Monday, June 1, 2009

Peach Tart (With Creme Patissiere)


Following the accidental success of this, I decided to make another Peach Tart. That half-opened can of peaches is still very much alive in my fridge and I don't know when we'll ever finish them up. I peered into the can again today and I couldn't see the bottom. Do they self-replenish at night, I wonder?

This time, instead of making individual tartlets, I went for 1 large tart for sharing. I also chose to a make it like a French fruit tart, using Creme Patissiere. I simply adore Creme Patissiere. It's such an elegant custard, don't you think? Velvety smooth and luxe, and ever so delicate. That's why I practically live for choux puffs - for that delectable custard in the centre.


I got my Creme Patissiere recipe from here. However, I halved everything because I didn't need so much of it for my shallow 6-inch tart shell (which I made using frozen pastry sheets - another item I have to use up pronto). I also reduced the vanilla extract to a teensy drop because I didn't want it to overwhelm everything else.

I blind baked the tart shell as I went about preparing the custard. It was very straightforward and I managed to get the desired consistency without much challenge. I nicked a dollop after it cooled down and IT. WAS. SUBLIME.


Afterward, I proceeded to fill the baked tart shell with Creme Patissiere and arranged the peach slices in a rose petal formation, prompting my daughter to exclaim, "How pretty!" Indeed it was: the sunny colour of golden peaches atop a bed of rich, regal custard. Edible art, I say.

The assembled tart was chilled for a good 3 hours before I served it at tea time. And what anticipation there was when each of us took our first bites. It was wow, wow and wow! The slight tartness of the peaches contrasted beautifully with the creamy sweetness of the custard, while the tart shell gave each bite a delightful crunch. Best of all, the Creme Patissiere was refreshingly cold, providing a welcome relief from the insane afternoon heat. Trust the French to come up with these exquisite morsels of heaven.

Recipe
(adapted from here)
Yields approximately 1 rice bowl of custard

- 1 cup milk (236ml)
- 2 egg yolks 
-1/4 cup caster sugar (55g)
- 1 drop vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cornflour 
- 1 pinch salt (only if not adding butter, or using unsalted butter)
- 1/2 tsp unsalted butter, for additional shine and firmness

1. Whisk together egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk (60ml), sugar and vanilla extract. Mix in cornflour and salt (if using).

2. Bring the remaining milk to a scald in a saucepan. Pour the hot milk in small stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk as you pour (very important). Once incorporated, pour everything back into the saucepan.

3. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and firms up. Remove from heat and whisk in butter if using.

4. Pour the hot custard into a bowl and plunge the bottom of the bowl into another larger bowl of iced-water to cool, give it a whisk occasionally. Once it reaches room temperature, cover the surface of the Creme Patissiere with cling film to prevent a skin layer forming. Alternatively, fill the Creme Patissiere into a piping bag fixed with a star or round nozzle, twist the open end to seal up the cream. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

7 comments:

  1. I agree with your daughter. How pretty!

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  2. Your peach tart looks so pretty and delicious! I used to dislike store-bought tarlets because of the crust and the custard filling. I don't like the custard at all, they taste like starch to me ;) It was only after having tried making homemade Creme Patissiere I realised that it is totally different from those store-bought ones. Like you said, it taste so refreshingly good when chilled :)

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  3. HHB, I agree totally! Homemade is definitely nicer ;) Commercial tarts taste like starch probably cos they load up on corn flour and save on the eggs! Must try your version of Peach Tart next time!

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  4. hi! thanks for the recipe~! I tried making this cream today and it turned out quite watery. will it harden more when cooled? or did i do something wrong?

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  5. meiyee: No, it will not harden when cooled. If you followed the recipe exactly and it still turned out watery, my only guess is that you did not cook the Creme Patissiere long enough for it to turn into a custard. Other than that, my guess is as good as yours.

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  6. hey! thanks for the reply! i cooked it for around 10 mins. is it sufficient? i checked it in the fridge this morning and it seems creamy enough. so i guess it didn't count as a failure. haha.

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