Poached Peach Tarts

Mikal loves fruit. Any type of fruit – stone fruit, berry fruit, fruity fruit fruit-fruit. Blueberries are his favorite (and he can have them all), but peaches are a very close second. So when Sprouts had them on a good sale, he bought a bunch and demanded (not in so many words, but it was still a demand) that I make them into something scrumptious. Not one to take such things lightly, I immediately remembered some items on Pinterest I had found that might fit the bill.

He also stated that it would be something would not be sharing with others. I thought this to be a bit unfair, but that’s ok.

My grandparents came up for the weekend on their way to Santa Cruz, and as a little thing we decided to make dinner. After all, they always make amazing food for us – why not return the favor? Mikal decided to dig out the turkey that has made its home in our freezer for entirely too long (we keep going to other peoples’ houses for holidays, so we haven’t had the opportunity to make it) and made an amazing slow-roasted turkey breast with roasted potatoes and carrots, and it was quite the hit. Turned out absolutely beautifully.

It was also ready around lunch time, and you don’t really have that and something else in the same day – just seems wrong. So I tried to figure out a dessert to go along with it. Mikal was kind enough to proffer some of the peaches and suggested trying to make those pastries with the half-peaches and stuff. I had a vague idea of what he was talking about, but not having had one I wasn’t 100% sure, so I looked up some images and found that one version called it a Danish. Sounds about right. So I looked up how to make Danish pastry dough, because that was a bit new. Pretty easy, though you do have to let it chill for quite a while, at least a couple of hours, to make sure you plan ahead.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the filling, though, and looked up how to poach a peach. Found a wonderful recipe from the BBC for vanilla poached peaches, and decided that was the perfect thing to do. So the below is quite the lengthy recipe, and unfortunately doesn’t have any pictures , but it was very well-received and AMAZING.

One thing to keep in mind – I only used half or so of the dough generated below to make the tarts (total of four). The other half will be used for Peach Danish Braids (link to come).

Poached Peach Tarts

Danish Dough
from Sally’s Baking Addiction
prep time: 2hrs + 4hrs initial chill time

1/4 cup warm water, 105-115°F
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (one standard package)
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
1 large egg at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
14 tbsp unsalted butter, cold

Whisk the yeast and warm water together in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 3 minutes until foamy. Add milk, egg, granulated sugar, and salt. Once these wet ingredients are mixed together, set the bowl aside and make your butter/flour mixture.

Cut butter into 1/4″ cubes and add to the butter, cutting together until it is fairly crumbled.

Pour flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Very gently fold the two mixtures together. Fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened to maintain a tender dough. The butter must remain in pieces, which creates the flaky pastry. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4hrs or overnight.

After 4-12hrs, take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the rolling and folding process. Flour a work surface, and roll the dough out into a rough rectangle. You will likely have to continue flouring as you roll as the dough will be sticky. Fold the dough together in three sections like a letter, then roll out into another rectangle. Repeat once more. After the third folding together, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and stick back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.

In the mean time, prepare the peaches.

Vanilla Poached Peaches
from BBC Good Food

2-6 peaches
425ml sweet white wine
2 tbsp clear honey
1 vanilla pod, split

Blanching: Put the kettle on, and fill a large bowl with iced water. Place the peaches in another large bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave for 30 seconds, then remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the cold water. The skins should now come away easily.

Cut peaches in half and remove pits, and set aside.

Place the wine, honey, and vanilla pod in a pan large enough to hold all the peaches, then gently heat until the honey has dissolved. Lower the peaches into the pan, cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until tender but not overly soft. Remove the cooked peaches from the pan and set aside.

Boil the syrup hard until it has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

After at least 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut in half. Wrap one half up and return to the refrigerator. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, approximately 8×12 inches or so – large enough to get sizable squares of dough for the peaches to sit on and have a bit of a lip to roll.

Cut out the dough squares and place onto baking sheet. Place the half-peaches in the centers of the squares, then roll or fold the edges of the pastry up to create a lip. Pour 1 tsp of syrup over the peach, and coat the pastry dough with egg wash. Repeat process for each square.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating as needed for even baking. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, crème fraîche, or alone with a bit more syrup drizzled over it.

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