The inspiration for this week's Friday Baking came when I passed a huge basket of the most beautiful peacharines at my local market. A thin, golden pastry tart topped with slices of fruit and a scattering of gingery crumbs emerged from my oven and was devoured before it even had a chance to cool down!
1¾ cups plain flour
⅓ cup caster sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
100 grams chilled butter, diced
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 #7 egg plus 1 #7 egg yolk (large)
1-2 tablespoons cold water
8 – 10 firm but ripe peacharines, peaches or nectarines, free-stone if possible
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoon crushed biscuit crumbs (I used a ginger biscuit but you can use a favourite plain biscuit)
1 x 30 cm pizza tin* or a loose bottom tart tin
Put the flour, sugar, salt, butter and zest in a food processor and process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir the egg, egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the water together and add to the dough. Pulse until it just starts to come together, only adding the second tablespoon of water if necessary. Tip onto the bench and gently bring together by hand and form into a flat disc. The dough will feel quite sticky. Wrap and refrigerate until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured bench and line the tin, ensuring the pastry around the edge of the tin isn’t too thin or it will burn quickly. Chill again while you slice the fruit into 1cm thick wedges. (I leave the skin on).
Starting on the outside, arrange the fruit in concentric circles over the pastry then fill in the centre. The fruit should fit snugly. Brush the tops with butter then scatter with the crumbs.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the fruit is just tender. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or cool with softly whipped cream or thick yoghurt.
Cook's Tip: If the edge of the pastry is getting dark before the tart is cooked, cover the edge with strips of foil, leaving the fruit uncovered.
*Pizza tins are readily available from most supermarkets and are ideal for this type of tart. The holes in the base ensure the pastry is lovely and crisp.