Since making the Hawaiian-inspired granola bars (by the way, don't forget to enter this week's Nuts About Granola giveaway that ends on Monday; fill in the box below ), I've been cooking with macadamias, which I love. Macadamia nuts have a rich, creamy taste and I thought they would pair incredibly well with the very last white peaches from our garden.
I improvised on my standard tart recipe and created a creamy tart composed of a macadamia nut crust and macadamia and peach custard. I sweetened the dessert with smoked sugar from our friends at Bourbon Barrel. When served slightly warm with Häagen-Dazs macadamia nut brittle ice cream, seriously, who could resist?
Whenever we have guests over, which we do frequently, I like to serve sweets. People can always make room for dessert and it's usually the thing people remember the most. This one will definitely make an impression!
Servings: 4 tartlets
3 large white peaches
juice of half a lemon
1 pound macadamia-flavored pastry dough (recipe follows)
3 small eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup smoked sugar, to taste
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
⅛ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups macadamia nuts
extra vanilla-flavored whipped cream
powdered sugar, for garnish
fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the tart shell: Make sure the pastry dough is still cold so it's easy to roll out. Transfer the dough onto a pastry board lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough like a sandwich. Using a rolling pin, even out the dough and roll into a 12 x 15" rectangle. Place the dough in a non-stick rectangular (8" x 12") tart mold lined with parchment paper; following the curve of the mold, crimp the dough against the edge. Gently press the dough with your fingers so there are no air bubbles. Leave a little excess above the edge because the dough will settle a bit in the oven. Prick the dough with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. Line the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and top with ceramic pie weights (dried beans work well too). Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the pie weights and discard the pieces of parchment paper. Bake for another 2-3 minutes so the pie crust can dry. Remove from the heat and let the dough cool a little. Set aside.
For the macadamia cream:
Thinly slice ¼ cup macadamia nuts and set aside. Grind the rest with a food processor.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs with granulated sugar until you get a pale yellow foam. It will take about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream. Once the cream becomes firm, add the smoked sugar. Pour in the egg mixture. Add the macadamia powder. Mix with a spatula until the batter is thick and smooth.
Preparing the peaches:
Peeling the peaches is optional but I find the velvety skin unpleasant once cooked. Here's a neat method to peel them: FIll a saucepan with cold warer and bring to a boil. Make a small, shallow criss-cross cut at the bottom of the fruits using a bread knife (I use a bread knife because the blade won't bruise the fruit). Place the peaches in the boiling water and wait for at least 1 minute. Remove the peaches (I use a large strainer or a slotted spoon), then transfer to an ice cold bath to stop the cooking process. The skin will come right off. Remove the stone, cut them in half and slice them. Drizzle with lemon juice.
The peaches from our garden were extremely sweet and juicy. If that's not the case, you could sprinkle them with a bit of sugar.
Pour the macadamia cream into the tart shell. Top with the sliced peaches, fanning them. Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
Sprinkle the tart with the reserved sliced macadamia nuts.
You can serve warm slices of the tart with a scoop of ice cream or extra whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a dusting of powdered sugar.
Accompany with a hot cup of tea.
You can find smoked sugar online at Bourbon Barrel Foods.
For the macadamia-flavored pastry shell: Using a handheld mixer, whisk 3 small eggs with ½ cup powdered sugar for 3-4 minutes. Lightly oil the bowl of your food processor with a silicone brush. Alternately add 1 cup all-purpose flour total, ⅔ cup ground macadamia, 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum and ¼ cup ice water. Pulse 2-3 times, then add 4 tablespoons cold diced butter. Pulse the mixture until it forms a sticky dough. Add the egg mixture. Pulse another 3-4 times until it combines and forms a dough again. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20-30 minutes.
You could make this fruit-filled tart with other seasonal fruits such as apples, nectarines, apricots, plums, berries, pears or figs.
You can make the tart with other nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc...