When it comes to fruit, I’m of the opinion that fresh and unadorned is best. Especially in the summertime, I really don’t believe in fooling around with fresh fruit, when they are at their chin-drippin’ best. One of the exceptions to this rule of mine, of course, is the copious amounts of jam that I bottle every summer in anticipation of dark winter mornings when only a bit of Hood berry jam, preserved at its peak, will chase away the doldrums. So, I have never really understood the obsession with various fruit pies and other sweet creations that claim to somehow augment something that is pretty perfect to begin with.
But as with any rule, exceptions must be made. For instance, when you’ve invited people over for a mid-summer meal and want to impress with something more creative than cut fruit. In the case of my “Don’t mess with summer fruit” rule, another exception I make is for fruit tarts, such as this Peach-Ginger Tart. This is especially true for stone fruits like peaches, plums, and cherries, that pair wonderfully with a bit of sugar, a bit of spice, and a flaky pie crust. But in keeping with not messing with the fruit too much, I like to keep my recipes very simple, opting not to peel the fruit or poach or cook it in any way before baking. This generally leads to a very rustic looking product that still manages to capture the flavor of summer fruit at its best, while elevating it to something that you might serve at the end of a long summer repast without appearing too lazy. Yet, these are so easy to put together, especially if using store-bought pie sheets, that they will not cut too much into your lazing around doing nothing time, either.
This tart can be made as shown using a 9” tart shell, or can be adapted to make individual galettes. Either way, it tastes great by itself, or with vanilla bean ice-cream, on a balmy summer evening.
1 pie crust (either store-bought, as I prefer, or use your favorite recipe)
4-6 firm but ripe peaches, sliced into ½ inch thick slices
¼ C packed brown sugar
¼ C white sugar
2 t ginger powder or 1 T finely grated ginger root
1 T corn starch
Juice of 1 lemon
Mix all ingredients (except pie crust, of course) and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge
Preheat oven to 350 deg F
Line a greased 9” tart pan with pie crust
Cover with wax paper, fill tart with dry beans or pie weights
Bake for 15 minutes and remove
Fill pie with fruit filling, and bake for 40 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown
Serve warm or at room temperature