I’m looking forward to August and when the heavenly local peaches magically appear by the bushel in roadside stands. I can taste and smell them if I close my eyes. Until then, I will settle for the early peaches that are available now.
There’s always been something enigmatic about peaches.
When I was a little girl, I remember peaches fresh from the tree in my grandparents’ back yard. We’d take great care to look for any worms before eating any. My grandmother kept a small paring knife on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. She used that knife to slice bananas and strawberries for her cereal each morning, as well as to peel and slice up fresh peaches for us.
She and my mother would bottle peaches and we’d enjoy them all year long. Sometimes my job was to sort out the new tops for the bottles. I loved to hear the big black pot boiling away on the stove. Each bottle top was tested to make sure it was properly sealed. The kitchen would always feel sticky for a few days afterward.
There is nothing like a fresh, juicy peach off the tree. (It’s been a long time since I’ve had one.) But I also have a fondness for bottled peaches.
Awhile back , I had this great idea (or so I thought) for creating a new-ish flavor of peach cheesecake ice cream. As with most of my experiments…it was not quite there, if you know what I mean. Just a bit off. It didn’t freeze when I churned it in my Cuisinart. It didn’t get particularly hard when I put it in the freezer. I thought about tossing it.
(white peaches and nectarines from last summer)
We ate sampled my concoction by the spoonful before I decided what to do with it–add a few eggs, throw it into a prebaked tart shell, bake at 350…perfection.
The name for this tart is sort of bland, but the tart isn’t. My husband asked me to place a gold star next to this recipe because he loves it so much. (I’ll practically do anything for a gold star from anyone!)
It is a good tart. I will make it again. And again. And even a few more times after that. It would be even better with a nut crust. Yes…I think I’ll do that next time around.
Creamy Peach Tart
1 recipe sweet tart dough
8 oz. fresh or frozen peaches (about 2 cups sliced)
1/4 cup water
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4 oz. cream cheese (full fat or 1/3 less is fine)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract (if you like it add more!)
Place the peaches and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and cook until the peaches are soft. (You won’t need to do this is the peaches are fresh and ripe.)
Puree the peaches and water in a blender until very smooth. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer. Slowly add the condensed milk with the mixer running on low. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the extracts. Beat until smooth. Add the peach puree.
Pour into the baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. The tart will be set, but still a big jiggly. It will continue to set up out of the oven, so don’t overbake it or it will curdle.
Let cool in a wire rack. Chill for several hours until ready to serve.