It’s no secret that there are a plethora of peach recipes out there in the world. So when I started contemplating the fate of a carton of peaches I couldn’t resist buying, I decided to pull from both the sweet and savory ends of the spectrum, in the hope I would land on something delicious I hadn’t quite seen before. Ultimately, my inspiration arose dually from a tangy peach sauce I made for pork chops one night (fresh peaches, rosemary, shallots and a little vinegar to cut the syrupiness) and tarte tatin (apples caramelized in plenty of butter and sugar). For my tart, I used still-firm peaches in place of apples, but also added pear brandy (for an earthy kick) and rosemary and spices (for a hint of aromatics). The crust and crumble are adaptations of a graham cracker crust, but I like to use English digestives instead, as they are much easier to break down, and also buttery and salty in their own right. - cristinasciarra —Cristina Sciarra
Test Kitchen Notes
I enjoyed the caramel and rosemary flavor combination of this recipe. That, along with the fact that the fruit is poached in the buttery juices, gives the peaches a pleasant autumnal touch. My crust never formed a crisp shell in the tart shapes, so this desert retained the feel of a real old-fashioned crumble. Next time I'll reduce the amount of sugar in the crumble because I found it to be, along with the digestives, just a touch too sweet, but those with a real sweet tooth will rejoice! - nogaga —nogaga
Wash, peel and segment peaches. Toss with lemon juice, and set aside.
In a large sauté pan, completely incorporate pear brandy with sugar. (I like pear for its mild sweetness, but pick the fruit you like). On medium-high heat, cook the sugar mix until it is bubbly and fragrant.
Add butter, and when it’s melted, add peaches, vanilla, spices and rosemary. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the peaches start to caramelize. (Watch them carefully in the last few minutes so they don’t burn! Remember, even after you turn off the heat, they will continue cooking for a few minutes).
Spoon peaches into pie shells. Top with crumbles, and bake for about 10 minutes, until bubbling.
Crust and Crumble Ingredients
Empty digestives into a large bowl. Using the heel of a glass, crush until you achieve the consistency of sand. (I promise, it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes).
Cut the butter, and then use your fingers to incorporate with crumbled digestives. Add the brown sugar, and integrate that too. (You are looking for a texture like wet sand).
Spoon the mixture into tart shells, and then use your fingers to form a crust.
After you have filled the tart shell with peaches, sprinkle the remaining crust crumbles over peaches to form a topping.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.