Sunday, 17 August 2014

Peaches & Spices & Herbs- Oh My!

Torta di Sfoglia, Pesca, Mandorla, Rosmarino & Cannella
Puff-Pastry Tart with Peach, Almond, Rosemary & Cinnamon

Well, we all know that when life gives you bitter lemons, you are supposed to add sugar and make sweet lemonade out of them... but when life gives you super-sweet peaches- what are you supposed to do with them?

Of course it is much less of a challenge, as you can simply enjoy them as they are... you can make a cobbler or a compote with them, or any number of other sweet dishes- or you can also just do something very, very simple like this with them and make them into something much more simple but equally special instead!


You can go to a lot of trouble and fuss and fret over desserts... but you can also just take it easy and let some natural fruity flavor, a little herb and a little spice do all of the hard work for you... some nice tasting ingredients just take care of themselves... if you lead the way for them a little that is!


The tart that I made was only of about the size of a dinner plate- just 10-11", so I actually only ended up needing 2 peaches and a good handful of almonds to make this little rustic treat. This was a good way to use a left-over piece of pastry and was so quick to make that it made a nice treat for breakfast... and another with afternoon tea- haha!


This took me about 5 minutes to slice the peaches, toss with the almonds and rosemary, arrange on the pastry and then a further 20 minutes until it was baked to completion... so, with just the barest minimum of added sugar and so little effort- why on earth would I have not made this? You're right! I couldn't think of a reason not to do it either!


Yes, as with almost all my dishes. totally simple- but totally delicious! I will leave the complicated stuff to... more complicated people!

Simply slice the peaches up nice and thinly- the thinner the better and toss them together with the almonds and the finely chopped rosemary Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste and just a teaspoon or so of sugar and in the time it takes you to fetch your puff-pastry out of the fridge and cut it to size, the peach slices will have begun to give off some of their own juice... perfect!


How much you fuss with laying out the peach slices is up to you- just leave a good 3" or so space around the outside, so that you can fold this over...


...and end up with something looking like this. Do this directly in a non-stick frying pan if you want to follow my example and use my trick for a sure-fire good, firm and crispy base- which is to pop the frying pan onto the stove top for 3-4 minutes to get the pan hot, and get the base hot and beginning to "bake" before the tart even goes into the oven. This will ensure that no juices will seem through and make the pastry soggy.

Of course you can simply bake it in the oven in the normal way- this way is just more fun and guarantees a good result!

I baked mine for between 10-15 minutes on a high shelf at 200°C...


 ...just a little extra sugar at the last minute- a half teaspoon will do... as I said, just a tiny hint to enhance the natural sweetness of the peaches as they were already very sweet! if your peaches are not so sweet, add a little more sugar when you mix them together with the almonds and allow them to sit for a while longer, so that they become more juicy and syrupy... mind you! be careful that they do not get too moist, or you WILL end up making the pastry soggy!


 And around 15 minutes later, you will have something that looks a whole lot like this!


 I would say that this would do nicely with a hot cup of coffee- how about you?


 Juicy fruit, spicy cinnamon and rosemary and flaky, puffy pastry- what's not to like?

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