I have some exciting things to tell you!
A wee while ago I connected with the lovely Stacy from 27th and Olive over Instagram. We chatted back and forth for a while, realising that we had a lot more in common than we thought! We are both self-taught foodies, with a love of minimalism (Stacy has the most amazing floorboards I have ever seen...), and creating food for those that we love. Stacy lives in the Ottawa Valley in Canada with her two children (who are the cutest things EVER) and her husband, in an amazing old house, while we live in a teeny NYC apartment. While we are yet to meet in real life yet, we fast became great friends. Its amazing having someone so like minded to bounce ideas off whenever you need! Hopefully one day soon we can meet in real life, because I am certain our friendship would be even more amazing than over the internet.
Stacy mentioned to me an idea that she had been sitting on for a while - a way of bringing bakers and foodies together to celebrate what we love, while trying out different recipes, ideas and techniques. I always wish that I could bake with some of the amazing people that I meet over the internet, and so I guess this is the next best thing! Funnily enough Stacy felt the exact same way and so shared her idea with me - that we pick a few different recipes a month from pinterest, food blogs that we love, or from our ever growing stacks of recipe books that we both own. We then both make the recipe, put our own spin on it, style and shoot it. The only rule that we have is that there is no sharing until the very end!
And so Distant Kitchens was born! I love the idea with collaborating with someone from a distance, knowing that the same magic that is happening in your kitchen is also going on in theirs, and of course having someone to discuss a recipe with in detail!
We are so excited to share this with you! Both of us will be posting about the recipes on our blog, so you can see the similarities and differences that we found with the recipe. You can also follow along with Stacy and I on instagram with the hashtag #distantkitchens. We would love it if you followed along and shared your results if you tried the recipe!
The first recipe that we tried got us so so excited about this wee project - we both had such different results, from the same recipe. We decided to stick with something seasonal for the first post, and as peaches are in full swing at the moment it was an easy choice. The recipe comes from Richard Bertinet's book Pastry. It combines a Pate Sucree with a frangipane filling, and is finished off with glazed peaches, poached in a rosemary syrup. The peaches balance out the buttery filling and crust perfectly. It seems like it has a lot of components and is fairly fiddly but it is definitely worth it! I was paid the ultimate compliment on this one - Rich had seconds for dessert. He isn't a huge dessert guy, so this certainly shows that it was a hit!
I made this into 6 individual tarts, but you could certainly just make one large tart instead. Feel free to arrange the peaches any way you would like on the top. I found that very firm peaches worked best for poaching as they held their structure nicely once cooked. As usual, making the pastry the night before so it has time to rest overnight is very beneficial.
Another wee tip - because of the eggs and the creamed texture of the frangipane, ensure that you do not fill your cases too full, to avoid an almond filling explosion once they are in the oven. They do tend to puff up slightly which can be worrying, but will sink down again once out of the oven.
If you do not have gelatine to make the glaze, you can also use a clear apricot jam - use about 200g and heat up with a couple of tablespoons of water in a saucepan until it is nice and sticky, then use it to glaze the almond filled bases, and the poached peaches. As with most pastry recipes, I have provided the quantities in grams.
I have popped a side by side comparison of our two finished tarts at the bottom of this post, and you can see more of Stacys finished tart on her blog! I am so so excited to begin sharing our distant kitchens creations with you!
Peach and Rosemary Frangipane tart
- Makes 6 4.75 inch tarts-
Adapted from "Pastry"
275g all-purpose flour
75g almond meal
125g butter, cold
2 whole eggs, plus one yolk
Pinch of Salt
250g butter, at room temperature
250g Almond meal, finely ground
1tsp Vanilla extract
Poached peach topping
7 medium peaches, still fairly firm
1 litre (4 cups) water
Two small handfuls (about 4 sprigs) fresh rosemary
200ml Poaching syrup
2 Gelatine Leaves
- PROCESS -
Place flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Place butter between two pieces of parchment paper, and hit hard with a rolling pin or similar object until it flattens out. Break up the flattened butter into a few pieces and add to the mixer. Mix on low until the butter is incorporated, and pea-sized pieces remain. Add the sugar and mix well. Add eggs and yolk and mix on low until a cohesive dough is formed.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and using the heel of your hand, press the dough into the work surface, almost 'spreading' it across the surface. Repeat this until you have a smooth cohesive dough. Shape into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, and rest overnight in the fridge.
Once rested, flour a work surface, and roll out the dough to approximately 5mm thick. Grease your tart tins, and line each with pastry. Place on a baking sheet and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and the finely ground almond mix, and beat until incorporated. Add eggs, flour and vanilla, and mix again. Transfer to a pastry bag or ziploc bag and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes to half an hour.
POACHED PEACHES TOPPING
While the pastry is resting, prepare your peaches and poaching liquid. Place the sugar, rosemary sprigs and water in a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer until you have a clear syrup. Halve the peaches, and remove the stone. Place into the sugar syrup and simmer on low for 8 minutes. Remove from the liquid and place on a plate. Remove the rosemary from the syrup, and reserve the liquid. Carefully slip the skins off the peaches, and allow the syrup and peaches to cool separately.
Preheat oven to 350g/180c. Fill the lined pastry cases with the frangipane, leaving some room for expansion. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.
Using a skewer or toothpick, carefully prick holes in the cooled filling. Brush approximately 1 tbsp of the reserved syrup over each tart, and allow it to soak in.
To make the glaze, warm 200ml of the reserved syrup in a small pot. Allow to reduce slightly. While the syrup is reducing, place two gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Add a small amount of the reduced poaching liquid and whisk to dissolve. Add the rest of the reduced liquid and whisk well, then set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled, brush the top of each tart with the glaze. Alternatively, warm 200g clear apricot jam with a few tablespoons of water and use this as the glaze.
Slice each peach half thinly, and arrange in a fanned out pattern on top of the glazed tart, using one peach for each tart to create a fanned out circle of segments. Repeat for all six tarts
Brush each completed tart with a little remaining glaze, and top with a small sprig of rosemary for decoration.
Head over to Stacys blog, 27th and Olive, to see her process and completed tart!