Peach Tarte Tatin
Why This Recipe Works
The classic tarte Tatin is an upside-down caramelized apple tart. We wanted to create a peach version, but simply swapping fruits produced a cloying tart that was awash in juice. To make wetter, sweeter, more fragile peaches work, we had to tweak the recipe. We started by layering butter, a small amount of sugar, salt, and peaches in a cool skillet. After cooking the filling on the stovetop until the peach juice was deeply browned, we removed the skillet from the heat, slid a pie pastry disk on top, and baked it. When the crust was browned and crisp, we let the tart cool for 20 minutes before pouring off the excess juice and inverting the tart onto a platter. Reducing the juice with a bit of bourbon and then brushing the mixture back over the peaches gave this tart extra flavor and shine while supporting its cohesiveness.
|1||recipe single-crust pie dough, chilled|
|3||tablespoons unsalted butter, softened|
|½||cup (3 1/2 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons sugar|
|2||pounds ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted, and quartered|
|1||tablespoon bourbon (optional)|
Firm Peaches Are Preferable
This tart is the rare instance where perfectly ripe fruit isn't a must. In fact, we prefer firm, barely ripe peaches for the recipe because they don't require blanching to peel, and they taste just as good in the tart.
Put Your Peach Juice to Work
Because peaches throw out so much liquid during cooking, we had to find ways to make sure our tart didn’t end up awash in it (as in the failed test above). At the same time, we put that excess juice to good use.
1. Use Pie Dough, Not Puff Pastry
Pie dough absorbs more steam than less-porous puff pastry, so the juice ends up a bit thicker.
2. Drain and Reserve Juice
Once the tart is baked, get rid of excess liquid by placing an inverted plate on the crust and draining off juice.
3. Reduce Juice Into Glaze
Combine the peach juice with bourbon and reduce the mixture into a thick, flavorful glaze to brush onto the peaches.