Picture a recent Saturday at our place. I had two events that I needed to make desserts for, a Jane Austen party that evening, and my new nephew’s baptism party the following day. I wanted something bite-size, that could be popped into the mouth. I wanted something that would be delectable (of course!), I needed something that would be relatively quick and easy to make, and I wanted something that would use up some of the peaches that God has blessed me with this summer in our orchard.
Oh, I also had a couple of handfuls of raspberries in my brambles to use. Oh, and a few pecans in the freezer that I had discovered. Pecans + peaches + raspberries = Bliss, don’t you agree? My goodness, it all sounded so good together. My daughter Amalia (the dessert-maker in the family) and I came up with an idea: we decided to try making tiny peach and raspberry tartlets, with a sugared pecan topping.
I think this was unusually clever of us, don’t you?
We got right to work. It was an unusually busy Saturday, so this would have to be a joint project. Amalia made pastry while I peeled and cut up peaches. Then I rolled out pastry while Amalia jetted out to the brambles to see how many raspberries she could find. (Note I didn’t send little Mack, because I know his self-control is not so good where fresh raspberries are concerned).
With our combined efforts, these little tartlets didn’t take long at all to make, and they fit all of my requirements above. And were they delectable? Yes . . . yes, they were, and I can attest that they are a nice bite-size, fitting gently inside a moderate-sized mouth and the nicest combination of sweet fruit filling, crunchy nut topping, and flaky crispy pastry.
Have I convinced you yet to try these yet, Gentle Reader? Here’s the recipe, since I see that I have, from that puddle of saliva on your keyboard . . .
- one batch of your favorite pastry dough (or good purchased dough)
- for the peach and raspberry filling:
- ½ – ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 Tb quick-cooking tapioca
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled peaches or frozen, unsweetened peach slices
- 1 cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
- for the candied pecans (optional, actually, but VERY nice) topping:
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tb butter
- 1 Tb water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- First, stir together sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add peaches and raspberries, and toss gently. Let stand 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If you use frozen peaches, let stand for 45 minutes.)
- Secondly, make the pecan topping: Combine butter, sugar, water, and cornstarch in small saucepan and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Stir in pecans and remove from heat. You WILL have to taste these, once they are cooled. Take care not to eat too many, or you won’t have the perfect topping for these tartlets.
- Thirdly, roll out the pastry and cut circles out of it. We used a (pint-size) canning ring to push into the dough and it made the perfect-size circles for our pan. We used a mini-muffin pan, but a regular muffin pan will work, too. The tartlets will be a bit bigger in that case, and a quart-size canning ring will be the right size.
- Preheat the oven to 375. Push the dough circles gently into the muffin pan, and fill with a dollop of filling. Then sprinkle the candied pecans on top. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbly and your house is filled with the sweetest aroma EVER and the pastry is cooked through.
So. You must try these, Gentle Reader. And let me know how they turned out, okay?
By the way, I’ve linked this post to “Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways,” a wonderfully fun and informative blog hop. Check it out right about here.