. Do I just broil it for a few seconds?

I've seen recipes for this kind of rustic tart using apples...but the peach was so amazing. I was wondering if anyone has made this and if so what glaze did they use and how did you carmelize the peaches.

And if you are in Paris and want to try to real thing....Gerard Mulot makes the most amazing pastries I've ever had in my life.

Thank you for any suggestions. I would so love to be able to even come close to this!

  1. greygarious May 16, 2009 12:09 PM

    Look at recipes for Tarte Tatin, which is the tarte version of upside-down cake. If Trader Joe's is in your area, they have an all-butter frozen puff pastry (two individually-wrapped flat squares in a box) that is far superior to Pepperidge Farm's (no butter) folded sheet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious
      DaisyM May 16, 2009 12:43 PM

      Thank you for telling me about TJ's puff pastry. I'm going there on Monday and will pick it up.

    2. todao May 16, 2009 08:01 PM

      How about caramelizing the peach halves before putting them onto the puff pastry, then heating the as a unit to serve?

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao
        DaisyM May 17, 2009 02:29 AM

        Yes! Because this isn't a tarte tatin. The peach 1/4/s are firm and the edges browned. So, sprinkledwith sugar and bake at high heat and then place on the dough and top with the glaze and bake at a lower temp? Does that sound right?

      2. mcel215 May 17, 2009 03:36 AM

        I took a tart class last November, trying to learn how to make a pie crust. One of the recipes we made was this fantastic Carmelized Pear Tart. It sounds exactly like your peach one, and I don't see why you can't susbstitue the peaches. Some of my notes from the class is to buy the pears 2 days beforehand (bosc) and let them sit on the counter. The other note that I have, from making this tart a few times now is, the fruit and carmel is the star of this recipe, the dough is secondary. So, puff pastry works really wonderful in it, no need to fuss with a pie crust. Another note is, plan on watching your carmel process (cooking the fruit), because it needs not be rushed. It can take from 10 to 25 minutes to carmelize and it can seize if left alone. My carmelizing took about 25 minutes, keeping my burner on med/low at all tiime. I even took the pan off the stove to check the color and texture of the carmel. It should be syrupy with a light golden color. I used a 9 inch calphalon skillet, covering my handle with aluminum foil. BTW, this is my favorite dessert now and when I make it, people are wowed. Here is my recipe and a picture.

        Caramelized Upside-Down Pear Tart

        4 large firm ripe Bosc pears
        1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
        1/2 cup sugar
        1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
        2 Tbsp minced ginger (optional)
        Pâte Brisée (tart dough) for one 10-inch tart, or 1 sheet of puff pastry rolled a little and trimmed in a 11 inch circle. No need for perfection here, it's very rustic.

        Peel, halve, and core pears.

        In a 9- to 10-inch heavy skillet heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides. Stir in sugar (sugar will not be dissolved). Arrange pears, cut sides up, in skillet, with the skinny end of pears pointing into the middle of the pan. If you have a half of pear left over, cut a circle out of it and place it in the middle of the skillet domed side down. The pears will make a sort of flower in the skillet. Cook without stirring until sugar mixture forms a deep golden caramel. (This can take as little as 10 minutes or as much as 25, depending on skillet and stove.) Cool pears completely in skillet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and ginger.

        Preheat oven to 425°F and set a rack in the upper third of the oven.
        On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll out dough into an 11-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) and arrange over caramelized pears. Tuck edges into the skillet around pears. Bake tart in the upper third of the oven until pastry is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes, but not longer.

        Have ready a rimmed serving plate slightly larger than skillet. Invert plate over skillet and, wearing oven mitts and keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together, invert tart onto plate. Do this over the sink in case some juices spill. This is a bit scary, but it works! The trick is to do it in one very fast motion.

        Let cool until warm, 10-15 minutes. Serve tart warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mcel215
          DaisyM May 17, 2009 04:56 AM

          Thank you so much! I had not even thought about carmelizing them in a pan first. I'm going to try this and then put it on the crust. Thank you again for sharing your recipe.

          1. re: DaisyM
            mcel215 May 17, 2009 06:26 AM

            You're welcome Daisy. I hope you will try this desset, even with the pears. It's fantastic, I feel lucky to have the recipe! BTW, my teacher is Rusian and she spent 6 months perfecting her pate brisee. I can't even come close yet. Here is her website. www.beyondsalmon.blogspot.com

            1. re: DaisyM
              greygarious May 17, 2009 07:51 AM

              What you and mcel215 describe IS a pear/peach version of tarte tatin.

              1. re: greygarious
                chowser May 17, 2009 08:34 AM

                Exactly. I like Thomas Keller's version of Tarte Tatin but have substituted TJ's puff pastry and it works perfectly. Here's a nice pictorial, DaisyM, which helps.


            2. re: mcel215
              hotoynoodle May 17, 2009 05:32 AM

              one note: pears continue to ripen adter they are picked, which is why the recommendation is for them to sit out. peaches do not. buy them ripe for this sort of thing.

              this type of tart is also delicious with apricots.

            3. s
              Shunick May 17, 2009 05:33 AM

              Is this what it looked like?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Shunick
                DaisyM May 17, 2009 07:41 AM

                Very similar! The peaches were carmelized like that and were cut side up. It was on puff pastry and I saw the huge squares that the smaller square tarts were cut from. There was a glaze that I believe had some kind of liquor also in it.. Did you make that tart? It looks amazing.

                1. re: DaisyM
                  Shunick May 19, 2009 04:48 AM

                  Wish I had, DaisyM, but I just did a search for "Gerard Mulot peach tart" and that is what I found.

                  1. re: Shunick
                    DaisyM May 19, 2009 10:49 AM

                    I bought the puff pastry and now I'll wait until peaches are in season to attempt this. My brother just went to Paris for business. I told him that going to Gerard Mulot and having the peach tart was waaay more important then any meeting!

                    1. re: DaisyM
                      greygarious May 19, 2009 11:34 AM

                      I'll bet that this dish would be almost as good with a good brand of canned/jarred peaches or apricots, like Trader Joe's. Sometimes peaches can break your heart - they look and smell good but can still be mealy. I've made many a "Plan B" dish of stewed fruit to use these up. My guess is that if there was liqueur in the original tart, it was amaretto - if not, that would still be good. Almonds are related to stone fruit and complement their flavors well.

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