By Erin Walgamuth
Don’t you love the aroma of a summer peach? I have had four sitting on my kitchen counter for about a week now, their lovely fragrance is the first thing I smell when I walk into the kitchen each morning….well, besides the coffee. They needed to be eaten so I decided to make some little tarts.
My husband’s Aunt Ruthie sent me some almond paste as she knows I love it and I had some in the refrigerator….yes, the new refrigerator! I could eat almond paste with just about anything, or for that matter with a peach! So, here is the recipe I came up with, which, by the way, tastes really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side….delish!
Notes; if you don’t want to make your own pastry then by all means purchase some pre-made at the supermarket.
If your peaches are super sweet you may not want to use a whole tablespoon of sugar, your choice.
You can find almond paste in the baking section of most markets; it is not as sweet as marzipan.
I don’t have a 4 ½ inch biscuit cutter so I use a round Tupperware container which works very well!
You can make your pastry the day before if you like and keep it in the refrigerator. If you do this then let the pastry rest for ten minutes on the kitchen counter before you are ready to use it as it will be too cold to roll out easily.
I put a ¼ cup of water in a small glass with some ice cubes before I start making my dough.
Oven temperature 350 degrees
Prep-time is about 25 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
You will need: Food Processor
Plastic wrap for chilling pastry
Wooden board or marble slab for rolling out dough
4 ½ inch biscuit cutter
Small mixing bowl for peaches
Small bowl for egg wash
Ungreased baking sheet for tartlets
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling out dough
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ cup (one stick) of cold butter cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
4 small ripe peaches
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond paste cut into 4 equal pieces
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
Raw sugar for sprinkling over tarts
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Put flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 10 times to combine. Add cold butter pieces to flour and pulse 30 times or until it looks like coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse about 18 times or until butter is incorporated and mixture holds together when pinched between your fingers. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on your kitchen counter and dump the pastry dough out onto the plastic wrap. Knead the dough briefly and shape into a ball then flatten ball with your palm. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, peel skin off of the peaches and slice pieces off around the pit, you will have approximately ¼ cup per peach. Discard skin and pit. Put peach slices in the medium bowl and mix in sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla, let rest.
Remove pastry from refrigerator, remove plastic and put pastry on the lightly floured rolling out surface. Roll out pastry to a 12 inch circle. Use the biscuit cutter to make 4-4 ½ inch circles. You will have left over dough that you can use for another purpose or just make another tartlet if you have left-over peaches. Use the spatula to gently separate the pastry from the rolling out surface so they are not stuck and difficult to lift later.
Crumble the almond paste into a 2 inch circle in the middle of each pastry circle. Mound 6 slices of peach on top of the almond paste. Fold the pastry up and around the peach mound overlapping pastry as you go along. Press pastry folds into peaches to form a snug fit and make sure there are no holes. Reserve the peach liquid.
Use a wide spatula to transfer the tartlets to the baking sheet.
Put egg yolk into the small bowl and add ½ teaspoon of water. Whisk the egg yolk with the water to blend well.
Spoon reserved peach liquid equally over the peaches only on each tart. Brush pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle pastry and peaches liberally with the raw sugar.
Bake tartlets in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove tartlets from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Use the spatula to gently separate the tartlets from the baking sheet and continue to cool on the baking sheet. Serve warm or room temperature.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.
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