This summer peach tart with basil on a chocolate hazelnut base is like an explosion of summer in your mouth. It is gently sweet but at the same time fresh and fragrant. I really hope you love it as much as I do, because there is a bit of a story behind it!
I spent June in Berkeley, California, which is pretty close to the heartland of Californian peach production. The first time I saw the mountains of ripe peaches at the farmer’s market I was hit with an overpowering feeling that they needed to be paired with ginger and herbs and baked into something glorious.
So first I tried muffins. They came out of the oven looking like perfection, and tasting like it too. I was so excited I sent photos to everyone who cares about my little kitchen endeavours (basically my mum and my husband 🙂 ), proclaiming I had just made the most perfect muffins ever. I left them to cool and then took them along to our friends house, where we were invited to celebrate 4th July. Somehow during the cooling process, the world’s most perfect muffins turned into a pretty good substitute for a baseball. Hard and chewy, they were nothing like what had come out of the oven a few hours earlier.
The ripening of an idea
But it wouldn’t let go, this recipe idea. It kept following me around and twisting into other forms. Until I thought I had it –these flavours were perfect for a galette! I would overcome my extreme hate for pastry making and bake the best galette I had ever eaten. It all came together well, looked amazing, smelled divine. I took photos and made big declarations again. But when I bit into it….something wasn’t quite right. Of course I ate the whole thing by myself anyway, just to be sure, which left me feeling slightly ill. I figured it was now time to give up on this wild peach chase.
Until the week after, when the next idea came to me. The peaches would be a tart! I bounced off to the farmers market again, traded a small fortune for some perfect peaches and waited for the weekend to arrive to throw things around in my kitchen. And finally, ladies and gentlemen, it worked. Everything fell perfectly into place, like this recipe had been waiting for me to make it my whole life. So here you have the peach tart that nearly wasn’t, but thankfully is!
The Big Magic Tart
This whole process made me think of the theory of ideas and creativity that Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in Big Magic (that awesome book I recommended a few months back). You see, this idea wanted to be a tart all along, not a muffin or a galette. I had to persevere and stick with it and go through some ups and downs, but in the end we made it together. The idea needed me to bring it to life, and if I wouldn’t have stuck with it would have left to find someone else who would make it happen.
Tonnes of ideas float around out there looking for a willing host who will bring them to life. Mostly we are not open enough, too tired to start or just give up when it gets hard. I can think of many cases where I have done one or more of those things to good ideas that came to me. And they no doubt moved on to someone else.
Now I know this is just a recipe and nothing that is going to change the world, but still, I think the lessons apply for the many inspirations that come and leave us every day. Stay curious and open for inspiration, dance around with it joyfully through the ups and downs, and eventually if it is meant to be, you will bring it to life.
So from now on I am also going to call this peach tart my Big Magic tart 🙂 And make it with all kinds of fruit and herbs and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Until the next inspiration strikes J I hope you love it too!
Happy eating, Michelle xo
- Tart pan (ideally one with a removable base, if not available use a pie dish), 25 cm diameter
- For the Crust: (loosely adapted from one of Amy Chaplin’s tart bases in the amazing cookbook “At home in the wholefood kitchen”):
- ¾ Cup Ground Hazelnuts / Hazelnut Meal
- ¼ Cup Instant Oats (or run rolled oats through food processor to break them down)
- ¼ Cup Dessicated Coconut
- ½ Cup Brown Rice or Spelt or any Wholemeal Flour
- Pinch Sea Salt
- 2 Tbsp Cacao Powder
- ½ Tsp Bourbon Vanilla or Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
- 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- Olive Oil to grease pan
- For the filling:
- 2 Peaches, ripe and thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Fresh Ginger, grated
- Squeeze Lemon Juice
- 3 pinches Bourbon Vanilla
- 300g Plain Yoghurt (I use soy or coconut but if you are not dairy free or vegan you could use another type e.g. hard set Greek yoghurt, goats or sheeps yoghurt). Just choose a plain variety that is not too sweet)
- Fresh Basil Leaves (to top) (use miniature basil if you have it)
- Note: Make the crust first and leave enough time for it to cool (i.e. start at least 1 hour before intended serving time).
- Preheat the oven to 180C, without fan. Generously grease a tart pan or pie dish (use one with a diameter of around 25cm) and set aside.
- First make the crust: in a mixing bowl combine the hazelnuts, oats, coconut, flour, salt, cacao powder and vanilla. Add the melted coconut oil. Using fingers, a fork or wooden spoon, mix until the oil is well distributed. Add the maple syrup and mix again until it is evenly distributed. The mixture should be moist but not sticky or clumping together. It may seem a little too dry to you but don’t worry it will be fine!
- Pour mixture into the greased tart pan or pie dish and press into the base and up the sides until it is compact and evenly distributed. You only need about 1cm or a bit less height up the sides.
- Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times. Place in the preheated oven and leave to bake for 20 mins at 180C without fan. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for at least 30 mins.
- To make the filling: slice the peaches. Lightly grease a stovetop grill pan or frying pan with olive oil. Place the peaches in the pan and grill on one side until cooked through (you will see they start to become more transparent). Note: this step is optional, you can also just slice the peaches and use them without grilling them.
- While the peaches are cooking: place the 2 tbsp Maple Syrup, 1 tsp Grated Ginger, Squeeze Lemon Juice and 3 pinches Bourbon Vanilla in a small saucepan on low heat. Warm the mixture, stirring regularly, until it just starts to boil then immediately remove from heat and set aside.
- Pour the yoghurt onto the tart crust to make the filling. When the peaches are ready, remove them one by one and arrange them on the top of the yoghurt. Pour the maple, ginger mixture over the top, making sure it is evenly distributed. Tear up the basil leaves (or use individual leaves of miniature basil) and sprinkle them on top before serving.
- This tart is best eaten right after it has been made. However, it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, and I belive it even passes for breakfast the next day, if it lasts that long!