Stone Fruit Tart – A simple tart made with fresh peaches and plums, all in a homemade tart shell
Why is it that it takes all summer for stone fruit to reach it’s peak? I have been buying them for months but it’s only now that I’m starting to really get all the flavor from them. The peaches are starting to fall right off their pits and the plums are ultra-juicy. Yum yum yum.
To really take advantage of these incredible stone fruits, I have decided to make them the highlight of my next tart. This tart has just a sprinkling of sugar so the flavor of the stone fruit can really stand out. Oh, and let’s not forget my secret ingredient that I think is a must-have in any fruit pie, cobbler, or tart – cinnamon! It’s so simple but, when used sparingly, can really take the flavor to a whole other level.
Without further ado, check out my Stone Fruit Tart!
I’ve stayed away from tarts until now because, frankly, they seemed intimidating. I made one years ago and the crust ended up undercooked and it ruined the whole thing. Since then, I focused my efforts on cobblers, crumbles, and no-bake tarts. In other words, fruity desserts without a pastry crust.
This summer, I decided not to let fear keep me from attempting tarts and pies any longer. I did a lot of recipe testing and found that pie dough does not have to be complicated. I learned lots of tips and I am so happy to share them with you so you can be just as confident when you attempt this tart.
My dough recipe is fool-proof. The key to that is making it in the food processor. The food processor breaks down the butter and shortening to the right size and incorporates the ice water perfectly so you don’t get a dry dough. I have made it by hand and it’s doable, but requires more effort, which, with a 1-year old running around, I just don’t have time for.
To make the dough, you simply add the dry ingredients, very cold butter, and cold vegetable shortening to a food processor and pulse until the butter is the size of small crumbs. Dicing the butter before adding makes this process much easier.
Next, you slowly pour cold water into the spout of the food processor as it runs. After about 10 seconds, the dough will come together and clump in the processor. Once that happens, stop the processor and pour out the dough onto a clean counter. Form the dough into two discs and then wrap them in plastic wrap. Now, the dough must chill at least 2 hours to firm up. This ensures:
- The dough won’t stick to the counter when rolling out
- The dough flavors have time to develop
- The butter stays cold before baking and produces a crispy crust
Once the dough is chilled, it’s ready to roll!
Since the stone fruit is super ripe and sweet, there is very little that you need to do to them before laying in your tart shell, including peeling. That’s right, no peeling required! The peel actually keeps the fruit intact so it keeps it’s shape while baking.
First, you need to slice the fruit into 1/2-inch slices. Then, you layer them around the tart in a beautiful decorative fashion. I decided to line my tart with peaches along the outside and the plums in the center. But feel free to get creative with this process and decorate however you please. Whatever decoration you decide, make sure to layer the fruit slightly overlapping each other. The fruit will shrink while it bakes so you want to make sure to fill up the tart as tight as possible.
Once you’ve got the fruit looking great, it’s time to dust the sugar and cinnamon over the top. Don’t worry – the tart will still look awesome because the sugar will dissolve into the juices that release while the tart bakes. I also add a little flour over the top to help thicken the juices.
Then, you simply bake and then let it cool completely before slicing. Here’s the thing about fruit pies and tarts: they need to cool 100% so the juices that were created during the baking process can thicken and won’t “flood” the pie once you cut the first slice.
Even when completely cool, you’ll get a little juice drainage. Just imagine how bad it would be if you sliced it right out of the oven!
Tips & Tricks
- I cannot stress this enough – the key to a perfect tart is a perfect tart dish. This would include a dish that is non-stick, metal, and with a collapsible bottom. All these elements will ensure the crust browns perfectly and will lift off the pan easily and without sticking. Here is a link to the one I purchased on Amazon. I previously used a ceramic dish and I hate it. The crust didn’t brown and the slices weren’t easy to cut. Ever since then, I swear by this metal pan.
- The key to slicing a peach or plum easily is the “twist”. This is achieved by slicing along the natural indentation of the stone fruit so that the halves can separate and then twisting to remove one half from the pit. To remove the pit, simply pull it out with your fingers. If the pit doesn’t come off easily, use a spoon to dig it out.
- The dough will shrink if it is stretched into the tart pan. Therefore, it is so important to gently lay the dough into the pan and let it fill the pan without pulling or stretching it. To ensure you have enough dough to fill the shell, make sure you roll it to 10 1/2 inches in diameter.
- It is so important for the edges of the tart to be thick so that they don’t break when slicing. To achieve this, I used the extra scraps of dough to thicken up the edges by pressing them in the sides. Don’t worry if the crust looks less than pretty – the bakes shell won’t show any signs of that once it’s filled.
Stone Fruit Tart
For the pie dough*:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter cold
- ⅓ cup vegetable shortening cold
- ½ cup cold water
For the filling:
- 1½ pounds fresh peaches
- ½ pound fresh plums
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the dough*:
- Add flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Cut the cold butter into cubes. Add to the flour mixture along with the vegetable shortening. Turn processor on and let run for 5 seconds. Then, drizzle in cold water. Keep processing until mixture begins to clump.
- Pour dough mixture onto a clean surface. Using your hands, pull the dough together into one ball. Cut ball in half and form two discs of the same size and shape. Cover each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
Assemble the pie:
- Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes to soften up. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (see * note below for what to do with the second disc of dough).
- Once dough is ready, roll it out into a disk using a rolling pin. The dough should be 10½ to 11 inches in diameter. Gently fold rolled dough in half and place onto 9-inch tart dish. Unfold the dough so that it is covering the dish completely. Let the dough lay into the dish so that it is not stretched or pulled. Using a rolling pin, push dough into the edges of the tart dish to neatly break off the excess dough. Place tart shell in the freezer while you prepare the filling
- Wash peaches and plums. Cut in half, remove the pits, and then slice into ½-inch slices. Set aside. Mix sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Remove tart shell from the freezer. Lay peach slices around the edge of the tart shell so that they are overlapping oneanother slightly. Do the same with the plums in the center. Arrange them neatly. Dust cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the stone fruit. Discard any excess.
- Bake tart in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown and the filling begins to bubble. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.
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