August came and went with a few beer for dessert baking failures. Failures!
These peach tartlets, however, were a success. Peaches are a sign of the last drops of summer around here. A reminder to savor the sun, sandals, and tank tops – for the few days that remain before we all hide under our raincoats and winter shoes.
The beer is delicious with peaches and honey. (The sneaky cat in the background is optional accoutroment.)
One of the best ways to learn anything is to fail, right? I’m really trying to come up with a great raspberry tart utilizing Gigantic‘s (a new operation around PDX founded by two local craft brewers: one who spent some time at Pelican and HUB) The City that Never Sleeps Imperial Black Saison. That is a delicious beer, and it tastes great with the tart sweetness of fresh raspberries. I tried, and failed, on a few iterations of brown butter filling made with the beer and raspberries marinated in the beer.
So I decided I’d just let that recipe sit for a bit, try to re-imagine it with a fresh outlook. Perhaps I’ll try a brown-butter quick bread with raspberries and a beer glaze? Yum!
My break from recipe testing for that combination turned out to be these peach tarts! A recent trip to Hawaii rekindled my love for Maui Brewing’s beers, and this one in particular is my new favorite of theirs.
Style: Belgian Witbier. This style is traditionally brewed with some wheat, coriander, and orange peel. This flavor profile is usually compliment by citrusy esters produced by the belgian yeast strain.
Tasting notes: This beer is brewed with tangerine peel instead of the traditional bitter orange peel. It really shows in the flavor profile: the sweeter citrus sister. The coriander lends a brightness to the beer, and makes it very refreshing. It pairs well with peaches.
Other beers that would be appropriate:
St Bernardus Wit: A classic example of the style. This beer is always great with peaches, and would even make great peach preserves.
Logsdon Kili Wit: I love every beer I’ve had out of this brewery, and this one is no exception. If you can get it, make the tart with this.
Epic Ales Solar Trans Amplifier: An old favorite for a little bit of a different spin on this dessert. Garnish with a little candied ginger if you use this beer, because this beer really tastes of the spices: chamomile and ginger.
Two Beers Panorama Wheat: Another great craft beer in a can. This isn’t a belgian witbier, but it has just enough spiciness from the wheat that I think it would be great in this recipe.
Upright Pure Wit: This portland brewery never disappoints. They even turned me on to this pretty fun game called Rack-O. The Pure Wit is refreshing and citrusy, and has just enough tartness to stand up to the peach flavor in this recipe.
The pastry recipes:
Peaches with honey and Maui La Perouse White (and pan caramel sauce)
|4 ea||peaches (white, yellow, or both)|
|¼ C (2 oz)||butter|
|⅓ C (2.3 oz)||Maui La Perouse White|
|½ C (4 oz)||granulated sugar|
|3 T (2 oz)||orange blossom honey|
I used 2 white peaches and 2 yellow peaches. The white peaches turn a bit pink during the cooking process.
1. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 3 minutes and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This makes it so you can easily remove the skins.
2. Peel the skin off the peaches and slice them.
3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan with the sugar, honey, and beer over medium heat. Once this mixture is bubbling, add the peach slices and cook them, turning frequently, until they are half-candied.
4. Remove the peach slices. These will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, covered.
5. Allow the sauce in the pan to reduce over medium heat for about ten minutes, until it is slightly caramelized. Reserve the pan caramel sauce to garnish the tarts.
Assembling the tarts:
1. Make pâte sucrée from this post and line 5 small tartlet molds with it. Bake these at 350°f for 12 minutes.
2. Make the frangipane (almond cream) from the same post and divide evenly among the 5 tartlets.
3. Push 6 to 7 peach slices into each tartlet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350°F.
4. Cool, remove from tart molds, and garnish with the pan caramel sauce.
I have the Gigantic City that Never Sleeps Imperial Black Saison recipe on deck, and the future holds something delicious made with pumpkin ale, because ’tis the season!