Free Form Peach Tart

Some insane person on my street cut down a peach tree. Chopped it into pieces and threw it onto the curb. It was filled with baby peaches just beginning to turn a beautiful peachy color, but still too small to eat. I was walking the dog and stopped short. I ran back with a basket and, like a crazy old lady, started collecting the tiny fruits. Ripe or not, I couldn’t let them go to waste.

A normal person might stop for a moment and think: wait a second, perhaps they are blighted, carrying some nasty parasite and the tree was cut down to stop the infestation. Well I don’t believe it. Just look at them: Gorgeous.

I prefer to think that some jerk cut the tree down because it was blocking his light or cluttering his yard with falling fruit. That’s better, right?

Poison or not, they still weren’t ripe enough to eat. But hey, people put bananas in paper bags and tomatoes on window sills, right? So I piled them into a bowl, plopped them in the sunniest spot in my living room and waited. Three days later I had perfectly soft, perfectly ripened peaches. Hurray!

When peach season rolls around, nine out of ten times I will make peach cobbler. I thought that I would branch out with this recent opportunity. Jam was out of the question due to a freezer stocked with pear preserves, so I thought that I would try a Free Form Peach Tart.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I hate to bake. Baking is my Achilles heel. My bumbling of this recipe has proven it, yet again. I cannot for the life of me properly roll out a pie crust. Try as I may it ends up too thick, too thin, too wet, too dry, you name it. In this case it kept splitting, and I had to create a giant, horrifying free form tart monster (too awful for words or pictures). It would not have won any beauty pageant. Good thing then, that we are not being grade on our looks here. I was too embarrassed to bring it to dinner with EatDrinkNOLA on Sunday night, which was its intended purpose, but we ate it for lunch. Despite its terrible looks, it tasted terrific, especially with some quickly melting Bluebell Vanilla Ice Cream on the side. Give it a try and just remember that what you might perceive to be a cooking disaster can taste just as good as your cooking triumphs.

Free Form Peach Tart (serves 6-8)

4 cups sliced peaches
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cardamom

Preheat your oven to 400F

Prepare on Easy Pie Crust Recipe and place in the refrigerator to set.

Slice your peaches and toss in sugar, spices and lemon juice. Many people will blanch the peaches in order to remove the skin, but I don’t bother. You can if you want. When it comes to the spices and sugar, less is more and personal preference is king. I don’t enjoy overly sweet desserts, so I kept the quantity of sugar low. Feel free to modify the measurements until you come up with your ideal flavor. Just be careful with the cardamom, as it has an especially strong flavor.

Set your peaches aside and remove the pie crust from the refrigerator. On a floured surface or cookie sheet, slowly and carefully roll your dough out into a rounded disk. Thin and enlarge until the crust is about 1/2″. Drain the peaches of their juice and carefully set peaches in a circular pattern in the center of the tart, leaving about 2″ at the edge. Fold that edge over the peaches, creating a nest of sorts.

Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.