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Peach Pastry Cream Tarts

August 22, 2011

I’ve been thinking about peaches and cream for weeks. I have no idea why. Sometimes my brain just grabs hold of an idea and won’t let it go.

I got tired of my brain nagging me with thoughts like, “Wouldn’t those fresh peaches be great with some vanilla pasty cream?” and “I bet peaches and gingersnaps taste awesome together”, so to shut it up I made these tarts. Turns out my brain was right.

Peach Pastry Cream Tarts

What I had in mind was a cookie-like crust filled with cool, creamy vanilla bean pastry cream, topped with fresh peach slices… and that’s exactly how these tarts turned out. Instead of using graham crackers for the crust, I decided to use gingersnaps for a little gingery kick. The crust has just the right amount of spice without overpowering the peaches or pastry cream. Each bite of the finished tarts has a delightful balance of crunchiness from the crust and silkiness from the pastry cream. They’re wonderful.

Hurry up and make some of these before peach season ends!

Peach Pastry Cream Tarts

Peach Pastry Cream Tarts

Makes 4 4-inch miniature tarts

For easy entertaining, bake the crust and make the pastry cream the day before. Refrigerate pastry cream and store the crusts in a zip-top plastic bag at room temperature overnight. The day of serving, fill the tarts with pastry cream, top with peach slices and serve.

Ingredients

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons plain non-fat Greek yogurt

2 cups (approx.) gingersnap crumbs
1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 small, fresh peaches

Directions

In a medium saucepan, warm milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt over medium heat. Bring to just about a simmer (do not boil) and remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture. Whisk in remaining milk mixture, then pour everything back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. (Instant read thermometer will read about 160°F.) Remove from heat. Discard vanilla bean pod.

Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Set a fine mesh strainer over medium bowl. Strain pastry cream into medium bowl. Whisk in butter and yogurt. Set bowl in ice water bath and whisk until cool, about 5 minutes.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Combine gingersnap crumbs and pecans in food processor. Pulse until finely ground. With the food processor running, pour in melted butter. Pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Divide among 4 non-stick tart pans. Using the back of a measuring cup, press crumb mixture firmly into tart pans. Set filled tart pans on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire wrack. (Do not remove from pans.) Can be stored overnight in an airtight plastic bag.

To assemble, spoon pastry cream into cooled crusts (you may have some left over) and top with sliced fresh peaches.

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13 Comments
  1. August 23, 2011 8:29 am

    What gorgeous photographs and more gorgeous tarts! Yum!

  2. August 23, 2011 11:09 am

    Mmm, looks like we both have peaches on the brain, I’m about to post something with peaches, too. The gingersnap crust is a great idea, these look so good!

  3. August 24, 2011 1:27 am

    Wow, these are some beautiful tarts and pictures. I’d love to try these!

  4. August 24, 2011 2:35 am

    Just beautiful color in these photographs! Looks absolutely delicious.
    Thanks!

  5. August 24, 2011 2:56 am

    Peaches are pretty much one of my fave fruits ever (I’m nomming on a peach and mango sorbet now :D), and these tarts look fab! The colours accented in the photos are amazing, as well. What type of camera/lens set do you use?

    • The Craving Chronicles permalink*
      August 24, 2011 7:59 am

      Both of these photos were taken with my Canon 7D and 24-70mm f2.8 L lens.

  6. August 24, 2011 9:00 am

    Love the beautiful peach tarts, linking back to them today :)

  7. August 24, 2011 11:57 am

    Great looking tarts!! Thanks for the easy recipe!!

  8. August 24, 2011 1:12 pm

    Gorgeous peach tarts…. hats off to you! There is nothing better that ripe fruit on pastry cream!

  9. The Teenage Taste permalink
    August 25, 2011 10:35 pm

    Peaches are super delicious and juicy right now! I can’t get enough!

  10. September 1, 2011 6:26 am

    Um. I need to have these. Now.

    (And the photos are perfection…)

  11. September 1, 2011 8:31 pm

    These tarts are gorgeous and they sound divine!

  12. September 2, 2011 1:14 pm

    Your blog title is so fitting, because every time I come here, I’m craving what I see. Awesome recipe.

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