A Shero Inspired Summer Peach Tart with an Almond Shortcrust Pastry

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These are the last of the local summer peaches for this year. Aren’t they just beautiful? Recently while out walking I spotted a peach tree in my neighborhood with limbs heavy with ripe peaches. The tree belongs to my neighbor, Nancy Hardaway, who has moved away and has her house for sale. I did not think she would mind if I helped myself to a few which you see here that were perfectly ripe and luscious with lots of juice. Thanks Nancy!

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This peach tart recipe with a shortcrust pastry is based on one I ran across while looking through some older cookbooks in my collection, Donna Hay’s “Modern Classics” Book 2 from 2003. She has for a long time been one of my culinary “Sheroes” & has always been way ahead of her time in her approach to modern cooking. She was doing things in 2003 in Australia that we had only begun to think about when it comes to cooking & food style. I made a few small tweaks but as with most of her recipes it was already close to perfect.

Do you have a favorite culinary Shero?

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Good quality butter cut into small pieces and frozen…plain & almond flour…pastry quickly made in a food processor….kneaded a bit before rolling…..

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…rolled out and fitted into a tart pan with a removable bottom….blind-baked (see this article for more explanation on this) using parchment & dried beans (or pie weights)…

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…a simple Greek yogurt-sugar-egg filling….topped with peach slices tossed in slightly sweetened beaten egg whites….

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…and baked until peaches & crust are golden brown. Missed peach season? Plums would be yummy as well.

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Summer Peach Tart with an Almond Shortcrust Pastry

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

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Ingredients for Pastry:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces & frozen
  • ice water to bring the pastry together

Ingredients for Tart:

  • 3/4 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar for egg white
  • 6 peaches, stones removed and sliced, drained & patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar

Directions:

  1. In a food processor blend the almond flour, all-purpose flour, sugar & butter until it looks grainy.
  2. With motor running drizzle in ice water by tablespoons just until a smooth dough forms. Remove dough from processor and knead gently a few times, form into a flatten ball, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for a half hour.
  3. Roll chilled dough out on a floured surface, lay over the top of a tart pan with a removable bottom (9 or 10 inch), fit down into the pan using your fingers and cut off excess around the top edge.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the pastry and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake pastry shell for 10 minutes with weights, remove and bake another 10 minutes or until crust is a light golden brown.
  5. Whisk together the yogurt, brown sugar & egg. Pour into warm baked pastry shell & bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn oven up to 400 degrees.
  6. While filling is cooking whip egg white with 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form. Add peach slices to the whites & toss gently until coated. Pile peach slices on top of the filling, sprinkle with raw sugar and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to a rack to cool and sprinkle with additional crunchy raw sugar or powdered sugar if desired. You can double this recipe easily and make two tarts like I did!

Note: Recipe based on a Donna Hay recipe from her book “Modern Classics” Book 2, 2003 Harper Collins Publisher.

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My George Washington Carver Peanut Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

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When I was in elementary school in West Tennessee we had a “real lunchroom”. There were home cooked, seasonal meals for lunch every day. The ladies who cooked wore simple white uniforms with nets covering their hair. There was a cafeteria line and you could see into the kitchen in the background with all the food prep and cooking going on.

 Peanut Butter Cookies appeared as a dessert for our school lunches at about the same time as we were  studying George Washington Carver and his peanuts. For years I actually thought he invented the peanut! I remember a black and white photo of Mr. Carver in one of our school books standing in the middle of a field of peanuts. I took to calling these school cafeteria cookies “George Washington Carver Peanut Butter Cookies”.

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Mr. George Washington Carver standing in a field of peanuts.

This mental collision of a particularly loved food (peanut butter cookies), being able to watch the ladies cooking in our school kitchen every day and the awareness that the legume in the cookie I loved so much were directly connected to a botanist at the Tuskegee Institute down in Alabama was just the first of many such childhood food epiphanies.

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  On “George Washington Carver Peanut Butter Cookie” days I would attempt to swap my real food for someone else’s cookie. There were always a few friends who did not like peanut butter. On a good cookie swap day I might have up to 4 to eat later on. They were worth giving up my homegrown tomato slices or creamy mashed potatoes for. Those cookies set the bar very high. I have looked for that cookie since and have never found anything even close. Divine is what they were with just the right amount of crisp edges and softness in the center.

These little gluten-free cookies are very peanut buttery and crispy (I wish they were a bit softer, but I will work on that). They have sated my quest for a while. This recipe is based on one I made for a client recently for an editorial photo shoot. It is gluten-free and very easy.

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Easy to mix….1 inch balls…

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… the traditional “fork marks”!

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Ready to bake.

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Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flaxseed Meal instead of flour.

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Sprinkled with a bit of sanding sugar ready to eat still warm from the oven.

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 There has not been a time in my life that I do not think of Mr. Carver whenever I eat anything with peanut butter. I wonder if he liked peanut butter cookies and what he would think about making a cookie “gluten-free”? Did he have Peanut Butter and Jelly on white bread for lunch while diligently working in his lab or surveying the fields upon fields of peanuts that helped to change the way we now eat?

George Washington Carver Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
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pnut butter cookies GWC

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup raw/turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (baking sugar)
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • sanding sugar for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a couple of baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the egg whites & sea salt in a bowl until frothy.
  3. Into egg whites stir peanut butter, raw sugar, brown sugar & flaxseed meal. Mix well. Batter will be stiff and may appear to “seize”, but just ignore this and mix until ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Using a tablespoon measure, shape batter into balls and place about 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
  5. Using a fork, make criss-cross marks on each ball pressing slightly to flatten.
  6. Bake 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned. Sprinkle cookies generously with sanding sugar & cool on a wire rack.