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June 16, 2006

Peach Tarte Tatin


The farmer's markets are overrun with stone fruits now, baskets tumbling-full of gold and rose hued peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums. There was a particularly gorgeous display at the Crocker Galleria market yesterday that made me wish I hadn't left my camera at home, a vibrant stripe of summer sunshine piled across the table.

Biting into a ripe peach, juice trickling down your chin, must be one of summer's quintessential pleasures. I always cup one in my hands before I eat it, savoring the honey-rich fragrance, marveling at the perfect layer of fuzz. When I hold a sun-warm peach to my cheek, it's like holding the beating heart of summer.

If you do manage to set any aside (perhaps cleverly buying some not-quite-ripe ones so they can survive the first few days), stone fruits can of course be made into any number of pies, tarts, cobblers, cakes, and other luscious desserts. Generally, the earlier peaches of the season have a lighter, sweeter flavor that are best showcased in a simple dessert, while later ones have a richer, deeper flavor that would go well in baked items like pies. To celebrate the warm weather and keep things light, I decided to make individual peach tarte tatins, an airy combination of just-caramelized peaches and flaky puff pastry. I took the recipe from Claudia Fleming's The Last Course, where she describes how she adapted the recipe for home cooks by baking the peaches and pastry in a muffin tin.  I found it worked fairly well, although I had to watch the oven carefully to make sure the peaches didn't burn. Also, the caramel came out a little dark for my taste - I think next time I would make the caramel lighter so it doesn't overpower the flavor of the peaches as much.


To go with the tarte tatins, I also made a pair of ice creams. The first, a white peach sorbet, captures their delicate flavor in a pure and simple form - just peaches with some sugar added. It came out the most gorgeous pastel hue as well.


For contrast, a roasted cinnamon ice cream from Regan Daley's In the Sweet Kitchen. Her recipe uses both ground cinnamon toasted on the stove and a cinnamon stick infused in the cream, insuring a hefty dose of the spice.

White Peach Sorbet

adapted from

2 lbs white peaches (about 6), pitted and cut into pieces

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid (helps prevent discoloration)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Pour through a strainer into ice cream bowl, discarding solids. Freeze according to ice cream maker's instructions. You will probably have to freeze it further in the freezer for it to really firm up.

Makes about 1 quart

Roasted Cinnamon Ice Cream

from In the Sweet Kitchen

2 teaspoons ground cassia or cinnamon

2 cups half and half

1 large cinnamon or cassia stick

6 large egg yolks

3/4 cur granulated sugar

1 cup cream

In a nonstick skillet, toast the ground cinnamon over low heat. Keep stirring it around to prevent it from burning. When it is warm and fragrant remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the half-and-half with the cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the saucepan from heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes to let the cinnamon stick infuse the cream.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Pour a little of the hot cinnamon cream into the bowl and whisk to temper the eggs, then pour the rest in and whisk until combined.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and put back on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent eggs from scrambling. Cook about 7 to 10 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl.

Add about 2 tablespoons of the 1 cup cream to the toasted cinnamon and combine to make a paste. Add 2 more tablespoons and work it in until it is combined. Whisk this cinnamon paste into the hot mixture until combined. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the mixture, pressing the wrap to the surface, and place in the refrigerator until very cold, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Makes about 1 quart.

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That roasted cinnamon ice cream would have been perfect with my nectarine tarte tatin! Another reason to make your peach one!
Like you, I love summer for its abundance of stone fruits, as well as cherries and fragrant raspberries.
I could live off fruit only during the summer.
Thank you for the recipe, and such lovely photos.

This looks absolutely divine. I would love to have a bit of everything! Just the kind of flavors I love in summer!

Peach tarte tatin is awesome! I also liked your pairing of white peach sorbet and roasted cinnamon ice cream. Everything looks wonderful Anita.

WOW! Major Yum. I love the idea of cupping a peach 1st & inhaling before eating.I just wish we Easterners didn't have to wait so long for a decent peach to arrive:(
But when the Georgia babes come in...I remember eating the best fresh peach of my life in Athens!

I love peaches when they are in season! I know what you mean about biting into one and the juice trickling down your just thinking about it now...yummm.

Fantastic ideas and fabulous pictures, as always! Mmmmm, peaches and cinnamon sound delicious... wish I could have some right now! :)

Wonderful shots!
and the food is as tasty as it seems, I am sure!

Oh Anita, I was thinking of making peach sorbet - you've made me want it even more, what a beautiful colour! Having said that, I don't think I can resist the roasted cinnamon ice-cream either :)

what lovely creations, Anita! Summer is here!

I understand why the light corn syrup is in the recipe, but it really does not need to be. Although an invert sugar is helpful in the churning process of some sorbets, white peach is not one of them. Think of how delicate that flavour is without the acid that would be in a yellow peach.

The photos are beautiful. Very pretty & summery.

Those look so beautiful! I love the simplicity and color of the peach sorbet.

Hi Helene,
Thank you! I tried to leave a comment on your page but it only accepts Blogger accounts - a glitch maybe?

Hi Bea,
I see you are making lots of ice cream for summer too - isn't it the best time?

Hi Sam,
Thank you! I was happy with how the flavor combinations turned out:)

Hi Carol,
Mmm, I haven't been to Georgia...must have the most incredible peach experiences there!

Hi Jenjen,
I know - when I go to the market I have to keep myself from biting into them right on the spot!

Hi Myko,
Thanks! The peaches and cinnamon worked out pretty well:)

Hi Alita,
Thank you! It was tricky shooting the ice cream - I just ended up eating a lot of melted ice cream!

Hi Keiko,
Thanks! The white peaches did have the most beautiful color - almost wrong to call them "white"!

Hi Kat,
Yes, summer is here - aren't you glad to have all this fruit!

Hi Shuna,
Thanks for the info - it's good to learn all this. I will try it without the corn syrup next time!

Hi Danielle,
Thank you! It is nice to have simple recipes that turn out so well - less fuss in the summer!

Wow, Anita!

I'm getting shivers reading this post. I can't decide what I would attack first ... the peach tatin or the sorbet/ice cream???

What pan do you recommend for the peach tatin?

Thank you for the note, which led me to your wonderful blog...this is so up my alley!

Hi Anita :)
I know what are you talking about, the melted ice cream :D
funny isn't it :)

What camera and lens do you use for the photos?

cheers! :)

hi anita, your fruit-centric posts always make my day, and this one, of course, is no exception - the idea of that sticky, chewy, beautifully caramelised tarte accompanied by scoops of ice cream is simply irresistible!

It all looks so refreshing!

Hi Ivonne,

Fleming's book recommends using regular size muffin tins, and they actually worked pretty well!

Hi Maura,
Thanks for the note and for visiting - I'm so glad I found your blog as well!

Hi Alita,
Thanks for visiting! Sadly, I am still working with a point and shoot - a Canon SD450. I'd like to upgrade to an SLR!

Hi J,
Thank you! I imagine it must be pretty warm where you are - a good excuse to make lots of ice cream?:)

Hi Gerald,
Thanks! The peach sorbet was really nice and refreshing!

The ice cream and the peach tarte tatin look so incredibly good. Peach juice down the chin is so messy and such a summer joy.
You have a beautiful blog here!!!

ur roasted cinnamon ice cream sounds like a great idea. will try that soon thanks!

Thank you! I am going over to your page for a look too, you have a fascinating place!

Thank you, hope you like it!

Help, I'm trying to make the cinnamon and the recipe leaves out what to do with the rest of the 1 cup or cream. Directions only say add 4 tablespoons to the toasted cinnamon. Do I add the whole cup?

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