Fascinatingly, or at least to me, I seem to have reached my 100th post. It only took me two years… (quite frankly, I originally meant that statement a bit ironically, but a bit less so now that I’ve thought about it).
It seems a bit tough to have too much tea, but my grandparents are slowly being consumed by their tea cupboard. Small containers, jars and small and brightly labelled foil sachets are stacked in a gleeful jumble. We have quite a bit of tea as well…the thing is, when grandparents have something, and not even necessarily an abundant quantity of something, they always want to give it away.
Tea is a constancy in their apartment. There is always a pot of tea, occasionally still lukewarm, most often settled to a pleasant room temperature. Made with only a few pinches of leaves, it’s not weak, but gentle–the sort you drink instead of water, and the sort of tea that tastes very far from lacking. Sometimes it is a green tea, an oolong, or even a few dried pieces of burdock root. My favourite is typically the tightly furled and fragrant jasmine pearl tea. The tarts are based off the whole (half) peach tarts that I’ve seen here and there. The jasmine tea pastry cream is one of my favourites. The milk keeps everything gentle and free from too much bitterness. However, my pastry cream was quite loose and requires a chill in the fridge to allow it to firm up before the tart is eaten. Texturally, the main issue was the pastry, which was thick and quite hard–I’ve made some suggestions as to how that could be remedied in the notes. jasmine pear poached peach tarts
I’ve seen a whole-poached peach tart a couple places. This peach tart inspiration from she who eats (this whole post is a glorious inspiration-laden ode to fruit tarts), infinite belly (a blog with the trifecta that is beautiful food, beautiful photography and beautiful words) and a bit from Richard Bertinet’s Pastry. Here is another favourite whole peach tart from Domestic Gothess.
almond and whole wheat pastry
The pastry, with the ground almonds, wasn’t very strong and I wasn’t about to roll it out and then line the rings, rather I had to press it in. This resulted in a thicker, harder pastry. I would take out the almond and put in some additional flour instead so that the pastry could be rolled out thinly. In this case you may also be able to line 6 rings (or more!) instead of just five.
50 g butter
20 g ground almond
100 g whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
35 g beaten egg
Cream the butter with the flour, almond, salt and sugar. Mix in the egg to form a cohesive pastry. Chill.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use to line 5 3″ tart rings. The pastry will likely need to be pieced together due to poor structural integrity. Chill the tart shells while you preheat the oven to 375F.
Blind bake the shells for 20 minutes, remove the baking weights, and bake another 8 minutes.
jasmine pearl pastry cream
It’s a very subtle and comforting tasting pastry cream. The bit of salt is quite nice. Makes a generous amount of pastry cream, enough to fill perhaps 7 or 8 tarts.
300 mL milk
8 jasmine pearls
60 mL heavy cream
27 g cornstarch
2 eggs + 15 g egg leftover from pastry
20 g sugar
scant 1/4 tsp salt
pat of butter
an additional ~150 mL heavy cream, whipped
Warm the milk in a saucepan until scalded. Add the jasmine pearls, cover, and set aside to steep for around half an hour. Strain out the tea and whisk in the heavy cream.
Whisk together the sugar, salt and cornstarch, then gradually whisk in the eggs, a bit of egg at a time.
Bring the steeped milk to a boil and add to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper. Return to the saucepan and continue to cook gently, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream is thickened. Mix in the pat of butter until melted and then transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill completely.
When about ready to be used, work the pastry cream with a rubber spatula until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream.
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/4 c dried jasmine flowers
2 cm length of vanilla bean
Fill a saucepan with enough water to just cover three peaches. Add the sugar, jasmine flowers and length of vanilla bean (pod split and seeds scraped). Heat until it comes to a simmer, add the peaches and set over low heat such that the liquid barely simmers if at all.
Let peaches poach until you think they might be tender through. It happens faster than you think–I think I did it around 15 minutes.
Remove, let cool until you can handle them. Split in half and peel and let cool completely.
Fill the tart shells with pastry cream up to a bit below the rim of the pastry. Take a peeled peach half and set it on top, tucking the peach into the tart shell. Stick a small sprig of thyme or sage flowers into the peach. Chill for a couple hours to allow the pastry cream to firm up. Just before serving, if the peaches look as though they’ve dried out a bit, brush them with some poaching liquid.