Friday, July 29, 2011

Peach Cream Cheese Tart

I saw this tart a while back on the Foodie Bride, original recipe from Smells like Home and saved it for a special occasion.  As you know, peaches have been plentiful and so yummy lately.  I made an awesome peach crumble last summer and wanted to make some type of desert with them this year.  I decided I didn't need a special occasion to make this and just went for it!  You absolutely can not skip the lemon zest in the crust, its almost my favorite part!  I would make sure to keep your peach slices pretty thick as well.  I made my tart in a 9 inch tart pan and ended up having too much dough, but I can use it for another fun desert later, just make sure to get your crust thin.  Also I didn't worry about making the glaze, I just drizzled it with the leftover sauce from the peaches!

Off topic, well not really, but have you ever grilled peaches?  If you are grilling out, and feel like having some desert after, cut your peaches in half, turn your grill down low, sprinkle peaches with cinnamon sugar, and grill for just a few minutes on each side watching them carefully.  Top them with a dollop of vanilla icecream while still warm, to die for!

Lemon Zest Tart Crust:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon zest, preferably organic
2/3 cup (11 tbsp) chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream (more as needed) (or half & half)

Cheese Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (I used light)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (I used ricotta)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Fruit Topping
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
5-6 large peaches, pears, or apples

Glaze (I skipped this)
1/2 cup apricot jam
3 tbsp brandy
3 tbsp water

To Make the Tart Crust:
Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl on low speed about 30 seconds.  Cut the chilled butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the butter to the flour mixture and combine on low speed about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, until the mixture looks crumbly, with bits of dough the size of dried peas.
Whisk the egg with the cream and add to the flour mixture, mixing on low speed until the dough is just combined.  Continue mixing for 10 seconds longer.  If the dough is too dry to form a ball, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Gently mold the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness on a generously floured flat surface.  Fold it over the rolling pin and gently transfer the dough to a 10-inch tart pan.  Press it lightly into place.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To Make the Filling:
Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until fluffy.  Add the mascarpone and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined.  Add the eggs and beat on medium-high for about 1 minute.  Add the flour and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the unbaked tart crust.

To Make the Fruit Topping:
In a medium bowl, stir the cinnamon and sugar together until combined.  Peel and pit the peaches, or peel and core the apples or pears, and cut them in half.  Score the outside of each half diagonally from top to bottom, starting at the top left corner and making 3 evenly spaced lines ending at the bottom right corner.  (Score only 7 halves.  The remaining fruit will be diced later.)  Repeat with three scores, starting at the top right corner and extending to the bottom left.  Coat the fruit in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Arrange 6 halves around the outer edge of the pie.  Place the seventh half in the center.  Cut the remaining fruit in 1/2-inch dice and coat with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Spoon the diced fruit into the spaces between the fruit halves so that the cream cheese filling is completely covered.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.

To Make the Glaze:
About 10 minutes before the tart is finished baking, stir the apricot jam, brandy, and water together in a small saucepan set over medium heat.  Continue heating until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Remove the tart from the oven and brush the glaze over the top.  let cool at least 1 hour before serving.  When completely cool, this tart may be tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Serve at room temperature.

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