Gourmandistan

Peach curd takes precedence over citrus

Peach curd tarts

Gourmandistan has seen the last of summer for this year, unless some lovely reader wishes to spirit us away to the Southern Hemisphere. (We will be available for away-spiriting after mid-October.) Which means peach season has sadly passed us by, but not before we discovered a delicious new way to use them.

After Michelle once again pointed out the many, many jars of jam in our freezer, Steve grudgingly admitted making peach jam wasn’t quite the necessity he believed it to be. Relieved of this burden, Michelle set about searching for a fitting end-of-season peach dessert. (She ignored Steve’s observation that a fresh, ripe peach makes a perfectly good dessert.) Looking around in Bill Neal’s Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie, she found a recipe for peach curd stuck at the end of the “Delectables” section. We are quite familiar with curds in Gourmandistan (Steve in particular is quite a fan of poutine) but we had only heard of the citrusy sort for dessert. The idea of peach curd quite intrigued us. Steve peeled and puréed several peaches, and Michelle carefully stirred up a lovely, marigold-tinted batch which we declared to be excellent. We paired our peach curd with small pâte sucrée tart shells, and the result was a sweet, spicy and slightly tangy treat we now hold in higher regard than any lemon, lime or other citrus curd. Until the next peach season (or our fantasy flight to Argentina) arrives, we may have to curb our curd making.

PEACH CURD

  • Servings: makes about 2 cups of curd
  • Print

(adapted from Bill Neal’s Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie)

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. fresh peach purée
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 6 TB butter, cut into small bits
  • 1/2 t. vanilla

Beat yolks with sugar, peach purée and lemon juice. Slowly simmer over moderate heat, stirring continuously until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter one bit at a time. Add vanilla. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve.

Pour warm curd into a pre-baked tart shell or shells. It’s best with a sweet crust. We used Alice Medrich’s easy recipe to make six 3-3/4″ tart shells.

If not making tarts, just place the curd in a jar and chill. Use it later on toast or biscuits.

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53 comments

  1. Ha! “Steve in particular… poutine.” Only in Gourmandistan would peach curd and poutine be kissing cousins. Anyway, this sounds like a fantastic idea. We may still have a shot at a few peaches here. If so, this is on the list. Ken

    • Oh, yes, only Steve would connect fruit curd with cheese curds. But he’d mention poutine in every post if I let him. :) It’s a lovely recipe, as most of Bill Neal’s are. Sad that I find this recipe lots of places on the Internet with no reference to him. The original called for rosewater instead of vanilla. So it’s a dead giveaway when somebody is copying it without attribution.

    • Thanks so much, Misti. Wonder what it is about the English peaches. Too much rain, perhaps? Here, the biggest danger seems to be when there’s a late freeze and they don’t develop. They were very nice this year though.

    • I am shocked. Shocked. Ha, ha, ha. I curse like a sailor. A friend at my high school reunion pointed that out and all I could say was “well, that’s what lawyers do.” I thought about you and all your wonderful peaches when I posted this morning. It really is yummy. Can’t wait to hear if you agree.

  2. Oh this is perfect! I had several nectarines left over from the u-pick farm that I didn’t know what to do with, so sliced and froze them. Well guess what’s thawing? :)

  3. If you can manage to get yourselves to Massachusetts, you can make peach curd for a couple more weeks. I know a particular blogger in Boston who wouldn’t mind receiving a batch…

    I’ve made rhubarb curd before. Lemon has some serious competition. What I love about your peach curd is that, with its color, you could sneak it into a tart with no adornment and surprise someone who takes a bite and expects it to be classic lemon.

  4. Janet Rörschåch

    Oh Michelle and Steve–It’s hard for me to believe that anything can be better than lemon curd. I’ve got two fat,ripe peaches on my counter. I’ll let you know. This will be fun!

  5. Very inventive indeed. I am sick of the poor quality peaches we get here in Ireland. They are rock hard and often branded “ripen at home”. They never ripen. They just go slightly soft on the outside before getting thrown in the compost. What a waste. I can’t wait to get to France for next year’s crop.

  6. If ever I could spirit someone away, it would be you Michelle & these peach curd tarts. Love that little sprig of thyme, so beautiful and yes, it will be summer here soon, but we’ll keep it safe for you till next spring!

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