Baking for Bookworms: Folded Peach Tart from Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

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Frances Mayes’ memoir takes the reader on a culinary journey. So much so in fact, that she includes dozens of recipes within the book. Here is one of them, which celebrates two of my favorite things: dessert and fruit (and thus it should be no surprise that tarts are some of my favorite dishes)

The tart is only mentioned with the peach tart, so I will just include her commentary on the recipe:

“I learned to make folded pie crusts from a Paul Wolfert cookbook. On a cookie sheet, you spread the crust, pile the filling in the middle, then loosely fold the edges toward the center, forming a rustic tart with a spontaneous look. The peaches here–both the yellow and the white varieties–are so luscious that eating one should be a private act.”      137

The food in this book is inextricably intwined into the setting. Each informs the other and the food brings the magical place in Tuscany into reality.

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Folded Peach Tart

First, you need a crust. You can use your favorite pie/tart crust for this recipe. This is my favorite sweet tart crust (from Williams & Sonoma’s The Weeknight Cook). The easiest way to make this crust is in a food processor, but you can also use a pastry blender or even your hands.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup butter (cold, cut in cubes)
  • 1/3 cup ice water

Combine flour, sugar, and butter until they resemble fine crumbs. Add water and blend until the mixture just comes together.

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Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Press into 3 disks and wrap in plastic wrap. You can keep the other two in the fridge for a few days, or you can put them in the freezer for a month. Refrigerate the one you’re going to use for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

  • 3 peaches, cut into chunks or slices
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds (I totally spaced putting these in, but I would really recommend it, it would have added an insanely awesome amount of crunch)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or chai spice (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll out your crust to slightly larger than pie size. Lay on a baking tray.

Combine the filling mixture of mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and spice. Mix peaches in and spoon into the center of the crust.

Fold the crust around the filling, leaving a four-five inch hole in the middle.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until just golden. Let cool completely and enjoy.

Peaches always make me think of summer. What’s your favorite summer fruit? Let me know in the comments.

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