I’m a messy person. It’s something about myself that I love and hate all at the same time. I adore organization, pretty pink binders lined up with matching white and gold labels, beautifully planned, bright white, yet gorgeously rustic studio spaces , and color coordinated linen closets. I also love potting soil and hands covered in dirt from nurturing something to life, charcoal smudges on my face, forgotten flour handprints on my clothes, dog toys strewn about my house, and clothes casually piled in the corner because the day was so wonderful and full that making it to the hamper before falling into my oldest, softest sweatpants didn’t matter. Keep in mind that just because I’m messy doesn’t mean I can’t organize. In fact, I love the process. Spending a morning reorganizing my office is amazingly refreshing. The trouble with being messy is, that I struggle with staying organized. My lovely organizational handiwork lasts for about two weeks before creative chaos takes place and rolls through my personal spaces like a hurricane. Organization motivates me and makes me feel productive, but it’s the messy things in life that give me goosebumps…wake me up in the middle of the night scrambling for something to scribble down an idea on, reaching for a chunk of inky black charcoal, and getting flour in my hair right before I go out for a dinner date. Organization helps me make sense of my life…but the messiness is life. Messy is beautiful.
This tart gave me goosebumps. It falls into the messy, not so perfect, up for creative interpretation category. Now, don’t get me wrong, you have to follow a specific set of rules to get the perfect, buttery, flakey crust, and the ideal sweet, juicy texture. But making it gives you the joy that a 5 year old has building a castle out of play dough. Pulling the dough together with your hands, and placing or tossing or spreading the fruit across the crust, and folding the edges up around the deliciously sweet filling in just the right, no rules, no right answer way. It’s the perfect combination of structure and chaos.
I am constantly learning, and as I mentioned in my post featuring Peach Streusel Muffins, I am currently studying the AMAZING work of Sally over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. This happens to be another recipe from her blog, and I feel like I grew three inches just making it for the first time. I had to choose something peachy to bake, because I’m still surrounded by my magnificent South Carolina peaches, and every time I read a recipe written by Sally, I learn something new and amazing and useful. Really…head over there people….I can’t even express how in love I am with her blog. Here is my rendition of her amazing, messy, beautiful “Rustic Strawberry Peach Tart.”
Summertime Strawberry Peach Tart
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
2 Fresh Ripe Peaches (peeled, pitted, sliced)
2 Cups Fresh Sliced Strawberries
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Cold Unsalted Butter Cut into Cubes
1/4 Cup Ice Water
1 Egg Beaten
Sugar for Sprinkling
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon Buttermilk
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
In a medium bowl, mix the sliced peaches and sliced strawberries, the sugar, and the vanilla. Toss until the fruit is evenly coated, cover and set aside.
In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter with a pastry cutter (or two forks). Cut in until the mixture is of uniform texture and the pieces are pea-sized. Add the ice water. Stir in until the flour is uniformly moist. Add more ice water a tablespoon at a time if the flour is too dry to come together. Knead the dough 3 or 4 times to bring it together, and shape into a thick disk. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.
Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray.
Clear counter space and dust lightly with flour. Roll the chilled dough out into a 12 inch circle. You can trim the edges to make a precise circle, or leave the edges un-even for a more rustic appearance. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
Use a slotted spoon, add the fruit to the center of the dough. Be sure to leave at least a 2 inch border around the edge of your dough circle. Leave the fruit juices in the bowl, to avoid a soggy crust. Fold the edge of the dough over the fruit towards the center of the tart. The dough can overlap. If overlap occurs, press together the edges to seal them. Drizzle 2 or 3 tablespoons of reserved fruit juice over the center of the tart.
Beat one egg in a small bowl, and brush the beaten egg lightly over the crust. Sprinkle the whole tart with sugar and place baking sheet in the oven. Bake the tart until golden brown (25 minutes to 35 minutes), and then set it aside to cool.
In a small bowl whisk all glaze ingredients together (sugar, buttermilk, vanilla). Drizzle glaze over the tart, and serve. Leftovers may be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored for up to 3 days.