Friday, September 18, 2009
My Venture into Stone Fruit
I love any kind of stone fruit (or fruits with pits). Peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries – you name it, I love 'em. During the summer when they are in season, I'm in heaven.
I made these tartlets for a dinner party a few years ago. They are so quick and easy to make but they look like they could be sold in a fancy, schmancy pastry shop. During dessert, I passed around a bowl of granola so the guests could decide for themselves if they wanted a crunchy topping or not. I like these tartlets either way, with or without a granola topping, so I decided to post a photograph with one of each so you could see the difference and decide for yourself.
During that dinner party, one of the guests, Bob, commented that he liked to grill stone fruits. Judy, one of the other guests, corrected him and said that the term is actually "stoned" fruits and not "stone" fruits. She reasoned that he would say, after all, scrambled eggs and not scramble eggs or grilled chicken and not grill chicken. Bob countered and said that she would say log cabin and not logged cabin or brick wall and not bricked wall. I, personally, thought that "stoned fruit" sounded reeeeally odd and should only be used to refer to fruit that had been partying too much at an all-night bong party at a college frat house. Unfortunately, the debate got rather heated and ended up with one of them storming out of my house. I learned my lesson. Never serve fruits with pits at dinner parties because of the potential violence that might ensue.
Whatever terminology you use, you have to try this simple but elegant dessert. Enjoy – and happy stoning!
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1 refrigerated pie dough
1 large peach or nectarine, unpeeled
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Small pinch salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 TBSP peach preserves
Granola for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Heat a skillet on medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter. While the skillet is heating, cut the peach or nectarine into 12 slices of equal size.
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. When the butter has just melted, sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly in the skillet. Do not let the skillet get too hot. Add the peaches and lemon juice. Swirl the pan around to evenly coat the bottoms of the peaches and bring the brown sugar mixture to a light simmer. Once simmering, cook the peaches for about 2 minutes then flip and cook 2 minutes longer. Do not allow the syrup to aggressively simmer when cooking or you will boil away too much of the liquid. Periodically swirl the pan to keep the mixture evenly heated. Pour the peaches and accumulated brown sugar syrup into a bowl and allow the fruit to cool slightly.
Unroll the pie dough and cut three 5 1/4" circles out the dough. I, personally, use the lid of a large container of oatmeal as a guide to cut out the circles. Remove the excess dough from around the cut circles and use it for another purpose. Fold over about 1/3" of dough around each circle and flute the edges – making sure to build up the sides enough to keep the syrup from spilling over when baking. Add the tartlet shells to a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Heat the peach preserves for just a few seconds in the microwave to make them easier to spread. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of the warmed preserves on the bottom of each tartlet shell. Shingle 4 slices of peach in each tartlet. Pour a tiny amount of the brown sugar syrup in each tartlet – but not too much or it will spill over when baking. It's OK if you have some of the syrup left because you may need some after the tartlets are baked.
Bake the tartlets for about 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the syrup is bubbly. If any of the peaches look a little dry, add a little of the brown sugar syrup you reserved earlier. After baking, top with some homemade granola or granola cereal (if desired).
Posted by Cooking Ventures at 6:07 AM