01 Feb Peach and White Chocolate Tart
At the risk of sounding like a Masterchef judge, when it comes to food I’m definitely of the belief that flavour comes first. But when it looks as pretty as this Peach and White Chocolate Tart, that doesn’t hurt either!
It’s amazing how just taking a little extra time to cut your fruit into shapes totally transforms a tart into a showstopper. Cookie cutters usually don’t come in sizes small enough for this purpose, but you can find a variety of fondant plunge cutters at your local baking store (usually sold in sets of 3).
Like I said though, it’s all about the taste and this tart is a winner in that department too. The crisp shortcrust pastry base is filled with a creamy white chocolate filling and topped with fresh, sweet pieces of peach.
Since there’s not a huge amount of fruit on the tart, I like to serve the tart with a peach coulis on the side. Simply blitz up some fresh peaches with a squeeze of lemon juice and thin with a touch of water if necessary.
PS. To maximize the Valentine’s Day feels, I used a gorgeous Le Creuset Heart-shaped Fluted Flan Dish for my tart.
For the pastry:
1 large egg yolk
30ml iced water
5ml vanilla essence
125g cold butter, cut into cubes
40g icing sugar
For the filling:
15ml gelatine powder or 8g gelatine sheets
30ml cold water
250g white chocolate
3 peaches, nectarines or plums for decorating
15ml lemon juice
- To make the pastry mix the egg yolk, iced water and vanilla essence together.
- Process flour, butter, salt and icing sugar together in a food processor (or rub together with your fingertips) until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk mixture and process just until pastry forms a ball – do not overmix. Form into a flat disc, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C. Roll the pastry out to approximately 3mm thick on a lightly floured surface and use to line a Heart-shaped Fluted Flan Dish or 23cm tart dish. Use your fingers to press the pastry into the tart dish evenly. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- To blind bake, top the pastry with baking paper and baking beans or uncooked rice, then bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are turning golden. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for a further 5 mins. Leave to cool completely at room temperature.
- With the remaining pastry, use small cookie and fondant cutters (I used the plunger style cutters) to cut out little heart and flower shapes. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool and set aside.
- To make the filling, place the cold water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine powder over and leave to sponge. If using gelatine sheets, soak the sheets in half a cup of water until softened.
- Heat the cream and milk together in a saucepan over low heat. Meanwhile chop the white chocolate finely and place into a heatproof bowl.
- As soon as the cream mixture just starts to bubble, remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine until dissolved. Pour over the white chocolate and leave for 1 min before stirring until smooth. Strain into a jug and cover with clingwrap (so that it touches the surface of the mixture) to prevent a skin forming.
- Allow to cool completely at room temperature, then carefully pour into the cooled pastry case and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set.
- As close to serving as possible, slice your fruit into thin slices (about 2mm thick). Use the same little cookie and fondant cutters as above to cut out heart and flower shapes from the fruit slices. Brush with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Carefully arrange the fruit and pastry shapes on the tart as desired. Serve with extra slices of fruit if desired.