This week, our recipe is from Julia Busuttil, the author and cook — and brand new mom — behind the online site OSTRO – Slow Recipes for Everyday Living. I have had this lovely recipe for a Roasted Peach Tart calling to me from my In the Kitchen With folders for a few months now. It arrived as peaches had already gone out of season in Italy, but were coming into season in Australia. I thought I had missed an opportunity, but realized when I walked through the market that the vanilla and rosemary would also go with pears and apples. Quite a fan of the “make ahead, assemble on the spot” recipe, this tart certainly fits the bill, and comes together quite easily. If you need a new dessert in your arsenal that looks like a million bucks, but takes little effort, this is the one to try, regardless of the season! —Kristina
Why Julia loves this recipe: This is one of my favorite desserts to make when entertaining friends. Not only is it impressively gorgeous, but all the elements can be prepared well in advance and assembled just before serving – making it perfect for picnics, too! It can also be adapted and made with many different fruits, depending on the season. Roasted or poached pears, rhubarb and orange, or figs would work really well, as would any other stone fruit. When berries are in season I often skip the roasting of the fruit altogether and simply scatter them fresh over the tart and add a few drops of almond extract into the cream! The rough puff pastry really does make this tart something special and is well worth the time and effort, however a good quality, store-bought puff pastry would work just fine, too, if you’re after a little shortcut.
Roasted Peach Tart
FOR THE PASTRY
– 250g / 2 cups plain flour
– 1 tbsp icing sugar
– Pinch of salt
– 250g / 2 sticks plus 1.5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
– 100-150ml / 3.3 – 5 ounces ice cold water
FOR THE FILLING
– 250g / 8 ounces + 1 tbsp thickened cream
– 250g / 8 ounces mascarpone
– 45g / scant 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
– 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved for peaches
FOR THE PEACHES
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1 sprig of rosemary, woody stem discarded
– 60ml / 2 ounces white wine
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– Reserved vanilla pod
– 4-5 yellow peaches, halved and stone removed
Make the pastry
1. Sieve flour, salt and icing sugar onto a clean bench or work surface. Scatter over the cold cubed butter, and using a pastry scraper, cut the butter into the flour until the buttery lumps are pea-sized. Be careful not to overwork the butter and flour – a few larger lumps of butter are fine, too.
2. Gently pour over a few tablespoons of the iced water and use the pastry scraper or your fingers to bring the pastry together, continuing to add a little water until you are able to shape the pastry into a flat disc. Wrap pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
3. Flour your work surface and roll out the pastry into a rectangle, about 1.5cm (a little more than 1/2 inch) in thickness. Fold dough along the short edges so they meet in the center, as if it is a book. Wrap pastry and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling steps twice more.
4. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Roll out pastry to about 0.5cm thick (a little less than 1/4 inch) and assemble in a removable-bottom fluted tart tin, gently pressing in the edges and corners. I used a rectangle tin, however a round or square would work equally fine. Allow to chill in the fridge for a further 20-30 minutes.
5. Trim excess pastry and keep for another use. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pie weights. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool in tin completely before removing.
Make the filling
1. In a large bowl, beat all ingredients together until stiff but luscious peaks form, being careful not to over-whisk. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to assemble tart.
Make the peaches
1. Preheat oven to 340F/170C. Arrange the peaches, cut side up, in an ovenproof dish.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the honey, rosemary, wine, olive oil and vanilla pod until just coming to boil. Pour over the peaches and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until just collapsed, basting the peaches with the juices as they cook. Keep checking on them throughout the cook, adding a little water into the base of the dish if beginning to dry out. Set aside to cool.
1. Fill the tart shell with the chilled cream mixture. Arrange the roasted peaches on top of the tart and drizzle with any remaining syrup. Serve immediately.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Julia Busuttil Nishimura is the creator of OSTRO — an online collection of recipes influenced by seasons, stories and a love of sharing food. Julia regularly contributes to various publications including two month-long features on the popular Australian design blog, The Design Files. She creates cakes for workshops and events around Melbourne and devotes much of her time to these baking projects, as well as teaching Italian to school children. Julia and her husband, Norihiko, also run an online store, MINAMI, which stocks beautiful Japanese products for the home, kitchen and everyday life. You can find Julia on Instagram @juliaostro