Kim Severson, one of my favorite food writers, recently published a book, Spoon Fed. There is a hilarious chapter in which Severson describes cleansing her kitchen before a visit by the famed Alice Waters. She tosses cans of soda in the trash and frets over frozen (albeit organic) chicken nuggets. Heaven forbid Ms. Waters catch a glimpse of processed food!
Sometimes I feel like Severson. I am cringing now as I admit that I used a store-bought pie crust for this rustic blueberry peach tart. And while I’m airing the dirty laundry, I might as well let you know that I often use store-bought pie crust. I know how to make pie crust, and from-scratch really does taste better, but sometimes convenience is key. I had this tart in the oven in 10 minutes flat. You can’t beat that!
So, then, why do I feel guilty? I have drilled into my own head the superiority of everything homemade, but what’s wrong with convenience every now and then? It’s not as though my grandmother, my culinary idol, never used a canned biscuit or boxed cake mix. As a child she spent summers in her mother’s kitchen putting up fruits and vegetables for winter – out of necessity not nostalgia. So as an adult she adored store-bought canned peaches and jarred tomato sauce. For her generation, convenience foods were a symbol of freedom and sophistication – not commercialism. Instant rice and condensed soup allowed my grandmother time out of the kitchen, out of the house.
And refrigerated pie crust allowed me to produce a beautiful dessert in minutes. Sweet, juicy berries and bright, fresh peaches make this simple dessert a sure crowd-pleaser. Ideal after a BBQ, the flavors of this rustic tart are pure summer. And since almost any combination of fruits could work in a tart like this, if you keep pie crust on hand, it’s easy to throw together an impressive dessert in no time. I happen to like this rustic tart served with a scoop of honey ice cream, but it’s lovely all on its own too.
Rustic Blueberry Peach Tart
1 refrigerated pie crust
3 large peaches, thinly sliced
1/2 cup blueberry jam
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons cream
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the crust on a greased baking sheet. Arrange the peaches in a concentric circle on the crust, starting about 2 inches in from the edge. Mix the jam and the cinnamon. Spread the jam on the dough in the open center, in the middle of the peaches. Mound the berries on the jam. Fold the edges of the dough in over the peaches, pinching as you go to secure the crust. Brush the dough with the cream. Sprinkle the entire tart with the sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust is slightly brown and the berries are bubbling. Cool slightly before slicing.