PETALUMA PEACH TART


As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Petaluma, a small town in Sonoma County before Sonoma and neighboring counties embraced the monoculture of the grape.  Sure there are still lots of apples, berries, pears and peaches, but not nearly as many as during the last century.  Then, we didn’t have to go very far to find an orchard or berry farm to buy fresh fruit.  In the Napa Valley near St. Helena in the midst of an ocean of grapevines is a little two acre plot where Dr. Wendell Dinwiddie has been growing peaches for almost 20 years.  I remember being amazed when he planted those fruit trees in grape country!  He planted the varieties of peaches sequentially so a few ripen perfectly about every two weeks all summer.There are 8 varieties.  I have been making a version of this tart for many years.  It marries my favorite flavors of ripe peaches and almonds.  The pistachios give the tart a little crunch and a pop of green.  The juices melt into the bottom crust and the result is a total immersion of flavors.

Serves 8

Almond Tart Crust

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt
Peaches and Topping
  • 4 or 5 large freestone peaches (I used Fay Elberta)
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour for tossing with the peaches
1.  Mix all the crust ingredients.  Press the mixture up the sides and over the bottom of the tart pan.  Blind bake for about 10 minutes.  Cool a bit.
2.  Peel and slice the peaches into thick (1/2 inch) slices.  Be sure to use “freestone” peaches because they can easily be freed from the pit.  “Cling” peaches really cling to the pit and it can get messy. (personal experience)
3.  Put the peach slices in a colander and let drain for about 30 minutes.  Then toss the peaches in a couple tablespoons of almond flour/meal.
4.  Arrange the peaches in a circle around and spiraling until the entire surface is filled with peach slices.
5.  To make the topping mix the butter, sugar, egg yolks, pistachios, lemon zest and grated ginger together.  Blend the mixture (I use my hands) until all the butter is incorporated.
6.  Evenly spread the topping over all the peaches.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  The topping will become custard like.  Serve with whipped cream if you like…but not necessary.

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4 Responses to PETALUMA PEACH TART

  1. TasteFood says:

    Beautiful tart! I love the addition of pistachios.

  2. lizthechef says:

    A”keeper” of a summer recipe. I agree with Lynda that the pistachios are a brilliant addition.

  3. Ah this looks so perfect! I am really looking forward to trying this 🙂

  4. Debbie Niskin says:

    What a beautiful tart! I’m going to try it using green-ripe mangoes because we don’t grow peaches well here in Miami Beach.

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