White Peach Cream Cheese Tart

Monday, August 6, 2012

 white peach cream cheese tart

I turned the Way-Back Machine on for Project Pastry Queen this week, everybody!  The truth is, we’re nearing the end of the book and the final handful of remaining recipes aren’t the most interesting to most people.  As such, we’re going back to pick some recipes that were completed before most of us joined the group.  I’ve had this tart on my list of things to make for quite some time, but had to wait until peach season hit full stride, of course.

The truth with this tart is that I had it in the oven for approximately 1 and a half minutes before I realized that I had miscalculated my time and we had to leave for a performance at the Hollywood Bowl right that moment and not in the hour that I originally thought.  Cut to me hurriedly swiping the tart out of the hot oven, throwing it in the fridge and running out the door hoping to goodness I didn’t have flour hand prints all over my dark jeans.  I came back home and found that the peaches dipped in cinnamon and sugar macerated while sitting on the tart in the fridge, so there was peach juice all over the surface of the cream cheese filling. Oh well!  In to the oven it goes.

When I pulled it out, there was no sign of the juice anywhere–success!  But because I used white peaches (they were all that were ripe at the store), the cinnamon’s brown color was more dominant than the cheery yellow color of everyone else’s tarts.  Also, I a) forgot to peel them, but that’s no big deal and b) chose not to use halves of peaches as Rebecca suggests, instead going with a more elegant circular pattern that still covers the top of the cream cheese filling just fine.

White Peach Cream Cheese Tart
Makes one 10″ tart
Adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather

Lemon Zest Tart Crust

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 11 Tbsp chilled butter, cut into Tbsp sized chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Topping

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3-4 large peaches

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 1/2 tsp brandy
  • 1 1/2 tsp water
  1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and combine ingredients at low speed.
  2. Add the butter chunks one at a time to the flour mixture and continue beating until the mixture is crumbly and no large chunks of butter remain (the largest size should be pea-sized).
  3. Whisk together the egg and cream and pour into the flour mixture, beating on low until just incorporated.  Watching as the mixer beats on low speed, the dough should form a ball within seconds.  If it’s too dry, you can add a tablespoon of cream more.
  4. Spread a piece of plastic wrap on the counter, turn the dough out onto the saran wrap and form the dough into a round disk.  Wrap it with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  5. After an hour, generously flour a flat surface (and rub some flour onto your rolling pin) and roll the dough out to about 1/8″ thick.
  6. Once the right thickness, gently roll it up on your rolling pin and transfer it to your tart pan, pressing it into place and trimming off the edges that stick out over the top of the tart pan sides.
  7. At this point, you can heat the oven to 375 degrees and you might want to clean out your mixer’s bowl, too.
  8. In your mixer’s bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar about 2 minutes, until well combined.
  9. Add the mascarpone and vanilla and beat until, again, well combined (you’ll probably need to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl in the middle of this).
  10. Add the eggs and beat for about one minute until smooth, then add the flour and salt, beating just until combined.
  11. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the unbaked tart shell and set aside while you slice the peaches.
  12. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  13. Slice the peaches in half and then again into 6 slices per half.  Drop the slices into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and toss until the peaches are evenly coated.  Arrange the slices on top of the cream cheese filling, making sure to cover as much of the filling as possible.
  14. Bake for 50-57 minutes until the center is set and the edges are turning golden brown.
  15. In the final minutes before the tart comes out of the oven, heat the jam, brandy and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil for a minute or two, then let cool for five minutes.
  16. Once the tart comes out of the oven, brush the glaze over the tart and leave it to cool before serving.  Enjoy!

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