The First Days of Stone Fruit

10 06 2008

Well, the stone fruits have finally arrived.  Not that I haven’t seen them in the market the past couple of weeks and been tempted, but they are finally affordable!  On Sunday we found some delicious cherries for 1.50 – 2 euros a kilo!  (Here’s how I do the math: 2/3 of the price per kilo in euros = price per pound in dollars.  It’s only approximate, but at least it gives me an idea.  In this case, we’re talking about $1.30/pound for cherries!)  On the way out of the market we stopped for some fruit – advertised as peaches, but with the smooth skin of nectarines – that was 3 euros for 2 kilos.  Whatever they were, they smelled great.  And at that price, we didn’t much care about the name of the fruit anyway.  They taste like peaches, so that’s what I’ll be calling them for the duration of this post.

So the obvious question as we amble home from the market is what to do with all this fruit?  Nick reminds me of a perennial favorite of ours in the summer months: rustic stone fruit tart.  That was easy.

Of course, when we get home and I jump onto for my trusty recipe, they are having some kind of technical difficulties (as they often are).  So I piece together a basic pie dough recipe off the top of my head and hope the proportions are right. 

Rolling out the dough

As far as workability, the dough is great.  I roll it out, place it on a sheet pan, and dump the fruit on top, having already pitted, sliced, and sugared a pound of peaches (no peeling required) and a quarter pound of cherries.

So juicy!  So sexy!

Then it’s a simple matter of folding the edges of the dough up around the fruit.  I also use the leftover juice in the bottom of the fruit bowl to brush the top of the tart and sprinkle it generously with cassonade.  It bakes for about an hour and comes out looking just as beautiful as I remember it.

Galette de Pêches et Cerises

The dough is a little more tender than my usual recipe, which causes the tart to spring a leak, but other than that I am pleased with the results.  Nick and I each eat a quarter of the tart, washing it down with peach lambic.

Sinner?  Fisherwoman?  Peach lady?

This Belgian fruit beer is the perfect accompaniment.  Not too sweet, with big peach flavor.  I also like the art nouveau label and the play on words: pêche (peach, also fishing) and péché (sin).  Sinfully peachy?  That about sums it up.



7 responses

10 06 2008

oh man, yum. cherries and peaches are in season here too, we’ve been loving them!

11 06 2008

You used the leftover juice to brush the top of the tart?? Why that’s brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?!

11 06 2008

Sometimes the most obvious answers escape us. And sloth is truly the mother of invention. Frankly, I was too lazy to go get a thing of water and the fruit bowl was right there. Voilà!

12 06 2008

What a simple and great way to enjoy the stone fruit.

13 06 2008

It’s one of our favorites. I’ll be making variations of this all summer long.

28 07 2008

Your tart is gorgeous.

I made one yesterday. Nectarines, plums, cherries.

Crust recipe was new to me. I rolled it thick because I didn’t want the tart to fall out of the crust during baking or after. Might be too much crust for some folks but for me the pastry is three-quarters of the pleasure.

3 cups a/p flour
1 cup Crisco (no-trans-fat kind, or mix Crisco and sweet butter)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
I added 3 tablespoons sugar to the flour, not in recipe.

This Crisco recipe makes a crust that doesn’t soak juices and become soft. Next time I would freeze the Crisco and cut in with pastry cutter, to create flake. This time I used food processor and got a pleasant sandy crust.

Though the recipe called for 3 tablespoons instant tapioca as thickener for 3 pounds of fruit (whole), I added 3 tablespoons of cornstarch along with tapioca, having had previous problems with juiciness. Nothing ran out of pie during baking but I could see thick juices bubbling in the exposed fruit at the end, a good sign at the end of baking.

My tart was really rustic with thick pieces of fruit and thick crust, but finished product is very good, tastes great. Instructions were to put into a 9″ deep dish pie pan but next time I would lay crust on a baking tray and fold fruit inside for a larger, thinner, more authentic tart.

Has anyone experimented with canned or frozen fruit for this type of tart? If so, do you have any advice?

ALL AMERICAN DESSERTS, Judith M. Fertig, The Harvard Common Press, 2003
p. 283

29 07 2008

In my experience, frozen fruit works just fine as long as you thaw and drain it first. And for my money, all-butter is the only way to go for pie and tart crusts.

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