Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Day & that Peach Tart

The Mule's third grade teacher has soft music, dimmed lights, and a reading couch in the library corner. There is even a chair for chillin' for when you just need to remind yourself to take some time to slow down. It looks suspiciously like one of those chairs for nursing mothers tricked out with cushions. I want to go back to third grade. 

"Honeey, wee neeeed coollld drinkks on the porch!"

I went to the Small Business Association's Lunch and Learn today. People are trying to help businesses grow here in Ohio. It made me wish I had about ten more ideas than I do. The lunch was free and catered by Fluff Bakery, sweet!

I came home and mowed the lawn with the push mower my husband bought before his departure. His parting words were, "You need to mow every four to five days." I've decided this was either to keep me chained to the house or to keep me from spending money on yoga class.

The preacher dropped off a book. He's hoping I might read it. It's about food and cooking, and it's by an Episcopal priest. It was published August 1968. It begins by extolling the virtues of the amateur's love of a subject matter.

"Indeed, the whole distinction between art and trash, between food and garbage, depends on the presence or absence of the loving eye." 
Robert Farrar Capon The Supper of the Lamb

The Moose is enthralled with the reading chair in my bedroom. It was in storage for five years, but it is a very comfortable chair paricularly for smaller people. It faces a bookshelf. The Moose has taken to flipping through my collection of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha series-- he likes the pictures; he has now moved onto The Little Prince which is actually the copy I gave my husband our first Christmas. The Moose said, "I can't resist the pictures. They're so cute!" This kid spends HOURS pouring over warriors and history books with his grandfather who thankfully is a history buff too. Maybe it's the contrast of the little prince who demands a sheep to be drawn versus the guns and uniforms that interest him the rest of the time, and that he is sitting in the reading chair, but it is a wonder to watch him concentrate on the books.

The peach tart is my husband's favorite pie in summer. I keep making it in a tart pan so I've come to think of it as a tart. I have at least five different sized tart pans which gives me the flexibility to base the size on the amount of fruit at hand or the number of people to serve. The hard sauce adds the proper dose of sweet and interesting. Peaches are still in at the Farmer's Market. I made jam and jello with peaches too. The Mule dragged me into jello making, but I'm liking it now. I sometimes think that that it is nice to have a recipe for one pie crust, but I prefer make the usual double batch and have the excuse to make two tarts. Here I'm assuming you have the dough made-- see the apple tart recipe.

Fresh Peach Tart 
adapted from J. Mayer in the Allegheny Cookbook

All-purpose Flour, ¾ cup
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, ¼ cup (if you have)
Salt, ¼ tsp 
Butter, 4 Tbsp (½ stick)
Iced Water, 2 to 3 Tbsp
Egg Yolk, 1

Fresh Peaches, ~4 large
Butter, 2 Tbsp
Rum, 2 Tbsp
Confectioner’s Sugar, ½ cup
Whipping Cream, 1 cup
Confectioner’s Sugar, 1 tsp

What to Do
In a large mixing bowl, stir the flour and salt together. Cut the butter into the flour until resembles crumbs. Chill some water over ice. Whisk the egg yolk with 2 to 3 Tbsp of ice cold water. Add egg mix to flour-- should just barely moisten the dough. Gently form the dough into a ball, best by hand. Ideally, wrap the dough with wax paper or plastic wrap and chill it for 20 minutes.

Roll out pie dough into an 1/8-inch thick circle. Lay it in a 8-inch tart or pie pan. Poke it with a fork a couple of times. Line it with parchment paper and put some ceramic balls on top. Bake at 375ºF (190ºC) until slightly browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside on a cooling rack.

Peel and nicely slice 3 to 4 large lush peaches or however many needed for your tart pan. 

Make hard sauce in a small sauce pan over low heat. Simmer together butter, Rum, and confectioner's sugar until it is thickened and bubbly, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a minute or two. Stir and then pour onto the baked tart shell to harden.

Place the sliced peaches on top. 

Pour about a cup of whipping cream into a cold bowl, add a teaspoon of confectioner's sugar, and then whisk like mad until set. Top the tart with the whupped cream.

Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with a spring of mint or an edible flower. 

Fresh Peach Tart

Simmer the sauce about 5-8 minutes
The sauce was setting as I removed it so put it on the tart
Hard Sauce in place
Fresh sliced peaches
If you're not whupping the cream, you don't deserve to eat it! 
Top with whipped cream and chill

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