August is almost always the hottest month of the year in Los Angeles, a time when the idea of firing up the stove is daunting, and take-out menus reign supreme. But it's also prime season for our favorite summer fruits. Marjorie Taylor, who founded The Cook's Atelier with her daughter Kendall after they both relocated from the U.S. to France, brings us a perfect tart for the end of summer. Instead of abandoning your kitchen, showcase the best flavors of the season in this fresh, cold dessert.
1/2 recipe pâte sucrée (recipe follows)
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
4 peaches, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
confectioner's sugar for dusting
For the pâte sucrée:
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
A pinch of sea salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into piece
Whisk the cream and the egg yolks together in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Using your fingers, incorporate the butter until you have a coarse meal. Gradually add the cream and yolks, and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Bring the dough together with your hands to incorporate completely. Divide the dough in half, shape into disks, wrap with plastic wrap and chill.
For the pastry cream:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
In a small saucepan over medium heat, scald milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean by bringing the mixture just to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour and continue whisking until smooth.
Slowly pour the hot-milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until complete smooth and free of lumps. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove the pastry cream to a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To prepare the tart:
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. With a pastry brush, sweep off excess flour, fit dough into a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, pressing into the edges and using thumb to remove excess dough. Chill tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with dried beans and bake until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Remove parchment paper and weights; continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool tart shell completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream and sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. Working in batches, gently fold whipped cream into pastry cream; set aside.
Spoon pastry cream mixture into cooled tart shell and spread evenly. Top with peaches and blueberries. Tart is best served the day it is made.