Hillary Davis is an author and food blogger who lives just down the road from Yankee’s offices in southern New Hampshire. But she regularly returns to southern France, where she lived for 11 years, and where she discovered the style of cooking that inspired her latest book, Cuisine Niçoise: Sun-Kissed Cooking from the French Riviera (Gibbs Smith; August 5, 2013). It’s a lovely book full of vivid details about daily life in that beautiful corner of the world. And the recipes are calling me to the kitchen with their fresh, vibrant style: Polenta and Tomato Salad (Niçoise cooking is heavily influenced by its proximity to Italy), Late-August Double Fig Salad, Swiss Chard Gnocchi, Caramelized Pork Roast with Olive Jam. And here’s a tart I plan to make very soon, studded with fresh peaches and made with a simple press-in crust. Enjoy!
Madame’s Peaches and Cream Tart
La Tarte de Madame aux Peches et a la Creme
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
Hillary writes: My first weeks learning how to cook local cuisine with [my neighbor up the hill] were spent baking. One of my favorite lessons was this peaches and cream tart, which I am not sure can be claimed to be authentically Nicoise but which I know came from her mother’s hand-written notes, that were laid out on the table as we cooked.
We made the tart, then sat down and ate half of it warm, right out of the oven. A pot of tea was always part of our baking ritual, along with a wee little glass of homemade orange liqueur that Monsieur would pour for us; then he would disappear.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 cup sugar, divided, plus 2 tablespoons
- 7 peaches, unpeeled, sliced thickly or quartered
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch pie plate or a tart pan with a removable bottom.
In a bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the flour and 1⁄4 cup sugar, and work with your hands until it comes together into a dough. Press dough into the pie plate or tart pan.
Lay the peaches, cut side up, in a decorative pattern in the pie plate. Sprinkle with 1⁄2 cup sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk in the heavy cream and pour all on top of the peaches. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and return to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool and set before serving.