It all started with a jar of jam.
Brad was in Bellview, Washington on business in February, and was able to have dinner with Slow Travel friends, Ann and Scott. They sent him home with a gift for me of Peach Bellini jam. I have been saving it for something special. Sunday, we had a "pretend we're in Italy" day to stay in our Italian fantasy mode.
Sunday night, we enjoyed this peach-almond tart.
For the crust, I used a favorite Williams-Sonoma recipe:
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs. very cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.
To make the dough in a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.
To roll out the dough, on a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart pan.
Fold the dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9 1/2-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough by gently running a rolling pin across the top of the pan. Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rim to offset any shrinkage during baking.
Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.
Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Cool. Tart shell may be made ahead.
Spread one jar of peach jam on bottom of cooled tart shell.
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
7 oz. almond paste, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. almond extract or Amaretto
1/3 cup flour
Beat butter until creamy. beat in almond paste a few pieces at a time until smooth. Continue beating, while slowly adding sugar. Add eggs, and almond extract, beating with each addition. Finally add flour to mixture. Beat until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Carefully spread mixture over jam in tart shell.
3 or 4 large peaches, sliced into thin wedges with skin left on
3/4 cup sweet wine (Ice wine, moscato, passito, or vin santo)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
I discovered I still had a bottle of Ice wine, a gift from Jerry! Foodie friends' gifts were making my day! In medium saucepan, bring wine, lemon juice and sugar to a boil. Cook until sugar dissolves. Add sliced peaches, and poach for 5 minutes.
Dry poached peaches on paper towels, and arrange in almond filling.
Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.
When tart was completely cool, I reduced the remaining poaching liquid to about 1/4 cup, and glazed the tart.
FABULOUS! It was the perfect treat to eat while catching up on the episodes we missed of Top Chef Masters! And mille grazie to Ann, Scott, Jerry and Paul!