Thursday, August 27, 2009

Peach Clafoutis Tart

With peaches popping pink & peachy, marks the height of summer and end of the warm days soon. I am very happy that I have managed to pick all the summer fruits this year and used them in my baking. Blueberries are undeniably my favorite, strawberries and cherries added beautiful colors, raspberries yield an interesting bite and now peaches makes everything luscious and juicy. Autumn is my favorite season of the year with the change of colors and changes in appetites for more heavier and substantial baked goods and dishes. Summer always brings in the colors and enthusiasm and yet Autumn kind of settles down the mood with a more earthy tone and preparing for the cold to come. With today's drop in temperature to a cool start, I can already smell the presence of apples & cider with the beautiful huge pumpkins popping out in the fields very soon!

To end my summer fruits baking repertoire, peach and blueberry made up the colors for this Clafoutis Tart. Clafoutis is a French dessert comprising of fruits baked in a custard batter and I took the extra step in making a pastry tart to contain the Clafoutis to get the combination of firm and soft bites. I love my friends in Facebook, everytime I throw out the question on what to do in my baking, they will all give me feedbacks! And from their feedbacks, I get more inspiration on what to do and when I asked for something peachy, they were split even between tarts and pies. With this one, I think I managed to capture the pie idea that the fruit itself is baked into the filling and half of them are baked blind and exposed as with all fruit tarts.

The Clafoutis custard filling was very easy to make with a combination of eggs, flour, milk and sugar. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit, the amount of sugar is discretionary and initially I made up a batch of pastry cream to decorate the top of this tart which will add sweetness to it and so I skimped on the amount of sugar in the filling itself. Although I have baked alot of tarts before, each one never fails to surprise me. At first I thought that the tart case may not cook nicely and evenly if I bake it from scratch together with the custard filling and so I blind baked it first. The tart shrunk half inch in height and I could only used 1/3 of the custard batter quantity which did not cover the peaches wholly, leaving them popping out on the surface! Hence I will have no use for the pastry cream for decoration as the peaches themselves already lent a pretty presentation and color. I used 5 small peaches here and peeled the skin to reflect the beautiful yellow flesh. Even after baking, the color turned darker and the peach softer and exuded more sweetness than its original state. This tart should be served warm with a little ice cream or whipped cream on the side like a pie.

Recipe :

Pastry Tart
1-1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
6 tbsp butter (malleable & cold)
3 tbsp cold water
1 egg white, beaten

1)Cut the butter into smaller pieces and rub into the flour till it resembles coarse crumbs.
2)Add the water gradually and gather the mixture into a ball and flatten to a disk. Wrap up and let it rest in the fridge for 45 mins.
3)Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 7 inch tart pan. Roll out the pastry and line the pan.
4)Line the dough with aluminum paper and baking beans. Bake for 10 mins.
5)Remove the paper and baking beans, brush egg white on the bottom and sides of the tart and return to oven to bake for another 10 mins.
6)Remove from oven and turn the heat down to 350F.

Clafoutis Batter (Recipe Readjusted in view of the shrunk tart case)
4 to 5 small peaches (skin peeled & halved with stone removed)
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla

1)Beat the eggs with the sugar. Beat in milk and vanilla.
2)Stir in the flour till combined.
3)Arrange the peach halves in the baked tart case with the round sides facing upwards. Using a spoon, slowly pour in the clafoutis batter to the top rim of the tart. Place the tart pan in a large baking pan.
4)Bake at 350F for 40 to 45 minutes till the custard is set.
5)Remove from oven and let cool.
6)Garnish with blueberries, mint leaves and powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Serves: 4 to 5 persons


Kitchen Butterfly said...

Looks lovely. I've also been enjoying the peaches this summer - also in a clafouti. Love the berries and leave

Lily Anette said...

Kitchen Butterfly: Thank you. Indeed summer culminates with the most beautiful color of all its fruits, the Peach!