Summer Peach Tart

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, so every year I anxiously await their peak ripeness to use in a variety of recipes. A summer never passes by without making something peach based, so this week I whipped up a simple rustic tart layered with a graham cracker crust, creme patisserie and sweet yellow peaches. This tart base has become one of my go to desserts because the graham cracker is so easy to work with and the creme patisserie creates the perfect middle layer for any topping you want. At Christmas time I make these in individual tart pans and top with raspberries and white chocolate. The combination is always incredible with any fresh fruit you choose!

The creme patisserie takes a bit of time to chill so I always start with that, then do the crust and top with fruit closer to when I plan to serve to keep sliced fruit as fresh as possible. I never glaze my tarts even though it tends to look more rustic without one, so if you prefer a fruit glaze you can add that step at the end!

*For the recipe you will need 4-5 ripe yellow peaches depending on how big they are and how you want fruit arranged. I also use 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme.

Creme Patisserie (vanilla pastry cream)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ½ tbsp cornstarch (can add a touch more if cream is too thin)
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (split lengthwise)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg 
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • Add the milk to a medium sized saucepan. Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape the beans into the milk. Once scraped fully place the bean pod in the milk. Heat over medium heat and bring it to a simmer, almost to a boil – be careful not to burn.
  • While the milk is being heated, place the sugar, egg, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Whisk until you have a thick, smooth mix. Set aside until the milk is done simmering.
  • As soon as the milk starts to simmer / bubble, remove it from the heat. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk and discard. Slowly pour about a half of the hot milk in a thin stream, into the egg mix, while whisking constantly to temper the egg mix. When the eggs have been tempered, add the egg mix back into the hot milk in the saucepan.
  • Heat the custard base, over medium heat, while whisking vigorously until it starts to thicken. This should take about 1 – 2 minutes depending on the heat of your stove and size of your saucepan.
  • While whisking, let the custard come to a boil (you will see bubbles start to release). Lower the heat and cook for another 1-2 minutes after you see the first bubbles break the surface. Whisk constantly for another minute or so until you have a smooth and thick consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter. Whisk butter, until it’s completely mixed in.
  • Pour the custard into a bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the custard directly. This is to prevent a skin from forming on top.
  • Let the custard cool slightly to room temperature and then place in the fridge for a few hours, until it’s completely chilled.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (see below)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Break apart approx. 14 graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until crackers are finely ground.
  • Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl and mix well with a spoon until combined.
  • Lightly press the mixture into a 9.5 inch metal tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.

When the custard and crust have both cooled, pour custard on the crust and work around until almost touching the edges (leaving a bit of crust showing) Place in the refrigerator to chill while preparing fruit. Slice peaches very thinly. I like to arrange in a basic rosette starting at the outside edge and overlapping while working towards the center. If I have extra slices I wedge them in wherever it feels a little bare. I like to top with a light sprinkle of brown sugar and some fresh thyme leaves for a delicious touch! Place back in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

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