Rarest


To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people just exist.

—Oscar Wilde

I have been trying my best to feel lucky and blessed as I welcome in September and fall this week, as so many have suffered so much at the hands of hurricane season already.

I hope all of you, your loved ones, and your far-flung, little-known Facebook friends are safe and dry in the wake of Harvey/Irma.
The images and videos splashed across the television could only be described as living nightmares; I can’t fathom what it is like to have it happen to you. I am deeply impressed and moved by people like Dana from Minimalist Baker and Miley Cyrus (boy that feels strange to say) who went to work using their platforms to do good in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
There do exist good people, after all.

This photo reminder of Sandy from National Geographic is humbling.
It stopped me in my tracks. It looks like a tumblr-shopped photo that would have some dreamy teenage quote scrawled across the turquoise waters in white script. Or from a different lens, a still from a horror movie about a mysterious, flooded amusement park.
What I mean to say is that it doesn’t look real.
And when you realize that it is all too real, that these really are our coasts swallowed by our angry seas—that this alternate universe is the one we’re living in, not a photoshopped dimension nor a movie set—it is the most pin-prickling sensation of all.
I can’t stop staring at that photograph.

Yes, September is here. 2017 lumbers towards its final quarter and autumn approaches.
The gingko trees outside my gym have been absolutely crowing about it for the last week and a half, daintily dropping canary-colored leaves, proud to be the first harbingers.
They don’t know, but marketers—frantic from huffing their pumpkin spice—had them beat, what with orangey, latte-scented everything having been regurgitated onto seemingly every store shelf before Labor Day.

I picked up a little coffee colored candle from the heady essential oil slick that is the Whole Body section of Whole Foods the other day. It smelled so, so good. And I turned it around, and I am ashamed to admit that it was just a bougie pumpkin spice latte candle. I quickly put it down, label facing away, and walked away before anyone saw my guilty enjoyment. Ha!

I am accustomed to the smell of cool, crisp fall nights, the kind that allow you to throw windows open and burrow under covers and dream deeply. It is part of what makes this season my very favorite.

It is still early, of course, but I have discovered that this pleasure of mine will not be so while living in my New York apartment and in my current headspace.
I sleep uneasily in my little bedroom perfumed with bergamot and Bleu de Chanel, my air-conditioner whirring and faint clangs of the pizza shop downstairs and bleating horns from the street very gently punctuating the quiet.
It is my space, and it is clean and comfortable and well cared-for.
Yet somehow, it is still foreign.
It is not unfamiliar in a sterile way, like a hotel might be, nor is it unsettling like a stranger’s home.
Certainly, it is a part of me—I labored to build every little detail, and my fingerprints and errant DNA are smeared everywhere.
I live here. Permanently. As in, I’m not going back to school; I’m not a student anymore.
I’m not going back home; I am, in theory, not a child anymore.
Accepting this is mostly passive, because it is not constantly on my mind.
But when I do brood on it, I am confronted with a new piece of myself that is as strange as looking in the mirror and seeing a different colored pair of eyes blinking back at you.

Who am I, if not the person I was before I came here?
What will autumn bring me, if not the frosty fresh scent of the morning?

Summer hasn’t kicked the can just yet, however.
I can still find excellent peaches easily, although the blushing plums have truly come into their prime and the apples are peeking around the corner.

Finding a perfect ripe juicy peach is rare, even in the heart of the summer. You know when you’ve found the platonic ideal, and you’re lucky if 1) you’re eating it straight up and 2) you get more than one in a season. The beauty of peach pie is that  a few bruises on your peaches don’t make a difference whatsoever, as long as the peaches themselves are juicy and plump.

This pie baked up gorgeously. I am (not really) sorry for the slew of excess photos. I have just wholesale bought into the instagram trend of unbaked, prettily decorated pies of the last year and a half.
There is something irresistible about the juxtaposition of a rustic, jammy pie and delicate flowers, braids, and lattices. (Just ask elleventy or Julie…! Pie masters.)

A perfect peach pie needs little other than a squeeze of something bright and acidic, a light sprinkle of zest and sugar, a pinch of salt, and a spoonful or two of a thickener.
Here, I went with lemon juice and zest, good ol’ granulated sugar, and tapioca starch. It would be magical to substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar, for a hint of molasses, and you could easily swap out actual tapioca if you like the texture, or flour or corn starch if that’s what you have on hand.
The two tricks to a good fruit pie are making a solid crust and not overthinking the filling.
This crust is very easy to work with and makes a bit more than is needed for a double crust pie—this is to accommodate any and all decorations your heart desires.

I wanted lattices of varying widths, interwoven with braids, topped with leaves/flora.
I did not have a leaf cutter.
So, (spoiler warning) I used a baby chick cutter and added veins with a knife. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

P.S. Friday was my grandma’s birthday (although she refuses to celebrate birthdays anymore), so shout out to the number one fan of this blog! Love ya grandma.
(I should probably remake this cake that I made in honor of her birthday, since it was so delicious and rich and since it has been so long since I made anything mochi!)

I have done nothing all summer
but wait for myself
to be myself again.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Perfect Peach Pie
makes 1 10-inch double-crusted pie

for the crust:
438 grams (3 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) flour
40 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt)
340 grams (3 sticks, 1 1/2 cups) butter, cold and in chunks
14 grams (1 tablespoon) shortening (or more butter)
106 grams (7 tablespoons) water, ice cold

for the filling:
2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kg) peaches (about 8-9 medium)
150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar, or to taste
big pinch salt
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour

to assemble:
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
sugar, if desired

instructions:
Make the dough: whisk flour, salt, and sugar together.
Cut and mix the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the largest piece is pea-sized.
Sprinkle on the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time so that you can gather the dough into a cohesive mass.
Divide dough into two disks and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out one disk into a 12 inch round and drape over the pie plate, leaving a little overhang, then refrigerate.
Roll the other disk out and cut out shapes as desired; freeze the shapes or lattice strips while you make the filling and preheat the oven.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
To make the filling, toss thinly sliced peaches (I do not peel mine, just wash them well) with the sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest, and tapioca flour.
Set aside for at least 5 minutes and up to 10.
Pour the filling into the prepared bottom crust, spooning the leftover juices and sugar over top of the fruit.
Top with frozen shapes, then trim and crimp the bottom crust.
Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and place in the oven.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 375 and bake for 35-45 minutes, covering crust if necessary, until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling and thick.

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Sajeonogi

Apricot Peach Pie | La Pêche Fraîche

Sajeonogi, or, knocked down four times, rising up five.

Apricot Peach Pie | La Pêche Fraîche

La Pêche Fraîche, or, disappearing four times, reappearing five.

Happy September! I hope you all have enjoyed a glorious summer and have had a relaxing Labor Day weekend.

N’s parents were in town for the weekend—they rented a sweet boat and we spent Saturday out on Lake Michigan.
It was beautiful! Chicago is going through a bit of a heatwave right now, so it definitely doesn’t feel like summer is gone just yet.

Apricot Peach Pie | La Pêche Fraîche

I really can’t believe it’s September. This month, I will turn 21 (whoa) and go back to school as a senior!

Who knows what this school year will bring. Hopefully success, clarity about the future, and…fun. *heavy breathing*

Apricot Peach Pie | La Pêche Fraîche

It’s crazy to me that people are already posting apple cakes and pumpkin bread and fall flavored lattes and candles alike are popping up.
I mean, there are still late season peaches to be had! There are still fragrant, ripe tomatoes to eat and sweet corn galore.
I do not intend to jump the gun on autumn because after comes winter (!) and that will inevitably be plenty long enough.  No doubt about that.

So this peach and apricot pie is one of my last huzzahs for summer.
There is nothing quite like a perfect stone fruit pie—crunchy, buttery crust meets sweet jammy filling to make, inarguably, one of the most classic and delicious desserts ever.

This recipe keeps it very simple, using sweet and tart apricots and ripe peaches to create a well-rounded filling inside of a crisp, flaky pastry. Instead of a lattice, I cut out daisies using a cookie cutter set and use them to decorate the pie.

Apricot Peach Pie | La Pêche Fraîche

I’m so glad to be back in this space—I’m slowly finding my way back to the kitchen, too, so I can have some fresh new material to share with you all!

Apricot Peach Pie | La Pêche Fraîche
Apricot and Peach Pie
makes 1 10-inch pie

ingredients:
for the crust:
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
14 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
6-8 tablespoons ice water, or as needed

for the filling:
8-10 apricots, sliced
2-4 peaches, sliced (you should have approximately 3-3.5 pounds of fruit)
1 cup sugar (if fruit is very sweet, reduce to 3/4 cup)
juice from 1/2 lemon
5 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch

to assemble:
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water
sanding or raw sugar, optional

directions:
Make the crust: cut butter into small pieces and place in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
Add in the butter cubes and cut and rub using your fingers until the largest pieces are about the size of peas.
Slowly add in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a shaggy but cohesive ball.
Divide dough into two disks, wrap well in plastic, and refrigerate for  15 minutes.
Take the dough disks out and roll one out to a 14-inch diameter circle.
Carefully place into a pie dish, then place in fridge.
Roll out the other disk and cut into desired shapes (or strips, for lattice); place the shapes onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge.
Prepare the filling: slice fruits into 1/2 inch thick slices, then place into large bowl with juice of 1/2 lemon.
Whisk sugar, flour, and cornstarch together, then pour over the fruit.
Stir filling together and let sit for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove pie dish from fridge and scoop fruit into the shell, leaving the excess juice from the fruit in the bowl.
Decorate with the chilled shapes, then brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, until top is beginning to brown; reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes, until juices are bubbling and top is golden brown (if crust begins to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of the baking time).
Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Enjoy with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Droopy Drupes

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart | La Pêche Fraîche

They had been elegant in the tree, tiny coquettes
blushing more and more until I picked them,
then they were minimalist and matte-colored
in wooden bowls, so barely furred one couldn’t
help but clothe them, enclose them with your hand,
caress each one thoroughly before taking a bite,
exploring the handsome freckles left
from some minor blight.

—Jennifer Grotz, Apricots

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart | La Pêche Fraîche

This is an interruption of the berry desserts that have smartly marched across your screen for what must feel like ages.
(Chocolate, long forgotten, is making an appearance soon.  Promise.  And then at least one more berry post. Oops.)
But this post...This post is devoted to stone fruits.

Peaches and drupes (stone fruits) are some of my most favorite fruits… of course, La Pêche Fraîche is a dead giveaway.

There haven’t been an overwhelming number of peach/apricot/plum posts, however.
(The last I mean to remedy when plums charge in in all their autumnal glory.)

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart | La Pêche Fraîche

There was this (pin-happy) celebration of 100 posts, an ombréed, OCD tart filled with all of the sweetest, ripest stone fruits I could find.
Or this giant slab pie, perfect for feeding a crowd, complete with an utterly absorbing, fun-to-make lattice and homemade vanilla ice cream (le duh).
This simple peach tart, made and shot quickly.  Very much a throw-together tart, skin-on, that comes out as a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.
This old (old!) rendition of Cook’s Illustrated’s perfect peach pie.  It was delicious, but still didn’t manage to convince me that peeling peaches for pie is utterly necessary (such a headache!).

So… This is not very many posts, seeing as I’ve racked up nearly 250 over the lifespan of the blog.  Eeep!

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart | La Pêche Fraîche

I don’t quite have enough of my own links to really devote a link-love post to stone fruit, but fear not!
I have compiled a few absolutely mouthwatering peachy bits and bobs from around the blogosphere.

Let’s start with the unfairness that is Laura’s glut of peaches, no?
*Pouts* whyyyyyy don’t I have such beautiful peach trees bursting with life around me?!  Add to those ripe peaches her maple coconut granola and that right there is a proper summer breakfast.

More elegant simplicity with the seasonal fruits: Kristin’s olive oil pound cake, tinged with citrus and served simply with fresh peaches and coconut whipped cream is a dream come true.

Uggghhh. Slay me, Michelle.
Bourbon + brown sugar + peach pie.  Give me the pie and 5 minutes and you will regret giving me the pie at all.
That thang is a work of beauty right there.

More bourbon + peaches, with brown butter and maple and melty vanilla ice cream, too.
Alanna always has the best photographs.
These in particular left me salivating and wondering why in the heck I haven’t made a thousand crisps and eaten them all hot with cold ice cream.  This must change.

Be still my beating heart.
Custard cakes have been on my mind (read: pinboards) lately.
Then Sam went and added ripe, custardy in their own right apricots and my world turned upside down.
OMG. That vanilla bean custard layer…
(P.S. Can’t wait for that prune cake.  I looove prunes.)

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart | La Pêche Fraîche

Today, I’m sharing a cheater’s simple stone fruit tart with you without a modicum of shame.
Yep, I used purchased puff pastry for the first time.  And its convenience and dependability were awesome.
No fuss, stupid fast, beautiful, tasty, and simple.

5 ingredients, if you count the egg wash and pistachio garnish.
If you thaw your puff pastry the night before, you can have this beauty on your table in 25 minutes flat.
This really lets the fruit shine—there’s virtually no added sugar or other ingredients to distract.

For this reason, it’s vital to choose ripe fruits—a little bruise or droopy skin here or there is a-OK.
It will intensify the flavors of the tart.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need a quick, sweet and fruity fix, or you want a fool-proof yet impressive dessert to serve to friends, or you have some droopy, slightly sad little drupes that are a day away from necessitating jam, this is the recipe to reach for.

Infinitely adaptable.  Unendingly forgiving.

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart | La Pêche Fraîche

You can use any stone fruit or sliceable fruit that you wish, really: plums, apples, dry pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, pluots, cherries… all fair game.
Nothing too juicy or acidic, and you’re pretty much set.

The (store-bought!) puff pastry rises up, golden and shiny, in the oven; the weight of the fruit prevents it from getting too airy, which allows for a sturdy crust that can be eaten by hand.
The fruit becomes syrupy in the hot oven, bathing itself in sweet, sticky juice.
A smattering of pistachios provides crunch, and a cool, creamy dollop of crème fraîche ties this simple summer treat together.

The tart comes out looking quite beautiful for the minimum amount of effort put in, with the bright, warm colors of the fruit foiled by green pistachios and pure, snow-white cream.

This, I think, is the definition of keeping it simple (stupid).
Don’t mess too much with perfectly ripe/slightly overripe summer fruit.
Let it pop against the backdrop of buttery pastry.
Highlight it only with a conservative touch of sugar and a few crunchy pistachios.
Indulge in a spoonful of cream to add richness and I think anyone would agree that this is a far more exciting use for droopy, tired fruits than jam…

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart | La Pêche Fraîche

Seriously Easy Stone Fruit Tart
makes 1 10×10 tart

ingredients:
1 sheet all-butter puff pastry, thawed overnight in the fridge
4-6 pieces of very ripe stone fruit, of your choice, sliced thinly
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream or sour cream, for serving

directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
On a very lightly floured surface, gently roll out the puff pastry until it is approximately 11×11 inches.
Trim the edges carefully , being sure not to rock the blade, to make an even square of 10×10.
Carefully transfer the puff to a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Brush an inch border with the egg wash, and lightly sprinkle 1 tablespoon over the center part of the pastry.
Carefully arrange your sliced fruit over the pastry.
Choose any design you like, but avoid layering one slice completely on top of another.
Sprinkle the tart with 1-2 more tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet your fruit is.
Pop in the oven for 25 minutes, until the crust is puffed and golden and the fruit is slumped and juicy.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with pistachios; serve warm with cold crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.

Encore Une Fois

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One. Last. Huzzah!

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Pears and figs and (gasp!) apples are starting to infiltrate the market, conjuring up sweet dreams of warm spices and cold evenings, of cozy sweaters and endless mugs of tea, of quick breads and winter squash.
(Of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, if you are a white girl Starbucks aficionado…)

But!
Let us not discount those sweetest fruits of summer, the soft skinned, blushing peaches, so soon.

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September has descended, aye, and the wind is gustier and cooler, but the long rays of summer sunshine linger, stretching the days even as they grow shorter.

Not many more perfect peaches will cross your path this year, finicky as they can be.
If you should be so lucky to find some, please eat them out of hand, juice dripping down your chin, and enjoy the sun-ripened taste of Pure Summer.
The slightly-less-than-perfect peaches ought to be designated to this tart straight away.
The heat of the oven coaxes out their inherent sweetness, but the simplicity of the tart leaves them intact, rosy skins and brilliant yellow flesh in a stunning sunburst arrangement, surrounded only by buttery pastry and their syrupy brethren.

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This tart was inspired by Amanda of Food52; we make our respective tarts a bit differently, the biggest difference being my tendency to favor butter over olive oil in pastry cases, but the main idea stays true

Crisp pastry filled with sweet peaches, nestled in tightly and swimming in their own juice, sprinkled with just a touch of buttery, sugary crumble—the only embellishment needed to accentuate a perfectly simple peach tart.

I’ve made this tart a few times (twice, actually, on the blog, but I’m NOT giving you the first link because I just might die of embarrassment), and it’s one of the most popular recipes on Food52, so you know it’s going to be good!

It could not be more straightforward to make; the dough is fool-proof and easy to handle; the whole tart comes together in 30 minutes, and bakes in another hour.

One more time, for peaches.
One more time, for summer.
Encore une fois.

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P.S. I know these photos all look exactly alike.
I was rushing a bit so I could pack up some of this tart to accompany my daddy and my brother on their trip to NYC.
It got their approval, and they even saved a sliver for my grandma, who proclaimed it delicious, despite being on the fence about most sweet things.
That’s high praise, y’all.

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Simple (Perfect) Peach Tart

inspired by Amanda Hesser of Food52
makes 1 10- or 11-inch tart

ingredients:
for the crust:
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) butter
6 tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups flour

for the filling:
6 peaches
2 tablespoons butter, soft
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)
6 tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) flour

directions:
Make the crust: place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat for 3 minutes until soft.
Slowly stream in the sugar with the mixer running, then beat for 4 more minutes (set a timer!) until the mixture is very light and fluffy and pale yellow.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the egg and kosher salt; beat for another 5 minutes (set a timer!) until the mixture is glossy and no longer gritty; it should be very fluffy and have at least doubled in size.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the flour; stir on low speed until the dough comes together.
Crumble the dough over a lightly greased tart pan and gently press it out to even thickness all over the pan.
Place in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the crumble for the filling, place butter, sugars, and salt in a bowl and smash together until homogeneous.
Add in the flour and pinch with your fingers until large crumbs form.
Slice your peaches into eighths and arrange snugly into the chilled tart crust.
Sprinkle the crumble all over the peaches, taking care to lightly fill in any gaps.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the peaches are juicy and bubbling and the crust is lightly golden.

How To

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How to make a peach pie.

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Start this pie in the middle of a hectic week, a week when nothing seems to go right, and most things seem to go to shit.
Wish for some therapy or someone who can write code, write your blog, write your to-do lists, your journal even, who can get inside your head and do some serious junk organization.

Find yourself peeking in the fridge instead. (Always.)

Start this pie with Butter.
Everything truly therapeutic starts with butter.
One big fat pound of butter. (Made from 2 and a half gallons of milk, churned and shaken and agitated into creamy gold.)
Maybe life just shakes shakes shakes the shit out of you until you’re sweet, fat butter, too.
Contemplate this thought as you slice up the cold cold butter into neat cubes.  Decide you are not wholly against such a philosophy.

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Butter and flour and a spoonful of sugar.  Two pinches of salt.  Add a few extra grains because you’ve been forgetting the salt lately.
How can you forget the salt?  That most important seasoning, the holy grail of sharpening and fine-tuning sweet flavors.

Forgetting salt because salt is lost on you, as is fiery curry powder and lashings of sweet maple syrup and bright fresh basil.
Forgetting salt because you’re walking around in a foggy world.
Not being able to taste or smell anything becomes tiresome.
How can a head cold possibly last this long?
How can I possibly not taste the goodness of Nutella?
Something is seriously wrong here.

Your body needs healing, needs a full night’s rest, a cup of hot tea, and, at this point, probably a miracle from a Shaman.
But you need to stop whining about being sick.
Choose to focus on pie instead.  Pie dreams.

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Find yourself elbow deep in dough.  Pat, fold, repeat.  Marvel at the layers of butter which, when place in a hot hot hot oven will melt and evaporate, forming the flaky crusts of dreams.

Grab a whole bunch of plump peaches.  Count them out onetwothree … eight nine ten.
Hold one up to your nose, so close that its soft fuzz tickles.
Breathe in the scent of summer, of warm days in the sun, of trees heavy with promises.  That much you can smell.

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Slice them up, neat eighths halved again, tossed in sugar and tapioca for body, a touch of nutmeg and lemon juice to coax out profundity—and salt, just a pinch or two to temper the sweetness.

Spread the peaches thin over vast expanses of dough.
Cut long strips of the remaining dough.  Realize how wonky they are–this one too long, this one way too short—but carry on anyway.  Decide on the spot that anyone who complains about the way this damn pie looks shan’t have any pie.
Weave a very bendy lattice, cursing the heat the whole while (who in their right mind chooses an 80+ degree day to deal with finicky pastry?  Me.).  Over, under, over, over… shit. Under, over…
Crimp the edges, throw it in the oven.
Get the f out of the nine million degree kitchen.

Come back only when the scent of peach and butter and caramel has filled your home, enough to penetrate even your nose’s rhinovirus ether.
Admire the pink that has bled out from the skin, turning the yellow fruit into a veritable rainbow of magenta, orange, and yellow.

Swat away hungry passerby.  Promise them a slice, after photos only.  Paws off.

IMG_0900Make the executive decision to take this pie over the top.
Whisk, whisk, whisk cream, a touch of sugar, an entire vanilla bean, and egg yolk after egg yolk together.
Cook until your pinky leaves a trail on your spatula.  Test multiple times, with multiple fingers.  This is important.
Chill, chill, churn—the creamiest vanilla bean ice cream emerges, yellow with yolks and flecked and fragrant with vanilla seeds.

Test it straight out of the ice cream machine, with multiple spoons.
This is also important.

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This slab pie serves an army, or at least a small village.
A couple of teenage boys, a group of good friends.

Bring it to a party, and be the star.
Easy to eat because the filling to crust ratio is just right for portability, even when cut into generous sizes—no skimpy hand pies—large enough for a crowd, and delicious, which is obviously the most important part.

Or, eat it at home, on a plate, in your kitchen, with a hot cup of tea and a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.
The simple pleasure of fresh peach pie with homemade ice cream is difficult to surpass.

It is quintessentially summer.
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Peach Slab Pie
makes 1 17×12 inch pie

ingredients:
for the crust:
450 grams (1 pound) butter, cold and diced
630 grams (5 cups) flour
50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
ice water, as needed (at least 120 mL—1/2 cup)

for the filling:
10 large peaches
1 cup turbinado sugar
5 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
juice of 1/2 small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
nutmeg, to taste (perhaps 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon)

directions:
Make the crust: whisk flour, sugar, and salt together.
Add in the butter chunks and toss them with your hands to coat all of them in flour.
Begin to smash each chunk between your fingers, so that all of them are sheets rather than cubes.
Rub some of the mixture between your palms so that the butter breaks up into even smaller chunks and the mixture looks like coarse sand.
Leave about 1/3 of the butter in small, thin sheets; you want sizes to vary from about the size of a chickpea to sandy textured pieces.
Drizzle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as you stir with a wooden spoon.
Stop adding water when the clumps stick to your spoon; gather up all the pieces and mold them together—the dough should not be dry or crumbly.
Pat the dough out into a long, thin rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
Fold each of the ends over the center like you’re folding a letter.
Pat out the dough again into a rectangle and repeat the folding twice more.
Divide the dough into two pieces and wrap in saran wrap; refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 night.
Meanwhile, make the filling: slice up peaches into thin pieces—cut the peach into eighths and then cut each eighth in two or three.
Place the turbinado sugar and tapioca into a food processor and process until the tapioca has been ground down a bit.
Mix half of this with the sliced peaches and place in a colander or sieve over a bowl to drain for at least 30 minutes.
After chilling, roll out half of the dough (it will be quite thin) and fit into a greased 17×12 inch sheet pan.  Leave the edges hanging over slightly; return to the fridge or, better yet, place in the freezer.
Finish the filling: remove the peaches from the colander and discard the collected juice.
Toss the peaches with the remaining sugar mixture, the salt, the nutmeg, and the lemon juice.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out the other half of the dough and cut into thin strips (measure them: some should be 18 inches and some 13, to ensure they make it all the way across the pie).
Remove the bottom crust from the freezer and spread the peaches thinly over it; try to get them in an even layer.
Working quickly, weave your lattice over the peaches—I found the easiest way to do so was not by folding the strips back on themselves, as is commonly done, but actually weaving the short strips under the long strips, since they were so long.
Using a fork, crimp the edges to seal the lattice strips to the bottom crust.
Pop it in the oven (you may want to place another sheet pan underneath it to prevent drips) and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Remove from oven and let cool.

Creamiest Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
adapted from the NYT
makes a generous pint

ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup low-fat milk (I had 1%; if you drink whole, use 1/2 cup and leave out the half and half)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (optional, can sub honey or maple syrup if you don’t mind flavoring)
pinch kosher salt
3 egg yolks
scrapings of a vanilla bean

directions:
Whisk together all of the ingredients very well.
Place in a small sauce pot over medium heat and add the vanilla bean pod.
Whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is a bit thicker than heavy cream—a finger dragged across the back of a spatula should leave a trail.
Remove from heat, remove vanilla pod, and cool completely.
Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 1 night well-wrapped.
Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.

I Cannot Lie

IMG_1915

… I like big bundts and I cannot lie…

IMG_3049

I just hate photographing them.  In fact, I gave up photographing both of these cakes, both primarily because I kind of hate the shape of my bundt pan.

It’s great for making a dramatic cake without needing layers, but I can’t get the knack of photographing them.

They’re so… large and in charge.  Sometimes I feel awkward taking photos of them.

Like that maple bacon cake above and below?  I couldn’t get a single photo to not look lurid, so I threw in the towel, put in on a plain white floordrop, and took 3 photos of it.  Screw it. It’s not very attractive anyways.

The ginger-peach-lemon cake, I had 5 minutes to take photos of before needing to go to yoga.  It was still steaming, but the light was fading and I didn’t have my new (!!!!) lighting setup just yet.

So, I put it on a wood board next to a window and took 5 photos of it.  Screw it.

IMG_1904

 Bundt cakes are meh fun.  They’re quick and easy, and if made correctly, they’re quite delicious.

However, I have had (and made) many a dense, rock-like bundt cake.

The peach-ginger-lemon bundt cake was quite the opposite.  It was fluffy, moist, and flavorful.

However, now that peaches are out of season, I’m going to instead share the recipe for the maple-bacon-brown butter bundt cake that I Jackson-Pollacked for my brother’s birthday.

It might very well have been dense… I couldn’t exactly slice into it and eat a piece before shipping it down to D.C. for his birfday.  That’s bad form.
To be honest, I also think it’s ugly.  So let’s pray that it tasted good…

The recipe came from Martha, though, and lord knows I trust her.

Here goes:

IMG_3065Maple Brown Butter Bacon Bundt
adapted from Martha Stewart
ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, browned
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a bundt pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Whisk the butter, brown sugar, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla together.
Whisk the flour and buttermilk into the maple syrup mixture, alternating between dry and wet.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Top with glaze and glazed bacon.

for the glazed bacon:
ingredients:
4 ounces bacon, cut into little lardons
1 tablespoon brown sugar
directions:
Cook bacon until crispy.
Drain fat and reserve for use in the glaze.
Return bacon to pan and add in the brown sugar.
Heat just until sugar melts, then spread out onto a piece of wax or parchment paper and allow to cool completely.

for the glaze:
ingredients:
6 tablespoons butter
fat rendered from 4 ounces of bacon (sub 1 1/2 tablespoons butter)
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or as needed
directions:
Brown butter in a saucepan.
Once brown, dump in the sugar and bacon fat and whisk, creating what I like to call a “sugar roux”.
Once a creamy paste has formed, add in the maple syrup and powdered milk and stir.
Stir in extra maple syrup, as needed, to create a pourable but thick glaze.

Peachy Keen

 
Okay, I left you again, my beloveds.  But I am back, and I am not leaving in the foreseeable future (until college.  Eep!!)
(And I brought pie!)
 
 
I was in NYC and also Connecticut at the ESPN campus (so cool!), tagging along with my dad for the last half-week.
Then, I was enjoying a beautiful, sunny day and evening with friends at Taughannock.
Now, I am here.
Home.  And back on le blog.
 
^The always beautiful S and the charming français, Emile.
(That last link is scary… two birthdays ago!  Laughing/cringing at the photography.  Don’t laugh at me.  
On second thought, don’t click through that link.)
Um, with lack of anything more interesting to say about my trip, here are some things I observed, because I love lists:
 
Things I Saw in Park Slope and Beyond:
a discarded and seemingly brand new cherry wood spoon
a dozen oyster shells, mixed with
broken ceramics of many colors
an unattended child, sitting quietly in a stroller
thirty thousand vespas
a stroller with 12 wheels (12!)
a sizeable bamboo grove on West 14th, with canes that were 20 or so feet tall
killer fro-yo at Culture (two words: mochi topping)
and a million and one other things but I’m tired of this list so let’s move on.
 
Highlight of my day: I discovered that two of my photos got published on Tastespotting!
I am very pleased.
However, these exact same photos were rejected on foodgawker.
I am not pleased.
“Composition too tight.  Please make more room around the ____ and resubmit.”
If I had more room, don’t you think I would have already tried to cram it into that tiny little square?
Wah.
Okay I’m tired of whining so let’s move on.
(Wait… that’s a first.  Tired of whining?  Me?  NEVER.  Can’t stop won’t stop.)
 
These photos being published on Tastespotting have only aided in my ever-expanding online sharing of photos.
I now have a flickr, facebook, twitter, instagram, blog, and Tastespotting account, through all of which I share photos of food. (I rarely put food photos on twitter or facebook, though.)
And I guess I have a foodgawker, but EVERY PHOTO I have ever submitted gets instantly rejected.
Like this.
My instagram is all food and cats and up-close selfies of my face.
Stop judging me.
 
Let’s talk about pie.  
Pie, pie, pie pie.
Pie pie pie.
Peach pie.  Om nom nommedy nom.
We’ve talked about peach pie once before.
As well as peach pie cake
and two peach tarts.
But when I discovered 7 very ripe-borderline too ripe-peaches in the back of my fridge today, I knew the universe was telling me something important.
And it involved pie, so.
See, the most recent Cook’s Illustrated (I have a love/hate/love relationship with this mag, but let’s not get into that) featured their most recent recipe for peach pie.

Obviously, I had to make it/test it for myself.
Fussy magazine instructions be damned.
So let’s talk about this pie.
 
It ain’t easy, that’s for damn sure.  But then again, of course it’s not.  
It’s Cook’s Illustrated, for God’s sake, and they can never let anything be easy.
There’s always ten million steps and I usually find there are ways to improve upon what they have given, despite all of their in-depth testing in their test kitchen.
(This may a poorly timed question… but that job sounds awesome.  Where do I apply?)

Thus, another list: Things I Wish I Didn’t Have to Do to Make This Pie:
peel the peaches (Said it before, and I’ll say it again: I never peel peaches for pie.  I love that fuzzy skin, and I totally approve of this message what it does texture-wise when cooked)
use 3 pounds of peaches (this just seems excessive because you have to peel each one like WHAT)
quarter and then thirds all the peaches (there has to be a more efficient way to do this.  Peeled peaches are so very slippery and go shooting off the cutting board like soap)
macerate the peaches (I thought we wanted the juice to stay in)
cook down the resulting juice with pectin (thank God we canned the other weekend… or I would have been out of luck)
mash some of my macerated peaches that I worked SO HARD cutting up (not that hard, but whatever I’m trying to make this list long and dramatic)
use cornstarch (jk I love cornstarch)
ok I’m done

Plus, they gave me some lame-ass pie crust with shortening, giving an excuse about lattice pie crusts needing to hold up or something along those lines. I’m not sure ’cause I stopped reading when I saw Crisco.  
I don’t know about you but I am really not down with shortening in pie crusts, but you probably know that because one of my earliest posts was dedicated just to all-butter all-good pastry doughs.
The low down: you can make flaky, flavorful, workable, pliable, tender pie crusts with just butter.  You just gotta have the right technique.  
And I’m going to share my super-secret method for getting flaky, flaky, flaky pastry.
(Scroll down through the recipe and you’ll see it, as well as a poorly-lit shot meant to demonstrate how flaky the crust is.)

So to wrap this up:  their pie filling was good.  The texture was perfect, the flavor was too lemony and too sweet for my palette. 
I generally use next to no sugar in my pies, but since I was trying to review the recipe, I made no changes to the filling and how it was prepared.
I used my own crust recipe, which has taken a lifetime to develop (practically), because I will always stay loyal to butter and buttermilk.

This was a fussy recipe.  But altogether, I would recommend it.
I think I have to say that, because I had two fat wedges of this pie today.
Om nom nommedy nom.

 

^I ate that piece.  Without a fork.
 
Cook’s Illustrated Peach Pie (with my flaky buttermilk pie crust)
for the buttermilk crust:
makes enough for a double or lattice crust
ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour (315 grams)
1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar 
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
16 tablespoons (225 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup buttermilk, cold (leave it in the fridge until just before you need to use it)
directions:
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. (Or whisk them together in a large bowl)
Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture has small chunks of butter the size of peas, about 5 2-second pulses or so. (Or cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender.)
Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of buttermilk into the mixer while giving 1 second pulses. (Or drizzle it over the butter/flour mixture and fold with a spatula)
Feel the dough- when you’ve added adequate liquid, it should be slightly tacky and hold together.
Add up to 1/4 cup more buttermilk if necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
Fold the rectangle into thirds and reroll into another rectangle.
Fold the new rectangle into thirds and reroll into another rectangle.
Fold the rectangle once more into thirds and then roll it into a rough rectangle.
Cut the block into two pieces, one slightly smaller than the other.
Chill for at least 30 minutes, wrapped well in plastic.
When you are ready to use the dough, roll the larger piece out until its diameter is about 4 inches larger than your pie pan, then gently place it in the pan, allowing the excess to drape off the edges.
Roll out the other chunk of dough into a rectangle and cut it into long strips.
Chill the strips and the dough in the pan before filling (roll them out before you start the filling).
Once filled, weave the strips into a lattice over the filling. (here is a picture tutorial)
 
for Cook’s Illustrated Peach Pie Filling:
ingredients:
3 pounds peaches, peeled, quartered, and pitted, each quarter cut into thirds
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons low- or no-sugar-needed fruit pectin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
directions:
Toss peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest and juice and salt in a bowl; allow to sit for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
Combine pectin, 2 tablespoons sugar, and spices in a small bowl.
Transfer 1 cup of peach mixture to a bowl and mash into a coarse paste.
Drain the remaining peaches and measure out 1/2 cup of the liquid; discard the rest.
Place the juice into a pan with the pectin mixture and cook over medium heat until thickened and pectin has dissolved (3-5 minutes).
Toss the remaining peaches with the cornstarch, then add in the peach paste and the peach juice.
 
to assemble and bake the pie:
ingredients:
cream
turbinado or coarse sugar, or regular sugar
directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the chilled bottom crust from the fridge and pour the filling into it.
Weave the chilled lattice strips over top of the filling.
Brush cream gently over the pie top and sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes at 425, then lower the temperature to 350 and bake 35-40 minute more, until the top is deeply golden brown and the filling is bubbling in the center.
 

I Do My Best

 … to keep it 100.
 
Guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
^100 exclamation marks.
 
^100 slices of stone fruit.
(Okay, it’s 97.  But I’m the only one crazy enough to count.)
 
100 posts.
That’s right! This little blog isn’t so little anymore.
*sniff*
 
It’s hard for me to believe that “Caramel Craze and Memorial Daze” was 100 posts ago!
 
We’ve covered cakes, pies, tarts, ice cream, molecular experiments, cupcakes, candy, heartbreaks, birthdays, celebrations, and goodbyes.
But what better way to celebrate this milestone than with peaches and pastry, two of my greatest loves.
In case it has escaped you, this blog is named after a peach.
Why?  I dunno.  It rhymes.
Just kidding.  It’s because I love stone fruits.
Plums, apricots, cherries, peaches, and all the variations.
The appearance of local stone fruits is always an indicator of summer, one that leaves me with drool juice dripping down my chin and a big smile perched right above.
 
I eat summer fruit like it’s my job.  It pretty much is my job.
The other day, I had a bowl of yogurt with a maple-nutmeg-strawberry-rhubarb compote, an apricot, a plum, and a peach.
I could eat our entire farmer’s market. 
Remember how I said that those patriotic shortcakes were devastatingly summery?
Well this tart goes above and beyond those lil biscuits.  
Just looking at it wraps me up in summer like a towel warmed by the sun after a bracingly cold dip in the lake.
 
A truly simple summer dessert, the star here is the fruit, so be sure to choose ripe, fragrant ones.
You can use any combination of stone fruits here; use whatever looks, smells, and feels best in your area.
A ripe stone fruit should be very fragrant- floral and a touch almond-y- should yield slightly to gentle pressure, and should separate from its pit quite effortlessly.  
If you struggle to pull the pit from your first peach while making this recipe, put it off for a few days.  
Put your fruit in a brown bag with a banana, which gives off copious amounts of ethylene, the fruit ripening hormone.
The crust will wait patiently in the freezer (wrap it well in aluminum foil) for the leading lords and ladies to take the stage.
I chose plums, peaches, and apricots because I wanted to showcase as many stone fruits as I possibly could, and I love the way their juices bleed colors into one another.
They all bring a certain flavor to the party: peaches are floral and fresh, plums are tart and crisp, and apricots are sweet and velvety.
In addition, all three work marvelously with almond, thanks to the noyaux in their pits.
I refurbished my favorite pâte sucrée to include plenty of almond meal; enough that you can taste it in the crust.
I also added a fine dusting of a buttery crumb with sugar and almond; it coaxes more flavor out of the fruit without overpowering the tart.
 
A note about the crust and the weather: in humid weather, tart crusts absorb moisture quickly.  
They will be no less delicious, but markedly softer after a few hours in a humid and hot environment.  If this is an issue, I suspect that storing the tarts in a refrigerator would help to diminish the softening.
Serve this tart with the simplest vanilla ice cream (recipe below).
Seriously, simplest ever!
Make it with cold half and half and it literally takes 3 minutes to put together, plus the 20 minutes for churning.
No eggs, no cooking, just cold, creamy, vanilla goodness.
It’s homemade ice cream for us impatient folks with a warm tart that needs accompaniment! 
So, in conclusion, this peach grows!
And may it continue.
Once again, a shout out to you, my readers.
You rock.
 
P.S. I typed this with 9 fingers, which is surprisingly difficult as a touch typer who is accustomed to going a mile a minute.
RIP finger.
*sniff*

Simplest Stone Fruit Tart
Makes 1 11-inch plus 2 4-inch tarts
ingredients:
16 tablespoons (8 ounces, 2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (sub AP or whole wheat)
1/2 cup almond flour/meal
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons almond flour
pinch salt
1 tablespoon softened butter
thinly sliced peaches, plums, and apricots (I used 3 yellow plums, 2 apricots, and 3 peaches)
directions:
Cream butter, sugar, and salt together on high for 5 minutes (if butter is softened, cream for 3 minutes; if it’s cold, 5), until fluffy, pale, and shiny.
Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add in the flours and mix until almost entirely combined.
Add the egg yolks and mix until completely homogeneous.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes and up to a day.
Roll out your dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and place in pan.
Alternately, press dough into pan.
Prick all over with a fork and freeze for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons almond flour, and a pinch of salt.  
Using the back of a spoon, smush the tablespoon of softened butter into the dry mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Remove your crusts from the freezer and arrange your fruit.
Sprinkle the fruit with the sugar mixture, sparingly if you want your design to show through.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is juicy and the crust is golden. 
Serve with the simplest vanilla ice cream, below.
 
Simplest Vanilla Ice Cream
ingredients:
1 3/4 cup half and half, cold
1/4 plus 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch sea salt
1/2 a vanilla bean
directions:
In a blender or with an immersion blender (shudder), blend all ingredients together until the vanilla bean is in tiny chunks.
Churn in an ice cream maker.

O.C.D.

Or, alternately, Why I Shouldn’t Be Left Alone In the Kitchen.

 Or perhaps, Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed on the Internet.

 Hello, my name is Rachel, and I am a perfectionist and an obsessive-compulsive, bossy, unstable control freak.
Doesn’t that just make you want to live with me forever and ever?
Don’t answer that.

Alas, I admit it, I am.  I’m so glad I have you all here to support me.  
The thing is, when I get an idea up in my head, I can’t let go of it.  I saw a picture on the dreaded interweb the other year day of little rosettes made of mangoes.  On a pie.
I died.

In addition, my mind was wrapped around the idea of marrying nectarines and gingersnaps.
Oh yeah, and I was so very intrigued by peach pits that I wanted to do something with noyaux, à la Bravetart.
Besides, I had already been hoping to freeze some peaches, what with the abundance right now, to save for winter. 

Oooh! Also, croissants.  For tea.  With company.

So yes, today I am presenting you with not only a laminated dough, but also a labor intensive tart. 

If, by the off chance, you aren’t as… shall we say, crazy… as me, feel free to dump the nectarine slices on haphazardly.  It tastes good.  That’s what matters.
I suppose I understand if you don’t want to undertake making croissants, but please, put them on your bucket list.  They aren’t half as hard as they’re made out to be, and they will impress your friends and terrify your enemies.  

And as for the peach pits?  I managed to crack two open, using a giant mallet and some pliers, but gave up when I discovered that I had rent a gash in my favorite bamboo cutting board.  (Damn pits!)  While I possibly could have done something with those two measly noyaux, when I awoke the next morning, all the peach pits had been trashed.  Ah, well.

 

Nectarine, Lemon, and Gingerbread Tart
For the crust: (adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
BIG pinch each of ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, sea salt, and cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick very cold butter, cubed
1 tablespoon molasses
ice water as needed
Directions:
Put the flour, sugar, spices, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Pulse in the butter and molasses until there are small bits of butter, ranging from sandy to pea-sized.  If the dough is too dry, add in ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until it can stick together when pressed.  Press the dough into a buttered tart pan, prick with a fork, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil that has been buttered (press the foil right down into the pan), and freeze, for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.  When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, put some pie weights (you won’t need as many because the shell has been chilled) on top of the foil, and bake until deep golden brown and fragrant, 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool.
For the filling:
Ingredients:
3/4 cup lemon curd 
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar (or to taste: it doesn’t need much)
Directions:
Whip the heavy cream and mascarpone and powdered sugar together (I used an immersion blender because it is super fast and effective).  Fold in the lemon curd.  I actually made this in two parts, folding the lemon curd into some of the whipped mixture, then layering that into the tart with the plain whipped cream/cheese on top of that.
To assemble:
Ingredients:
5 or 6 nectarines, sliced as thinly as possible
Directions:
Pour the whipped filling into the tart shell, and smooth the top.  To make nectarine rosettes, gently curl the thinnest pieces of nectarine you can find, and stick them into the filling.  Then begin to place other pieces around, with less curl.  Once you are sick of rosettes, you can just place gently curled pieces around and in between, to take away the white space and act as filler.  

Whole Wheat Sourdough Croissants:
adapted from Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar
Ingredients:
for the dough:
550 g white whole wheat flour
12 g kosher salt
3.5 g active dry yeast
370 g water, at room temperature
for the butter block:
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions: 
Mix all the dough ingredients together with a dough hook in a mixer, until smooth and supple.  Place in an oiled container that is covered but still has air flow (like a bowl with a damp dish towel cover, or a plastic bucket with a top that has a few holes poked in it).  If you want the sourdough component, stick the dough in your fridge for at least 2 days, but up to a week, then pull it out and let it come to room temp, then rise in a warm place until double its original size.  If you don’t, allow the dough to rise to at least double its orignial size, then begin to make your croissants.  When you’re ready to make the croissants, beat your butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until fluffy.  Pat it into a 8 x 12 rectangle between two sheets of parchment paper.  Put it in the fridge to firm up.  Meanwhile, punch down the dough on a smooth, floured countertop, and roll/stretch it gently into  a rectangle 16 x 24 inches, and even in thickness.  Put your slightly firm butter block on one half of the dough, then fold the other half of the dough over and pinch the edges shut.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Now, you must do 3 double book turns to create the layers.  Here’s how:  Roll the the dough out again to a rectangle of 16 x 24 inches and even in thickness.  Be gentle, so that you don’t have any butter mushing out.  Visualize your dough divided into 4 quarters.  Fold the outer two quarters to the center, then bring one edge over to meet the other (Tosi says: When I’m showing someone how to make a double book turn, I stretch my monkey arms out wide like I’m going in for a big hug, then I fold my arms at the elbow, so my fingers are touching my armpits, and fold my elbows in to touch one another.)  Now transfer your dough to the fridge to rest, wrapped loosely in plastic wrap, for 30 minutes.  Repeat the double book turn twice more.  After the final rest in the fridge, roll your dough out to a 16 x 24 inch rectangle, then cut the dough into 10 triangles (like a backgammon board), putting a small notch on the base of each Isosceles triangle.  Roll em up, allow to rise for about 45 minutes, or until puffed up, then brush them with an egg wash (1 egg+1 teaspoon water), and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F.