A buttery, flaky crust envelopes summer’s sweetest peaches in this rustic dessert. The bolder flavor of yellow peaches works better than mild white peaches here. The spices provide just a hint of warmth to the topping; feel free to add more or other spices to your liking—other options include cardamom, ginger, and allspice. Plan to make the crust at least 1 hour ahead or the night before baking.
½pound (2 sticks)cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
6cupsthinly sliced yellow peaches(about 6 large peaches)
1teaspoonfresh orange juice
¼teaspoonground nutmeg(freshly grated if possible)
8tablespoons (1 stick)unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Make the pastry shell by combining the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using fingers or a pastry blender, work in the butter until it is in pea-sized pieces and well-coated with flour. Add the cold water and stir a few times, then gently form the dough into a ball (add more water, a few drops at a time, if needed for the mixture to hold together). Divide in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, orange juice, and vanilla, then toss with cornstarch to coat.
Make the topping by combining the ingredients in a small food processor and pulsing just until crumbly.
Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper, roll the dough into an approximate 11-inch circle.
Transfer the dough immediately to the prepared baking sheet (leaving room for the second tart on the same sheet). Place half the peaches in the middle of the pastry shell, leaving a 2-inch border, and sprinkle half the topping mixture over the fruit. Gently fold dough edges around the peaches (about three-quarters up the sides of the mound), pleating where needed.
Repeat with the second round of dough. Refrigerate the formed pastries, loosely covered with a sheet of wax paper, for about 1 hour. (They can also be frozen at this point.)
Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes (longer if frozen). If the top of the crust is browning too quickly, place a piece of foil with a hole cut out of the center (to expose the fruit) over the crust to finish baking.
Remove and let the tarts rest on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer the tarts to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a 350°F oven.
Yield: Two peach tarts, about 6 servings each (Dairy)