Sunset-Inspired Peach Tart

A little retooling, and this dessert passed the boat test!

My blog-worthy recipes must pass the Boat Test.  For those who are wondering, the Boat Test is simple: can it be served on a boat with minimal aggravation/ mess/ cleanup? And perhaps boat-testing my recipes is yet another excuse to get out on the water . . .

The first time I made this tart, it soundly failed the Boat Test, which was, of course, on the Long Island Sound.  The crust isn’t crumbly, which makes it easy to cut up and serve, but the peaches all slid to one side in transit, peach juice leaked everywhere, and when I momentarily lost my balance, half the filling ended up on the bow, instead of in our bellies.  Peaches release lots of juice when they bake, and too much liquid made this dessert unseaworthy.

I went back to the drawing board and tried another approach.  This time I cooked the filling separately on the stovetop before I put the tart in the oven. I also added tapioca starch to thicken the filling.  Version Two was a keeper, and its colors mirror a sunset over the Long Island Sound, so it is the perfect complement to a sunset cruise with friends.

For the Crust*

  • 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • A tiny pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Zest from one medium-sized lemon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup of oil
  • 2 tsp warm water
  • One 11 inch round tart pan

*The crust is a riff on my high school best friend’s grandmother’s Hamantaschen recipe.  Her recipe can be found here:  Thank you, Debs!

For the Filling

  •  10-11 Yellow Peaches (any free stone variety), peeled
  • ¾ to 1 cup of sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Add the eggs, oil, and water. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  3. Form a flat, round disk of dough and wrap it in parchment paper. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  4. While the dough is chilling, combine all the filling ingredients except for the tapioca starch in a saucepan.
  5. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously, and cook them at a simmer for 3-5 minutes until the peaches look golden like a sunset and are cooked through (see photo to the right).They will release a lot of peach juice.
  6. Turn off the heat and pour the peach juice into a large Pyrex measuring cup.
  7. Reserve ¼ cup of peach juice. The rest can be saved to use as an ice cream topping, pancake syrup, etc.
  8. In the measuring cup, mix the tapioca starch with the reserved peach juice, and pour it back into the saucepan with the peaches.Reheat the peaches on low for about 1 minute until the peach juice thickens.
  9. Put the oven rack in the lower middle position. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Roll out the dough on parchment paper until it is a ¼ inch thick round crust. The dough might feel oily.  Don’t worry; it will not be oily when cooked, and the oil helps to create a barrier between the filing and the crust, which keeps the crust from getting soggy.
  11. Lift the parchment paper and turn it upside-down to flip the dough into the tart pan. Repair any broken edges and spread the dough so it meets the top of the tart pan.
  12. Spoon the filling into the crust, and bake the tart for 18 to 20 minutes, until it is golden.
  13. Cool the tart thoroughly before serving it on or offshore.