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Peppered Peach Tarts with Ginger-Caramel Sauce
Makes 4 servings
*4 ripe peaches
*1/3 cup + 4 tsps. sugar
*4 tsps. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
*2 tsps. freshly ground black pepper
*Basic Pastry Dough
*4 tsps. unsalted butter
*1/2 cup heavy cream for whipped cream garnish
*Ginger-Caramel Sauce
1Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Dip the peaches into the boiling water for 10 seconds - no longer. If they cook longer, the flesh will begin to bind with the skin, and peeling the peaches will become a nightmare. Immediately immerse the peaches in the ice water.
2When they are cool enough to handle, drain and dry the peaches, then peel them. Cut in half and remove the pits. Cut each peach half into 4 slices. Gently toss the peaches with 1/3 cup of the sugar, the flour, and pepper. Set aside.
3Cut the Basic Pastry Dough into 4 equal pieces and form into disks. Roll each one into a 6-inch circle about ¼ inch thick. Put the dough on the sheet pans. Arrange 8 peach slices on the dough, spoke-fashion, leaving a border of 1 inch. Pull up the edges of the dough around the peaches, and crimp. Dot each tart with 1 teaspoon of the butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Chill the tarts for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
4Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
5Arrange the tarts on a sheet pan (with sides in case the juices run out during baking). Bake for 40 minutes, or until the peaches are tender and the crusts are golden and crisp. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
6While the tarts are baking, make the Ginger-Caramel Sauce.
7To serve, place each tart on a plate. Zigzag the caramel sauce over each tart and top with a dollop of whipped cream.
In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant by Jody Adams and Ken Rivard (HarperCollinsPublishers; January 2002)