Deceptively simple Peach and Lemon Curd Tarlets in Puff Pastry look fancy but are so easy to make.
Summer is almost over. I’m going to go against popular public opinion here, but YAY!!!! I just can’t with the sweating and the way my glasses fog over when I step out into a typical New Jersey sweat lodge of humidity. About the only thing I love about Jersey is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables we get along with the oppressive heat. So, I want to finish off the season with something that looks and tastes fancy as heck, and tastes just as bright as Summer. Without making my hair frizz or leaving me mosquito bitten.
Don’t be intimidated by the dramatic good looks of these Peach and Lemon Curd Tartlets. There are a few steps, but each one is practically foolproof. I’m not asking anyone to make their own puff pastry or use a double boiler. Don’t like lemon 😳, you can substitute an equal amount of any citrus fruit. Try orange, tangerine, or even grapefruit!! Follow along and say goodbye to Summer with me.
Also, enjoy the beautifully artistic rendering of a finished tartlet by daughter #3 (read about her in the sidebar). She has a cool website full of cool art. Check it out here . Not all of it is food. Pity.
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest from 4 lemons
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), cut into pieces
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large peaches, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices. Out of season, you can use drained frozen peaches.
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Small pinch of salt
The Rest of the Stuff
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
- Coarse sugar or Swedish pearl sugar (A finer grain than the Belgian pearl sugar we used in our Liège Waffles, I got mine online from our Interweb Overlords)
- 1 egg, mixed with 1 tsp of milk
- 1/4 cup apricot jelly
Making Your Lemon Curd
- Zest the lemons directly into the sugar, scrinching it with your fingers to get all the lemony flavor into the sugar. Stir your zesty sugar with the lemon juice, egg yolks, and a small pinch of salt in a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Continuing to stir, drop in your butter piece by piece, waiting for each bit to melt before adding the next one. Continue to cook until the mixture coats the back of your spoon and running your finger through leaves a nice clean trail. Lick your finger. It’s worth it! You’ve made lemon curd!
- Pour the curd into a container, using a small strainer (I like using a glass bowl or jar so I can gaze upon its sunny beauty in the fridge). Press the curd through the strainer with a rubber spatula to remove the zest (it’s fulfilled its zippy destiny) and any possible egg or shell bits. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate until ready to use. A quick not: you are in no way limited to making a lemon curd with this recipe! Try substituting any other citrus fruit you want. Blood orange and tangerine come to mind, but even a grapefruit curd would be delicious. Whatever curd you don’t use in your tartlets or eat with a spoon, will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. As if.
Preparing Your Peaches
- Peel and slice your peaches into about 1/4 inch slices. Gently toss them with sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt and allow to sit and become amazing friends while you get you puff pastry ready for action. Reserve half of your peaches and cut into about 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside for making your pinwheel tartlets.
Putting It All Together
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Cover 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside. Allow frozen puff pastry to thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes, or until you can easily unfold it.
- Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Keep the other sheet cold in the refrigerator until ready to use Gently roll it out a bit, mostly to get the seams smoothed out. Cut into nine roughly square pieces. You can use a small roller to "square them up" but don't go crazy. This isn't MasterChef. Things can be "rustic".
- With a small paring knife, score about a 1 cm border along the edge of each square. Don't cut all the way through, just a light scoring. Place 1 tsp of lemon curd in the center of each square. Top with 3 slices of peach, shingled all pretty-like.
- Lightly brush the edges of each future tartlet with your egg/milk mixture. Sprinkle each corner with coarse or Swedish sugar. Put these tartlets in the refrigerator while you prepare your pinwheels. Ooh! Fancy!
- Take out your second sheet of puff pastry and roll and cut it into 9 pieces, just like you did with the previous sheet, but do not score the edges.
- Place about 1 tsp of lemon curd in the center of each pastry piece. Top with 1 tbs of diced peaches. Repeat with the other 8 squares.
- Using your small paring knife, cut into each corner of your pastries, just until you get close to your filling, but not all the way into the filling. You'll have 4 sail shaped wedges in each pastry. Fold the left corner of each "sail" across the the base of the next "sail" as pictured. Repeat with the other 3 corners of each pastry.
- Brush the pastries with egg/milk wash and sprinkle with coarse or Swedish sugar. Top off each pastry center with a few more pieces of diced peaches.
- Place sheet trays in your oven on the middle two racks. Bake your tartlets in a 400° oven for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. Halfway through baking, swap the tray positions and turn trays, ensuring an even bake.
- Cool for 10 minutes, while warming your apricot jelly. Place jelly in a small bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir and heat for another 20 seconds. Brush tops of fruit only on each tartlet. This will give each baby tartlet a beautiful gloss and enhance its peachiness, while giving it a nice tartness. Tartness...tartlet...get it?! Eat now. Laugh later.