Late year, we attended a wedding in Georgia in which, at both the rehearsal and reception dinners, peaches were incorporated in some form or the other. I remember it well because I liked the idea that the couple (although neither of them was from Georgia) included a memorable aspect of the state in their wedding details: Georgia peaches.
I do not think there is a dish that isn't made better by adding peaches. In this tart recipe, very ripe peaches are used for two main reasons: the sweetness and the texture. Since the pie isn't baked long enough to soften half ripened peaches, soft ripe peaches allow you to cut into it easily and serve immediately after assembling. Of course, other soft fruit can be substituted here, such as raspberries and nectarines.
Serves 4 to 5
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
5 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe peaches, sliced
2 tbsp peach preserve (or other fruit preserve)
To make the crust:
Combine flour, sugar and salt, then cut in the butter until crumbly. Press unto the bottom and an inch up the sides of an 8 inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack until ready to use.
To make the filling:
1. Add the milk and half of the sugar in a sauce pan, over medium heat, and bring to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together with the rest of the sugar and the corn starch until the corn starch completely dissolves.
3. Once the milk begins to boil, remove a third cup and temper the egg mixture. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the rest of the milk. Continue to whisk over medium heat, bringing the mixture back up to a boil. The cream should begin to thicken very quickly. Once you notice that it's not getting any thicker, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use; this prevents a skin from forming on the top.
To assemble the pie:
1. Pour the prepared cream unto crust, and arrange the peach slices decoratively on the top.
2. Melt the peach preserve in the microwave to a syrup-like consistency. Using a pastry brush, gently brush onto the peach slices.
3. Using a torch, scorch the tops of the peaches lightly. Alternatively, this can be done under the broiler for no more than three minutes.