Every summer during my childhood, my sisters and I would wait impatiently for the appearance of certain foods that weren’t available the rest of the year: cherries (still a love affair there); watermelon (nobody could cut it like my Dad–one sharp thwack! on top, and the thing practically fell open in slices); corn on the cob (worth getting corn skin stuck in your teeth); or peaches. Perfect, downy, never-fail-to-squirt-juice-all-over-your-mouth-and-chin peaches. I adored the soft, slightly gelatinous texture, the not-too-sweet tartness of a perfectly ripe peach, the astonishing color of the fleshy insides. Peaches were a treat, and one well worth waiting for.
When I finally moved into my first apartment on my own, one of the first things I bought when summer arrived was a bag of peaches. Of course, the local supermarket in Windsor couldn’t compare to the farmer’s market back in Montreal; as a result, I wasn’t prepared for the trauma of biting into a powdery, insipid and colorless peach with insides like a raw potato. The peaches from conventional grocery stores turned me off that stone fruit for decades.
Well, if I’m honest, it wasn’t just the poor quality store-bought produce; my classmate, RB, played a role in my peach aversion as well. You see, RB is the one who first introduced me to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. RB was fascinated by the man’s linguistic dexterity (he grew up in a multi-lingual household and spoke several languages) and his ability to play with language much the way toddlers play with Lego. In fact, RB spent an inordinate amount of time relating to me, in minute detail, how Nabokov described Lolita’s posterior, plump and soft and rounded with a dimple down the middle like a . . . peach. From then on, I couldn’t help but associate peaches with rear ends (not the most appetizing image, as you can imagine).
Luckily, my attitude changed once again after the HH and I discovered organic delivery boxes (CSAs) and began receiving a bounty of fresh, organic produce every week. In summertime, the box contained peaches. After seeing the HH slurp his way through more than one firm, juicy globe, I had to give them another try. Lucky for me, organic never disappoints!
Although I still don’t cook with peaches all that often, I’ve regained that childhood love of them. I’d been playing with this tart recipe for a while when I read about the Gastropost “mission” to create a recipe with peaches, and things just fell into place. My idea was to create something rustic, easy to prepare, and utterly delicious. The oatmeal base contributes a breakfast vibe (and that’s how I’ve enjoyed this several times–especially now that dessert-for-breakfast is actually sanctioned by weight loss researchers!), but topped with the silky mascarpone and glazed peaches, the tart would be equally comfortable on a dessert table.
[The oatcake crust base baked on its own, then later topped with Gena's Strawberry Vanilla Pudding and served chilled.]
You could also bake the base on its own and then top with your choice of chilled topping (or just a pile of unadorned sliced peaches, without the mascarpone). I made a batch of Gena’s Strawberry Vanilla Pudding (upped the strawberries just a bit) and spread it over the base for another amazing treat.
Like the peaches of my childhood, this one is worth waiting for.
Rustic Glazed Peach and Mascarpone Tart with Oatcake Crust
This tart looks fancy enough for company, but the ease of preparation means you can whip it up for you and the family any day. It’s a perfect dish for a summer brunch as well–and a great way to use leftover steelcut oats from yesterday’s breakfast.
For the Mascarpone (adapted from this recipe):
1 can (400 ml or 12 ounces) full-fat coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen)
3/4 cup (120 g) raw cashews
1-1/2 Tbsp (22.5 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 ml) lucuma powder (optional, but very nice)
50-60 drops (about 3/4 tsp or 7.5 ml) plain or vanilla liquid stevia (I use NuNaturals), to your taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut sugar, optional (for a whiter mascarpone, omit and use more stevia)
pinch fine sea salt
For the Oatcake Crust:
2/3 cup (160 ml) pre-cooked, chilled steel-cut oats (regular rolled oats are not suitable here–be sure to check for Certified gluten-free if applicable)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut sugar
40-50 drops plain or vanilla liquid stevia (I use NuNaturals)
2/3 cup (160 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy or almond milk
1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp (45 ml) nut oil (such as walnut or almond) or melted coconut oil, preferably organic*
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (360 ml) Ricki’s all-purpose gluten-free flour
3/4 tsp (3.5 ml) xanthan gum
2-1/2 tsp (12. 5 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking soda
3/4 tsp (3.5 ml) fine sea salt
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
For the Peach Topping:
2 medium fresh peaches, pitted and sliced thickly
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut sugar
Prepare the Mascarpone: Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (such as a VitaMix) and blend until perfectly smooth, scraping down sides if necessary. Set aside.
Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line the bottom of an 8-1/2 inch (21.5 cm) springform pan with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray and set aside. (Note: you can use a 9-inch (22 cm) pan for this tart, but be aware that it won’t need to bake as long, and the “cheese” layer will be thinner and less luxurious as a result).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oatmeal, 2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut sugar, stevia, soy milk, vinegar, oil and vanilla to begin dissolving the coconut sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir once or twice to distribute the ingredients evenly.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry and stir to combine; do not overmix. The batter will be very thick and almost like a cookie dough. Spread the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Pour the mascarpone over the batter and smooth the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are beginning to brown and the top appears firm. Remove from oven and turn on the broiler (if your oven has to broiler, increase temperature to 500 F (260 C). Ttop with peach slices; sprinkle with the final 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut sugar; broil for an additional five minutes, until the peaches begin to brown and the sugar begins to caramelize. Remove from oven and cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving. Serve chilled. Makes 8 servings. May be frozen; defrost, covered, overnight in the refrigerator.
*NOTE: You could theoretically use any vegetable oil you like for the crust, such as sunflower or even olive oil; I had some macadamia oil, so used that.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 3 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, vegan.
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Last Year at this Time: No-Cook, Allergy-friendly, Grain-Free Breakfast Porridge (gluten free; ACD all stages)
© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs