Even if you asked really nicely as someone in my house has, I probably would not willingly make you a peach pie. I’m not a fan of floating peaches stuck in a pastry crust. Reminds me of canned peaches stuck in that icky-sticky syrup that passed for liquid and always had a faint taste of metal can. School lunch trauma.
When we were kids not only did we have to put up with sticky syrup goop that passed for fruit in school lunches, but canned peaches and cottage cheese was the ultimate diet food at home. My mother and my oldest sibling were always doing the let’s-lose-our-minds-and-some-weight-together program. The rest of us had to live with canned peach leftovers and that was enough punishment for one childhood, thank you.
I’m not really even a fan of fresh peaches but I did once find a donut peach to be pretty tasty. I’m still not sure if that was because it was perfectly ripe or that it looked like a donut. I’m going with donut.
But one day in a moment of total weakness I bought a bag of organic frozen peach slices and for months I’d move them around the freezer. Finally I’d had enough of trying to find a place for them and it was time to use them or lose them. I hate wasting food and the challenge was on. For a couple of days I imagined every pie I could that would contain peach and came up with less enthusiasm than when I have to do laundry.
But then I imagined a tiny tart. And a little booze. Not in the tart, in a glass near the tart. And a little bit of charred peach. Whipped cream figured in there, too. Peaches are leaky and would make the crust mushy so something needed to be under them. Adding Solo Almond Filling to the bottom of the crust - I had some leftovers – as a little nest for the peaches, turned out to be an excellent choice.
If you have little pie crust in the freezer or refrigerator, this goes pretty quickly. I like to keep a little extra around for just this kind of thing. Add the whipped cream and there you have it. A very decent almond peach tart with not a hint of childhood peach trauma.
I’d share but Mr. Canteen ate them all. I ate a bite, pronounced it a success and made a few notes. By then they were all gone. Someone was making up for all those lost peach pie years, apparently.
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|Almond Peach Mini Tarts, Gluten Free||
- 300 grams AP GF flour (150 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 75 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca starch/flour) (2⅓ cups)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 115 grams unsalted butter, cold, small cubes (1 stick)
- 85 grams solid vegetable shortening (Spectrum) (7 tablespoons)
- 80-100 grams ice-cold water (up to ½ cup)
- 8 tablespoons Solo Almond Filling
- 16 oz. bag of frozen sliced peaches
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- whipped cream
- In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour with sugar and salt. Pulse once. Cube chilled butter and shortening and add to food processor bowl. Pulse a few times until mixture is like ragged coarse peas. While processor is running, add water to chute just until a ragged ball forms. Place on plastic wrap and remove blade carefully. Gather dough and form into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours. Remove dough, bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes) and divide each disk into 4 pieces (a total of 8 pieces). Using plastic wrap on the bottom and top, dusted with starch, roll dough until it is slightly bigger than a tart pan. Peel off plastic from top. Turn dough upside down and place in tart pan while peeling off plastic. Try to not stretch or stress the dough as you push it into the pan. Push into pan to fit the form and remove excess dough. Save leftover dough for patching – you will have a little bit leftover. Chill tart pans in the freezer for about 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 325. Set chilled tart pans on baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes or until just slightly set and starting to turn golden brown. If there are cracks forming, use leftover dough to patch. It’s common that it might shrink so saving some dough to make patches is always a good thing. Fill as instructed below (very gently!).
- Place one tablespoon of Solo Almond Filling in the bottom of each warm tart shell. Gently spread the filling with the back of a small spoon from the center out in one movement – don’t go back and forth because the tart shell will tear.
- Place peaches in a medium-sized bowl. Add sugar, starch, vanilla bean paste and kosher salt. Stir gently to mix. Let the mixture set for a few minutes. Stir again. Place slices in a tightly filled pattern of your choice on top of the almond filling. You may pile them slightly higher in the center but don’t make layers – you want it to be relatively flat.
- Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes and rotate pan. Bake about 20 minutes more or until the filling is very bubbly and the peaches start to get a little brown on the edge – the crust will get moderately golden. Remove from the oven.
- Apply the honey topping while the tarts are piping hot. Place one tablespoon of honey in a small dish. Using a pastry brush, gently apply the honey on the peaches without moving the brush very much – the heat of the tart will make the honey more liquid and it should spread. You are applying a finish coat to make the tart shiny. Less is more. Let the tart cool completely. Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top right before serving.