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.
(adapted from Bill Neal’s Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie) (makes about 2 cups)
- 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.