I have been away from the blog for a little while - visiting my parents and cat-sitting in London; and have struggled to find the time (and motivation - the weather has been so warm I have just wanted to be outside) to do any blogging, so apologies to those of you who have commented and I haven't yet replied to, service shall resume as normal as of now! I did not stop baking however; so I do have a few delicious things to share with you, the first of which is these gorgeous peach, pistachio and rose tarts.
There are so many fantastic fruits in season at the moment - I just can't get enough of them, so prepare for lots of recipes involving fruit! I have been eating at least one peach a day, if not two, so I just had to bake something with them; my original thought was to make peach frangipane tarts, which are a classic (and delicious) combination; but I decided to go a little more exotic, replacing the almonds in the frangipane with pistachios, and adding a drop of rosewater. They are wonderfully fragrant and summery, the flavour almost Middle Eastern, and are the perfect treat to enjoy on a warm summers evening.
They aren't difficult to make, but do need to be eaten soon after baking, definitely on the same day, as after a while the juice will seep out of the peach and make them go a little soggy. You can make the pastry and blind bake the cases a day in advance though, and the frangipane will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, just let it come up to room temperature before using; so they can be very quick to make if you do a bit of advance preparation. Do make sure that you aren't too heavy handed with the rosewater, a little goes a long way and you don't want to end up eating something that tastes like potpourri; use no more than ⅛ tsp. I decorated mine with chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberry pieces, but if you happen to have some crystallised rose petals to hand they would also be beautiful scattered around the edge of each tart.
Peach, Pistachio & Rose Tarts
- 100 g (¾ cup + 2tbsp) plain flour
- 60 g (¼ cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 20 g (¼ cup) icing sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 40 g (1.5 oz) pistachios
- 25 g (scant ¼ cup) ground almonds
- 50 g (scant ¼ cup) softened butter
- 40 g (scant ¼ cup) caster sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 10 g honey 1 tsp
- 1.5 tbsp plain flour
- ⅛ tsp rosewater
- 2 peaches ripe but firm
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 25 g (1 oz) chopped pistachios
- freeze dried raspberry pieces
- Mix together the flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs (or blitz in a food processor), mix in the egg yolk and bring together into a soft dough, adding a little ice water if necessary. Shape into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
- Divide the pastry into four equal pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface and use to line four 10cm round tart tins, pressing the pastry right into the corners. Fold the excess pastry over the rim but don't trim it off. Prick the base of each a couple of times with the tines of a fork then place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line each of the tart cases with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, bake for 15 minutes then remove the baking beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until pale golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
- Blitz the pistachios in a food processor until they are finely ground. Whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the honey, egg and flour. Finally mix in the ground pistachios, almonds and rosewater.
- Halve, stone and peel the peaches. Divide the pistachio filling between the pastry cases and place a peach half cut side down on top of each, sprinkle with a little sugar.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the frangipane has set (a toothpick inserted should come out clean). Leave to cool in the tins for about 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Gently heat the tablespoon of honey until it is runny then brush the top of each tart with some of the honey. Sprinkle chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberry pieces around the edge of each tart.
- Best served soon after baking and definitely on the same day or they will go soggy.