So, one great thing about being an adult is that no one can stop you from adding cookie butter to your patisserie. These rich mini peach tarts with cookie butter frangipane are just irresistible from the bottom of their crisp, buttery shells to the top of their peach-adorned frangipane crowns.
You should know, before embarking on this pastry journey, that this recipe is rather involved—start to finish it takes 3-4 hours. However, the par-baked tart shells and the peach filling can both be made in advance and stored in airtight containers (peaches in the fridge, shells on the countertop). I wouldn’t do the shells more than 1 day in advance, but the peaches could be done a few days ahead. You will need 6 4″ mini tart pans and an electric mixer.
Fillings created by me. Shells adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Makes 6 5″ tarts.
For the peach filling:
- 2 lbs of ripe peaches (about 5)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- a couple pinches of cinnamon
For the shells:
- 1 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp white flour
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 3/8 tsp salt
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, cold (1.5 sticks)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tbsp bourbon (or use milk)
For the frangipane:
- 1/2 cup superfine almond flour
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp cookie butter
To prepare the peach filling:
Wash the peaches, and use a paring knife to score and X on to bottom of each one. Note: If your peaches are very ripe indeed, you may be able to peel them without blanching them first.
Otherwise, do the following:
Fill a medium bowl halfway with ice and cold water to create an ice bath. Heat a medium pot of water to boiling. Carefully lower in the peaches and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the peaches from the pot to the ice bath. Drain the water from the pot, but keep the pot handy. Once cooled enough to handle comfortably, peel off all the skin from the peaches (starting from the edge of the X you made).
Once they’re peeled, slice the peaches all the way around the middle and twist the halves apart. Remove the pits. Save half of the prettiest peach and set aside. Chop all the rest into small pieces and toss them back into the pot. Add the sugar and cinnamon and put the pot on medium heat. Cook the peaches, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is just starting to fall apart and the juices begin to reduce down (something like 20 minutes).
While you’re waiting, carefully slice the reserved peach half into thin, even slices to use for decorating later. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to garnish.
Cool the peach filling to room temperature before putting into the tart shells. Do not fill the shells until ready to bake.
To prepare the tart shells:
Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, or a medium bowl. Mix or pulse a few times. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the bowl. With your hands, rub the butter into the flour until it becomes a sandy mixture, or pulse in food processor until the butter disappears. Add the egg yolk and bourbon and mix/pulse until uniform, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture will be very crumbly. If it does not come together when you squeeze it in your hand, add an additional tbsp of liquid and pulse a few more times. Cover and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
Take the dough out of the fridge and unwrap it. Divide evenly between 6 4” non-stick tart pans. Use your thumbs to first press the dough up the sides of each pan, then flatten the remainder onto the bottom so that all sides have an even thickness of crust. Squeeze any excess dough together into a flat shape and bake later just like a cookie until it’s golden brown.
Use a plastic fork or wooden dowel (to prevent damage the non-stick coating) to dock the bottom of each crust thoroughly. I am too lazy, and have so far gotten away with it with this recipe, but if you want to ensure your crust keeps it’s shape, place a piece of parchment or foil over each and fill them with pie weights or dry beans before baking. It helps to spray the side of the parchment/foil that will touch the dough lightly with oil. Bake the tart shells for 15 min then pull them out to cool. Leave the oven on if you intend to make the frangipane and then bake the tarts right away.
To prepare the frangipane and assemble:
In a small bowl, cream the butter, cookie butter, and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until combined. Finally, add in the flours and beat until smooth.
Put about a 1/4 cup of peach filling into each par-baked tart shell and smooth out the surface with a spoon or spatula. Any remaining peach filling is delicious for breakfast over plain yogurt! Divide the frangipane evenly between the tarts and use an offset spatula (or a regular spatula) to spread it evenly over the peach filling. Note that if your peach filling is still hot, your frangipane will melt and won’t spread well either. If the crust is still somewhat warm, you can get away with it if you work relatively quickly, but I wouldn’t go for it if they’re straight out of the oven.
Bake the fully-assembled tarts for another 28-33 minutes at 375 F (190 C) until the frangipane and the shells are both lightly browned. Cool until comfortable to handle (or cool completely) and then remove from the pans. Just before serving, arrange the reserved peach slices in a fan shape over half of each tart. The tarts keep well covered in the fridge for a few days, but they taste best if you let them come back to room temperature before eating.