Monday, September 17, 2012

Peach Tarte Tatin & Lemon Ice Cream

Recently I was struck by the fact that I have nearly missed out on peach season.  They are almost gone at the market and I have not made a thing with them.  That is until now.

Thumbing through some magazines I landed on a recipe for Peach Tarte Tatins.  What really got my interest was the fact that the recipe was so easy to put together and that they were made in individual servings.

These little desserts are a great alternative to a big pie.  The layers all come together for something tasty and unique.  The base is puff pastry, then it has a caramelized peach sitting atop of it. To create t those layers, the assembly is the opposite in a ramekin because the dessert is inverted onto a plate.

While they are satisfying enough by themselves, a dollop of ice cream makes them even better.  Vanilla a la mode may be tradition, but the dessert really pops with a homemade lemon ice cream topping.  The complimentary flavor blend really does make you question the traditional.

The equipment needed to make the complete dessert  is 8 ramekins that hold 3/4 cup and an ice cream maker. It is best to prepare the ice cream the day before, the recipe makes about 6 cups.

Lemon Ice Cream
adapted from Bon Appetit

8 egg yolks
5 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs lemon zest (packed)
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cup sugar (divided)
3 cups heavy whipping cream

Fill a large saucepan with 1 cup sugar, whipping cream, lemon zest and milk.  Place over medium heat and stir.  The mixture should come to a simmer and the sugar dissolve. One it reaches that point, remove from heat.

In a medium heatproof bowl add egg yolks, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and lemon juice.  Whisk until blended.  Take the saucepan of warm cream mixture and pour a slow stream into the egg yolks and stir together.

Pour custard back into saucepan and place over medium heat.  Let mixture cook, while stirring constantly.  The custard should become thicker and reach a temperature of about 170 to 175 degrees. This process should take about 5 minutes.  Take caution to make sure the mixture does not boil.

Pour custard into a heat proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill in refrigerator for 3 hours. Then pour into a ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.  Place ice cream in a bowl and cover and freeze until firm.

Peach Tarte Tatins
adapted from Bon Appetit
1 17.3  oz package of puff pastry (thawed)
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tbs
4 ripe peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
1/4 cup water
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp water for glaze
6 tbs butter

Put sugar and water in a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Stir mixture until all the sugar has dissolved.  Prepare a cup of water along with a pastry brush to occasionally wash down the sides of the mixture from the pan while it cooks.  Increase the heat and let mixture boil without stirring.  In about 7-10 minutes, it will turn a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and add the butter. Wait a few minutes for the butter to melt.

Place pan back on low heat and stir, making sure all the caramel chunks dissolve.  Once the correct consistency, pour caramel in equal increments into each of the 8 ramekins.  The place 1 peach half on top of the caramel, with cut side facing up. Complete the process until all peach halves are in the ramekins.  Set ramekins aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Then take out puff pastry and cut into 8 rounds that are the same diameter as the ramekins.  Put one round on top of each of the peach halves and tuck in the edges.

Brush the dough tops with egg glaze and sprinkle some sugar on top.  Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly.  Put in oven and bake about 25 minutes.  Pastry should have a golden color when done. 

Remove pan from oven when done. Using oven mitts, invert each ramekin onto a dessert plate.  Let cool for about 10 minutes.  Then top with a scoop of ice cream and serve.
                         **LAST YEAR: Cranberry Invasion Cake**