Peach Tart

By • August 29, 2011 • 192 Comments



Author Notes: Every cook needs a good dessert recipe that can be whipped up anywhere -- especially when you're away from your kitchen and its mixer and rolling pin and comforting gadgets. This peach tart is that recipe for me. To make it all you need is a knife, a bowl, and some kind of pan. A tart pan ideally, but I've even made it on a baking sheet with one side shored up with aluminum foil. And when I've been without a bowl, I've even mixed the dough right in the pan.

The dough is made with oil, milk and almond extract, and is pressed into the pan. There is no blind baking nonsense. You just top the dough with the peaches, and then shower it with a sugary, salty crumble and send it on its merry way into the oven.

I got the original recipe from my mother, who uses all vegetable oil in the crust. I use half vegetable oil and half olive oil. She neatly peels her peaches. Lazy kin, I do not. Hers is probably better, but you are stuck with me. I can promise you, however, that whoever you serve this to will not mind.
Amanda Hesser

Makes one 11-inch tart; serves 8

  • 1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup mild olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 3 to 5 small ripe peaches, pitted and thickly sliced (about 1/2-inch wide)
  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stirring enables the salt and sugar to sift the flour, so you don’t need to sift it in advance. In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it. Then, transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan (you can use a smaller one if needed), and use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. This will work if you pat firmly and confidently, but not if you curl your fingertips into the dough. It should be about 1/ 8-inch thick all around; trim and discard excess dough.
  2. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the butter. (If your peaches are especially juicy, add 1 tablespoon additional flour.) Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, with a mixture of fine granules and tiny pebbles.
  3. Starting on the outside, arrange the peaches overlapping in a concentric circle over the pastry; fill in the center in whatever pattern makes sense. The peaches should fit snugly. Sprinkle the pebbly butter mixture over top (it will seem like a lot). Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature, preferably with generous dollops of whipped cream.
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Tags: press-in crust, Summer

Comments (192) Questions (15)

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6 days ago Celeste Scollan

Oh my goodness. Made this peach tart last night with fresh peaches (dotted in some blueberries as well) from my local CSA (took the less loved, bruised ones--all the more juicy once bruises were removed!) and it is a real treat. At one point, I was sure that I had accidentally doubled the sugar (still pretty positive I did), and it still turned out so lovely and delicate, and still somehow not too sweet. The crust is perfectly balanced; I love the olive oil component.
This will be my go-to tart recipe--thanks for sharing, Amanda!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

6 days ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for giving it a whirl -- and like your blueberry addition!

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26 days ago frances

holy smokes, is this tart delicious! i replaced the olive oil with coconut oil (and eliminated the almond extract); the result was like a coconut shortbread underneath a perfectly jammy but still structured fruit filling. i used about 5 peaches, plums, and nectarines, in equal amounts. before i put down the fruit, i used one of my regular filling-in-a-crust tricks: a couple tablespoons of oats sprinkled over the crust. they absorb extra moisture (my crust wasn't soggy at all, despite juicy fruit) and disappear into the filling. i also drizzled maybe half a tablespoon of honey over the oats, so reduced the sugar in the topping by 1/4 cup. also, i found the tip about building the edge of the crust first and filling in the bottom second to be extremely useful. this tart is gorgeous and tastes phenomenal!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

24 days ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for all of your tips and tweaks.

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29 days ago kbehroozi

This has been a go-to recipe of mine since the year I got Amanda's Mr. Latte book. I use all olive oil and am sometimes greedy about the amount of fruit I put in. I never peel the peaches and it's fine. Amanda's original recipe suggests serving with a tart mixture of whipped cream and creme fraiche, which I think would cut down on the sweetness considerably (for those who were unnerved by the sweetness). I haven't done that--I find a faintly sweet whipped cream with a hint of almond extract is a lovely addition.

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29 days ago kbehroozi

PS: for the truly lazy (e.g. me), you can mix the whole thing in an 8x8 pan and don't even need to dirty an extra bowl.

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about 1 month ago EC

Great recipe. I've made it several times and the first time was sublime - used apricots and almost all of the topping (left about 2-3 tbsp behind as it was more than enough to cover entire tart). Result was a crumbly shell with hint of almond, and apricots that had broken down into a complex, tart-sweet, jammy preserve-like consistency. When I modified the recipe, the results still tasted good but were not as refined or delicious as the first time. Here are some tips-
1. Topping: It's not just for flavor, it becomes a gelling agent that breaks the fruit down into a semi preserve-like consistency that also helps prevent the crust from getting soggy (especially in the center where the fruit juices settle). So the proportions as written are important. And you want to use a lot - enough to cover the entire surface of the tart. When I cut back on the amount of sugar, the topping became a crumble that sits on top of the fruit and, crust was a bit soggy in the middle. Also, with less sugar to the topping, the result was a chunky, pie-like filling (rather than refined jammy tart filling). Particularly if you are concerned about the tart being overly sweet, use fruit that is intensely flavored, sweet-tart and not as watery .
2. Fruit: I was once overzealous about using all my fruit and packed in quite dense. While it looked beautiful, there was too much fruit - the topping didn't gel all the way down (just sat on top) and there was too much water (creating a mushy center). Best way is to use some restraint - cut the wedges to about 1/3 to 1/2" wide and layer them evenly but not so densely that they start tilting up at 90 degrees (where you see the skins start to face upwards) or, the fruit starts to rise to the height or more of edge of the crust. Also for soft fruits like apricots and peaches, I think skin-on is better. Not only for apricots is this where the flavor/tartness lies, but the skin helps retain some structure when they cook down.
3. Don't over work the dough. After you do the crust edges, just scatter the crumbly mixture in the middle evenly and pat just enough to bind and close the gaps. I usually end up with a crust that looks more craggy/pebbly than the photos where it looks more smooth/perfect but the result will be a lighter, crumblier crust.

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about 1 month ago Horto

love, blind baking nonsense!

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2 months ago Vanina Howan

Heavenly. This tart is buttery, fruity, and sugary=a good thing. Paired it with vanilla ice cream instead of whipped cream. Texture is excellent. Peaches didn't need to be that ripe and was still amazing. Used extra virgin oil instead of mild olive and still did the trick. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Stringio

3 months ago Salma Darouichi

Hey, I just wanted to come back and say thank you so much for this recipe. My mom is Moroccan and almost always uses olive oil in baking. The recipe came out perfectly just like your picture. I will be making it again today :)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

3 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks, Salma!

Alice

4 months ago Alice Gardner

Oh my goodness. This is almost exactly how I make my peach pies (the peach procedure, anyway). I like to add a pinch of nutmeg to the butter and sugar mix. I knew I was doing something right! I'll have to try the peach/almond combo sometime soon. It sounds fantastic.

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5 months ago ellemmdee

How do you think this would work with thinly sliced frozen/thawed peaches? It's winter here, but I'd love a taste of summer right about now!

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9 months ago rukahn

An excellent recipe to adapt for gluten/dairy free---I use Trader Joe's almond meal plus gluten free flour (perhaps 2/3, 1/3), coconut oil/milk. I pre-bake the shell @350 for about 10 mins. Use cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, vanilla..depending on fruit. Light brown sugar might help those who find it too sweet. I didn't. Ruth in Detroit

Bananacakewithtangyvanilla

11 months ago cookingintheheights

i've made this gem of a tart scores of different ways. my latest was a peachy plum version last week at the shore and a photo of it is at bottom of this post: http://bit.ly/1dSJKb2 I always cut the sugar and always use only extra virgin olive oil (just as noted in 'cooking for mr. latte' where i first saw this recipe). now i always pack almond oil in my pantry bags when we take our annual beach vacation.

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11 months ago Pat in SoCal

I didn't cut back on the sugar as that makes the crumbly toping so good....but I did sqeeze a lime over the peaches before I put them into the pastry and I think that gave me a sweet/tart taste that was great!

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11 months ago fhp

Good idea. I'm going to copy you. I have now made this tart twice and it has been a hit each time. I'm tempted to up the almond flavor and don't know whether to crumble some amaretti into the crumble or some almond paste into the crust or figure out how to incorporate some almond paste into the peach mix. Ideas?

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11 months ago Jopper

I made this recipe today. I had a bunch of peaches to use up, and didn't want to make a pie. It's week day, so I needed something quick. It was a snap to make. I love the olive oil in the crust. I like the fact that I didn't have to peel the peaches.....like I said, it's a weekday. While making it I thought "hmmm....sugar content seems high", but I went with it. I usually always cut the sugar, I don't know why I didn't in this case. Anyways, the tart turned out great. All four of us (two adults and two kids) went in for seconds. I will most definitely cut the sugar next time I make this, but it's just a personal preference. I will also most likely make this again in the very near future (as in this weekend). Can't wait to try this with other fruit, such as apples.

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11 months ago Joannaas

I just made the tart today and unfortunately did not check the comments first-I definitely should have reduced the sugar. A few other ideas. First of all, I thought that there was too much topping and it really took away from the flavor of the peaches. I would say using about half would be okay. One other idea would be that you use a mixture of large and small pieces of peach, and pile them larger. I think that doing this will add some more peach flavor, and it will have a better texture. Overall I think that my family was a little disappointed in the recipe, so we will try something else next time.

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11 months ago katie

I just made the tart and it was great! I added .5 cups sugar instead of .75 cups after reading the comments. I thought it was perfect - my husband said he would have liked it a little sweeter.

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11 months ago betsy j

Fabulous - crust is great. I cut the sugar back to about 1/3 cup - great with sweet white peaches. Thanks!

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11 months ago chiefkief

Embarrassed to say I used a pre-made Dufour shell because I didn't have time to make Amanda's homemade version but everyone loved it, nonetheless! SO easy to make. Thanks, Amanda!!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad everyone liked it!

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11 months ago sfhardin

This is wonderful with the almond extract addition. Depending on the sweetness of the peaches I might cut back on the sugar. Will make again;)

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11 months ago fhp

Amanda, Thank You so much for this tart. I do not usually bake but the olive oil component beckoned me; a sort of "Aw common you can do it" whispered to me. So after a day full of shelling beans and making little eggplant involtinis etc...your creation talked me into making a dessert. I'm glad I did. Everyone had seconds, even the ones who never eat anything. I followed your recipe to the "T". Sure it was sweet but I wasn't turned off by it at all and I hardly ever use sugar. When I showed your recipe to some of the guests who are better cooks than myself they all made me link it to them. I guess thats a pretty significant compliment these days. Anyway, between your desert, the ricotta filled involtini and David Tanis' "Jalapeño Butter' recipe (who knew???) that I threw on the succotash the lamb chop dinner was a big hit. Thanks again for a great, easy to follow, easy to do recipe. You rock.

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11 months ago Scott

After baking this tart I would advise people to use a puff pastry rather than the shortcrust. It was not appetising at all and definitely too sweet.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

11 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

A puff pastry will produce a very different dessert -- you can certainly cut back on the sugar in the topping if you find it too sweet.