Chef Francois Payard’s Rustic Peach Tart

It’s peach season, and the livin’ is tasty…

With that in mind, celebrated patissier Chef Francois Payard shares this recipe for his Rustic Peach Tart. Called “the ultimate ode to fresh summer peaches”, this dessert places the ripe, tender fruit front and center amidst a creamy almond filling. Always an eye-catching presence in the front window of Chef Payard’s New York shop, this tart tastes as good as it looks.

Rustic Peach Tart

Image credit: Francois Payard
Image credit: Francois Payard

(Makes 6 to 8 Servings)

Almond Cream:

  • A scant ⅔ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 stick plus 1½ teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 small egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour

Assembly:

  • 5 to 6 ripe peaches, quartered and pitted
  • One 9½ inch prebaked tart shell
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the almond cream: Place the almonds and two tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground, about 1 minute.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the remaining sugar on high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the ground almond mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the egg and egg yolk, beat well, and scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary, then beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the flour until just combined.
  4. Reserve one cup of this almond cream and store the rest in an airtight container for next time. (You can refrigerate the remaining cream for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.)
  5. Spread the almond cream into an even layer in the pre-baked tart shell. Arrange the peaches, standing up, in a pinwheel pattern over the filling, starting from the edge of the tart and working toward the center.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool the tart on a wire rack.
  7. Place the apricot preserves in a small heatproof dish and microwave on high power for 30 to 45 seconds, until bubbling. Strain the hot preserves through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.
  8. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the tart with the glaze. The tart can be made up to one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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