I've been making peach tarts with frangipane - aka almond cream - using my Tartine cookbook and Erie Orchard peaches. Tartine is a bakery in San Francisco where they are not afraid of butter. It has homemade pastries that can make you cry, including bread pudding, gougéres, and all manner of cookies with chocolate, cakes with meringue and fabulous desserts with beautiful fruit. Do not fail to go there next time you are in SF. Ann Arbor desperately needs a Tartine bakery. Someone please start one and I will be there every single day.
There are 3 parts to this recipe: crust, frangipane, peaches. Make this only with the most excellent ripe summer peaches. Or substitute Wasem's incredible Spartlett pears when they are in season.
Tartine's Peach and Frangipane Tart
Step 1: Crust
1 t. salt
2/3 C. very cold water
3 C. + 2T. flour (all-purpose)
1 C. + 5 T. unsalted butter, very cold
Add salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Keep cold. Add flour to food processor bowl. Cut butter into 1" pieces and scatter over the flour. Pulse briefly until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas. Add the water and salt mixture and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but is not completely smooth. You should still be able to see some butter chunks. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 2 equal balls and shape each ball into a disk 1" thick. Wrap well and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Step 2: Frangipane
2 C. sliced almonds
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. + 2T. unsalted butter, room temp.
2 large eggs
2 T. whole milk
4 t. brandy (optional)
In processor, combine the almonds with 1/4 C. sugar and process until finely ground. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the remaining 3/4 C. sugar and mix to incorporate. Add the almond-sugar mixture and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the salt, brandy, and 1 egg and mix until incorporated. Add the remaining egg and the milk and mix unti light and fluffy. Keeps in the fridge up to 1 week.
Step 3: Peaches and putting it all together
3-4 large and very ripe peaches
Roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/8" thickness and 1 1/2" larger than the 9" tart tin that you will be using. If using a tin with a removable bottom, line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat and place just the tart ring on it (no bottom). This will help the bottom be crispy. Line the tart ring with the dough, folding the excess over to form an even crust. Press firmly all around.
Once dough is prepared, use a spatula to spoon a thick layer of the frangipane into the bottom, mostly filling the dough. Using 3-4 large peaches, peeled and cut into thick slices, arrange these decoratively on the top in concentric circles (starting on the outside is easier). Sprinkle demerara sugar (large crystals) on top. Then, bake at 375º in preheated oven until top is golden brown and filling is set, approximately 1 hour (or up to 1 hour and 20 minutes).
The Tartine book suggests glazing the top with heated apricot jam. I did not find this necessary. The book does not suggest sharing the tart with your most deserving friends. I did find this necessary.