Rustic Peach Tarts

I always get a little sad when summer ends. 

I know that fall is a great season. Full of bright colors, crisp mornings, tasty pumpkin-flavored treats. But still. Summer is my favorite season, so saying goodbye is always a little bittersweet to me.

Don't worry, I won't sink into post-summertime sadness for too long. Very soon I'll get with it and start baking cozy pumpkin-flavored treats like the rest of the world. But for now, I want just one more bite of summer. 

The tail end of the peach season is sometimes when you get the sweetest, juiciest specimens of fruit. And I want to tell you that it's worth your time to make these rustic peach tarts. They are a wonderful way to get a last taste of summer, and to keep your heart and soul warm for the chilly days ahead.

So what are you waiting for? Let's get baking.

Rustic peach tarts 

Makes 8 tarts

  • Dough for two 9-inch pie crusts (I used this recipe, using half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups sliced peeled peaches (6-8 whole peaches, depending on the size)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (for an egg wash)
  • Make sure the pie dough is prepared and in discs, ready to be rolled out when you are.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the sliced peaches. Toss gently. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for one hour.

After an hour, place the peaches in a strainer over a saucepan, so that the juices can drain into the pan. Give them a gentle stir to ensure you’ve gotten as much of the liquid out of the mixture as possible. Place the peaches back in the large bowl and set to the side for the moment.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Add this mixture to the peach juice in the saucepan. Heat on medium-low on the stovetop, stirring constantly to keep the mixture from scorching or caramelizing. Once the mixture comes to a boil, continue stirring constantly for one minute. It should start to become rather thick. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and butter; the butter should melt very rapidly.

Pour the hot mixture on top of the peaches and gently mix, so that the peaches are evenly coated with the mixture. It will be quite thick. Set the mixture to the side for a moment.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F while you prepare the pastries.

While the oven preheats, roll out the pastry. Personally, I divided each portion of dough into four equal parts (making 8 parts total) and rolled each into an approximately 7-inch circle.

Spoon a nice, generous spoonful of filling in the center of each circle, and then roll the edges inward, creating a sort of rustic bowl shape.

Brush the edges with an egg wash. I got all fancy and sprinkled mine with candied basil, too. 

Place the pie in the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove foil. Cool on a wire rack for several hours before serving.

Do you like peach pie?