I noticed that I have not posted a ‘sweet’ recipe for a long time.
This is one of my out and out favourite desserts, and this is saying something as I really don’t have a very sweet tooth. This recipe, once again, comes from the lovely Provencal cookbook that I found in ‘St Paul de Vence’ (for more information and photos of this gorgeous village, see my post for ‘Chicken Provencale and Saint Paul de Vence’)
It is SO simply and delicious both hot and cold either on its own or with a little crème fraiche on the side.
A real taste of the sunshine………
Shortcrust pastry (see the bottom of this post for how to make the perfect pastry)
3 ripe peaches (peches murs)
A good handful of pine nuts (une bonne poignée de pignons de pin)
A good handful of raisins (une bonne poigée de raisins secs)
100 g of powdered almonds (amandes concassées)
200g crème fraiche
100 g sugar
60 g butter
2 eggs lightly beaten
Line a lightly buttered flan dish with the pastry
Cut the peaches in half then slice each half into 4 and sauté in the butter until beginning to caramelise, remove from pan and leave to cool slightly.
Whisk (fouet) the sugar with the eggs with a hand whisk until light and fluffy
Add the crème fraiche
Stir in the powdered almands, pine nuts and raisins
Line the pastry with the slightly cooled peach slices
Pour over the mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes at 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
This dish can also be made later in the year, when the peach season has ended using apples in the same way. I have also made it earlier in the year using plums and leaving out the raisins.
The smell when this is baking is divine………..hmmmm
How to make perfect Pastry (also see my ‘Frangipan Tarte aux Poires et Chocolate’, ‘Mireille’s Favourite Treacle Tart’ and ‘Tarte au Citron a l’Anglaise’ pictured below)
The three main factors for making a good pastry are:-
The speed of making it – pastry does not like to be over handled
The temperature – the cooler the room, your hands, the surface, and the water the better.
The amount of moisture – the drier the pastry, the more light and crumbly (short) it is – even if it is more difficult to work with and may need patching up, it is worth it for the end result. The wetter, the more you will break your teeth!
200g/7oz plain flour (Aldi was my favourite in the UK, but Francine ‘farine de ble pour tous usages’ works well)
80g TREX (100g margarine – TREX has a higher water content so 20% less is needed)
1 egg yolk (jaune)
2 dessertspoons (cuilleres de soupe) of ice cold water
Wash your hands and rinse in cold water
Sieve the flour into a large, preferable pottery mixing bowl
Chop in the TREX (or equivelent) with a cold knife, then quickly work it into breadcrumbs using the tips of your fingers only and lifting the mixture from the bowl as the work it, to get as much air in the mixture as possible
Cut the egg yolk into the mixture again using a cold knife
Add the water (direct from the fridge) and mix all together with a cold knife
Quickly draw the mixture into a ball, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to ‘rest’ for at least 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge for 5 minutes before rolling out to fit a 12” (30xm) flan/quiche dish
Put back in fridge until ready to use – Maybe to make one (or all) of these…