Peach and Rosemary Frangipane Tart.
Sweetest and most congenial southern belle of all stone fruits, (despite the “made in china” tag) providing both musical and literary inspiration (prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry) to those for whom this nature’s candy extends well beyond the allegory for a healthy woman’s exceptionally inviting bottom as ogled behind efficiently tailored clothing.
The noble peach is filed under almond in the subgenus Amygdalus within the genus Prunus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated non garbage-disposable seed shell. Consequently, in keeping gracefully disciplined stride with the traditional, logical and deliberate epicurean compositions which are management’s hallmark, almonds were chosen as a secondary element. Rather than toasting a few slivers of silly pedestrian nuts and sprinkling them willy-nilly with some of that powdered sugar dust, an almond based frangipane filling corollary was unanimously voted upon, after little tedious deliberation. The frangipane custard (a whole chicken-egg, vanilla scented custard thickened with flour, hope, ground almonds and patience) was adapted from the Escoffier standard, supplemented with blanched (to maintain the color) low hanging rosemary brazenly acquired from a neighbor’s unguarded front yard. A tip from a colleague (and neighbor) offered a solution for how a French grande toque elegantly displayed the co-ingredient in a clever manner: candy the almond and place it in the pit’s cavity, an edible trompe l’oeil. Marcona almonds were toasted then candied (crystallized) in a small amount of water, sugar and cracked black pepper stovetop, then left to cool and placed in their caramelized fruit nests before unveiling.
The dough was a customary pâte sucrée and the molds were lined with a flour/butter mixture for easy release, a trick that will be applied to often stubbornly fastened bicycle parts, tight trousers and recalcitrant windows of yesteryear. Peaches retained their skins (should have skinned them in hindsight), were halved and placed on the docked pastry shells. The frangipane batter was poured evenly and distributed with enough room to accommodate expansion, then baked at an orthodox, though proprietary, temperature until golden brown/central American skin color –about 45 minutes.
To peach their own. Overall a pleasant and worthwhile success which was repeated a few months later with the same results. Only liability is that the frangipane deflates as it cools. For plump visual appeal and airy texture it should be eaten shortly after the oven gestation period. Reheating has limited resuscitating effects. Aesthetically and for perhaps an accent of sweetness the peaches should have been dolled up with a shiny peach glaze or jam of sorts. Peaches could benefit from being peeled since the skins contrasted too much with the soft peach and frangipane.