A Peachy Keen Peach Tart

A lovely peach tart that's a cinch to make.
A lovely peach tart that’s a cinch to make.

With its fanciful spiral of glossy, syrupy, tender fruit, this peach tart looks impressive yet is fairly effortless to make.

In fact, it’s so easy that it’s ideal to bake on a whim, for those times when unexpected company shows up at your house.

You know, in those good ol’ days, pre-pandemic.

Sigh.

Until life gets back to normal, though, you definitely deserve this wonderful “Peach Tart.” Just because it’s prime peach season. Just because it’s been an unfathomable year. Just because you can.

The recipe is from Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap” (Ten Speed Press, 2015).

You don’t even need a mixer to whip it up — just a couple bowls, a fork, a spoon, and your own elbow grease.

The crust doesn’t even need to be rolled out, either. Instead, it’s one of those press-in doughs. I found this one to be rather crumbly to work with, so you will have to do quite a bit of pressing to get it all to come together cohesively in the tart pan — and to cover the bottom and sides neatly.

Peaches and one nectarine arranged in the crust before baking.
Peaches and one nectarine arranged in the crust before baking.
The pretty results after baking.
The pretty results after baking.

Then, just arrange one layer of sliced peaches prettily on top. I ended up using three peaches and one nectarine.

Then, you dump on what will seem to be an inordinate amount of sugar, fortified with a spoonful or two of flour, and a couple pats of butter.

As the tart bakes, this load of sugar melts, thickens and caramelizes into a syrupy, jammy goo that envelopes the peaches beautifully.

The skinny crust combined with the modest single layer of fruit make for a quite slim looking tart. Think of it as akin to thin-crust pizza — only sweeter.

And just like pizza — it may be near impossible to stop at just one slice.

Delicate and full of summer-time flavor.
Delicate and full of summer-time flavor.

Peach Tart

(Makes one 11-inch tart; serves 8)

For crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup mild olive oil

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For filling:

3/4 cup sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

3 to 5 small, ripe peaches, or 5 ripe plums, pitted and sliced 1/2-inch thick

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To make the crust, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk, and almond extract. Pour into the flour mixture and stir gently with a fork, being careful to not overwork the dough.

Place the dough in the center of an 11-inch tart pan. Pinch off small pieces and use them to cover the sides of the pan first then press the rest of the mound of dough outward to the sides. Use entire pads of your fingers, rather than just the tips, so the dough reaches the edges. It should be about 1/8-inch thick all around. Trim and discard any excess dough.

To make the filling, combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons of the flour, the salt, and butter in a small bowl. (If the peaches are especially juicy, add another 1 tablespoon of flour.) Using your fingertips, pinch the butter into the sugar mixture until crumbly; the texture should include both fine granules and small pebbly bits.

Starting along the outside edge of the tart crust, arrange the peaches, slightly overlapping, in concentric circles. The peaches should fit snugly. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the peaches.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Put the pan on a rack and let cool at least briefly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From “Food52 Baking”

Another “Food52 Baking” Recipe to Try: Cream Cheese Cookies

More Peach Recipes to Enjoy: Peach Blueberry Cake

And: Peach-Nectarine Buttermilk Ice Cream

And: Peachy Pork or Veal with Pomegranate Molasses and Charred Onions

And: Summer Thai Shrimp Noodle Salad with Peaches

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9 comments

  • Thanks for coming to the rescue! A friend requested a fruit pie for a COVID-distancing friendly birthday dinner for 4 on the patio. I made them in individual baking dishes using strawberries a friend had shared with a few blackberries tossed in. They were so easy to put together and saved me a trip to the store as I was short on butter–just enough for the filling. I was afraid the crust would slump but it did not at all. They were very well received, served with a bowl of whipped cream for each couple to top their own. Thanks as always for sharing great ideas and recipes along with your impeccable instructions and lovely images!

  • Jennie: That’s such a great idea to make individual ones to serve with a bowl of whipped cream so everyone can add as much as they like. It makes this dessert even more special.

  • I do wonder when the time will come when unexpected company will feel comfortable dropping by and will then be well received if they do. Actually this tart looks so good that I don’t know if I would want to share it.

  • Jennie Schacht gave me a two-person tart, in a small pie tin. Strawberries instead of peaches. I’m here because it was so delicious that I asked her for the recipe. Thanks Carolyn!

  • Ben: So glad you enjoyed Jennie’s strawberry version, which sounds amazing! 😉

  • This looks incredible! I can almost taste it through the page! Can’t wait to try it when I get a few more peaches

  • peaches are SO good. they get overlooked, even by me, because their season seems so short here. i love them fresh and i LOVE them in baked goods, and this tart looks heavenly.

  • Grace: That’s a bummer that your peach season is so short. They are definitely one of my favorite summer fruits. I always end up buying too many at the farmers market because I just can’t help myself.

  • O.M.G. That is all.

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