Sweet and simple peach puff pastry tarts tossed with wild honey and a hint of vanilla. This easy summer dessert stars juicy, fresh peaches, and takes advantage of store-bought frozen puff pastry.
Over the weekend, we went peach picking!
We couldn’t have asked for a better day, one of the nicest of the summer, with bright blue skies, puffy clouds, and a slight, welcome breeze. It was Henry’s first u-pick experience and he had a blast, searching the rows for the best peaches, helping us put them in the basket, and most importantly, saying hello to the every single goat, chicken, pig, and alpaca on the farm, with ultimate toddler enthusiasm.
My own excitement was over the cheerful basket of fresh peaches and apples we collected to take home.
Allotting a half-dozen beauties for a pie sometime this week still left us with plenty of peaches for snacking, plus another dessert, and for the later I decided to whip up these mini peach puff pastry tarts.
Simple is really best this time of year, and sweet, flavorful, peak season fruit doesn’t need a lot of dressing up. In this case, a drizzle of honey, splash of good vanilla, and flaky, buttery puff pastry round out the ingredients list on these tartlets, which are as easy as they are delectable.
These peach puff pastry tarts are simple as can be, packed with flavor, oh, so adaptable, and take advantage of one of my favorite ingredients: frozen puff pastry.
It’s such a good back-pocket – er, freezer – ingredient to keep on hand. With layer upon buttery layer of deliciousness, puff pastry makes even a super simple recipe like these peach tartlets feel indulgent and special.
How to make easy mini fruit tarts:
Start with really good fruit. Look for what’s best in season. Right now that means peaches and other stone fruit. Nectarines, plums, cherries…
Sweeten with honey or maple syrup or brown sugar, adding just enough without overpowering the natural flavor of the fruit. It won’t take much.
Layer slices of juicy peaches over squares of good puff pastry. Sprinkle with some coarse sugar – turbinado or demerara – for sparkle.
Bake until golden and tender. Devour while still warm from the oven. With powdered sugar or vanilla icing or a scoop of ice cream (or nothing at all).
What makes the best puff pastry?
Good puff pastry is packed with butter. Those buttery layers of dough are what make puff pastry puff, create the delicate and flaky texture, and of course, taste so delicious.
If you’re not making your own (…I am not), then look for all-butter puff pastry at the store, which will rise better and have a ton more flavor than their counterparts made with shortening.
The best store-bought option I’ve tried is Dufour, which I find at Whole Foods. It bakes up golden brown in the oven, even without an egg wash, and tastes like the real deal. That’s all those layers of butter, getting down to business!
I’ve also heard a rumor that Trader Joe’s makes an all-butter version. Has anyone tried it?
Tips for baking with frozen puff pastry:
- Start with puff pastry that has been fully defrosted.
- Use a lightly floured, clean work surface, and lightly floured hands (and rolling pin, if using).
- Work carefully and methodically to unfold the puff pastry from the paper. Be patient, don’t force it or the pastry can tear or crack.
- Use a very sharp knife, pastry wheel, or pizza cutter to cut the pastry into squares, being careful not to smash the edges, which will impede the rise.
- Puff pastry is easiest to work with when cold but still pliable. Try to find the sweet spot before it warms up and gets too soft or sticky.
- Bake using a parchment paper lined sheet pan to avoid sticking.
- This is a note for all baking, but be sure that your oven temperature is calibrated. The puff pastry will rise better in a hot oven (in this case 400℉), so be sure your oven is getting up to temperature or your tarts may get off to a slow start.
- When in doubt, pop the tarts in the fridge to chill for a few minutes before baking. Cold butter in the dough + hot oven = lots of flaky layers!
How long does puff pastry take to thaw?
The one downside of frozen puff pastry is remembering – in advance – to defrost it. The best way is to do this slowly, overnight in the refrigerator, or up to 24 hours before you’re ready to bake.
While not my preferred method, in a pinch, you can thaw puff pastry at room-temperature. Take the pastry out of the box and let it defrost for 45 minutes to an hour. Keep an eye out though, because if the puff pastry gets too warm, it will be hard to work with and won’t puff as much when you go to bake the tarts.
Make these peach puff pastry tarts your own
You know that I love an adaptable recipe, and these tartlets are as easy going as can be. Don’t have peaches? Try nectarines or plums instead. Swap out the honey for some amber maple syrup.
Or get real’ fancy and add a smear of mascarpone or goat cheese before topping the tarts with the sliced peaches. Anyway you slice it, you’re in for a treat!Print