A marriage made in heaven – Peach Melba Tart.
Two heritage dishes come together in this peach melba tart with Courvoisier cream, a delicious and easy dessert that can be made almost entirely from store cupboard ingredients. The lynch-pin is Opies Peaches in Courvoisier – something I keep on hand in the larder because straight from the jar they make a delicious and quick way to end a meal. Somehow though, that almost seems like cheating.
I generally use Opies Peaches in Courvoisier to make my own peach melba sundae too. Thanks to the Courvoisier, the classic dish gets just a little bit naughtier. Somehow I think Dame Nellie Melba, the famous opera singer who was the inspiration for Escoffier’s original combination of peaches, vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce would have approved. If the combination of peaches and raspberries is good enough for Escoffier, who I am I to disagree – these flavours seem like a marriage made in heaven to me, with the soft sweet fragrance of the peaches bringing out the ripe berry notes of the raspberries.
Here, peach halves are sliced and used in a tart, with a delicious raspberry base and a frangipane topping. It’s a classic Bakewell tart recipe with a bit more. Bakewell tart is an English classic that I remember first trying at school. I suspect most of the almonds in the topping would have been replaced with breadcrumbs or rice flour and the raspberry jam was that vivid scarlet extra sweet stuff. I grew up devouring it with lashings of Bird’s custard. But the basis of a good Bakewell tart is mouthwatering. Crumbly shortcrust pastry, raspberries and frangipane topping all baked to perfection. So, why not mix it up a bit by adding peaches…
Using fresh raspberries gives the whole dish a lift, though if you wanted, you could use a good raspberry jam or bought coulis or compote. The Courvoisier laced sugar syrup that is used to keep Opies Peaches in perfect condition goes into the raspberry coulis to sweeten it and into the whipped cream to make a delicious light topping for the tart. A scattering of flaked almonds on top of the nearly baked frangipane adds a toothsome crunchiness.
Peach melba tart is an easy dessert to make but the addition of Courvoisier infused peaches and a naughty dollop of Courvoisier whipped cream lifts this well beyond the ‘family supper’ dish. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth so I’ve made mine with homemade unsweetened all-butter pastry but you can substitute your own recipe for shortcrust or use ready-made if you prefer. Frangipane itself is really easy and a big favourite of mine. I tend to make frangipane mince pies because you don’t have to cut pastry tops for your pies, just dollop on some of the almond mixture. And, it’s quite forgiving – little gaps seem to just close up in the oven. The point here is that the topping stops the peaches from drying out too much so the end result is gorgeously gooey in exactly the right kind of way.
Bakewell Tart with peaches and raspberries - Peach Melba Tart
- 140 g plain flour sifted
- 70 g butter cold, cut into small chunks or grated
- 1 pinch salt
- ice-cold water I add a few ice cubes to a jug of the coldest water I can get from my tap
- 100 g butter softened
- 100 g golden caster sugar
- 100 g ground almonds
- 2 medium eggs
- 25 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 small lemon, zested
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 jar Opies peaches in Courvoisier
- 250 g raspberries
- 25 g caster sugar or use the syrup from the Opies peaches
- 1 small lemon, juiced the juice from the lemon used for the pastry
- 1 handful flaked almonds
- 200 ml double or whipping cream
- 50 ml syrup from the Opies peaches
Sift the flour and salt in a bowl.
Rub in the cold butter till you have a mixture the same texture as fine breadcrumbs
Using a metal fork, add about a tablespoon of icy water and draw the mixture together with your fingers to make a dough. Form it into a ball and wrap in clingfilm.
Put the dough in the fridge to rest for at least an hour. It will keep like this for a couple of days. If you don't plan on using it straight away, it will also freeze well
When you are ready to make the tarts, preheat your oven to 190c or 180c fan
Grease your flan dish or tart tin and roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface till it is around 1/8 cm thick
Pick the rolled out pastry up with your hands or the rolling pin and lay it gently over the flan dish
Carefully line the tin and using a sharp knife trim the edge of the dish
Dry-line your dish with a piece of baking paper and weigh down with baking beans or pulses (I save those leftovers odds and sods of beans in a jar for this)
Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes till the edges start to go golden brown
Wash the raspberries and reserve a few whole berries
Put the remainder of the berries in a small pan with the lemon juice and caster sugar or syrup
Heat gently, mashing the mixture down a little, until the raspberries soften
Bring the mixture to simmering point and cook for about 10 minutes to reduce it slightly
Meanwhile, carefully slice the peach halves and put to one side
Taste the raspberry mixture and add more syrup if necessary
Cream the butter and sugar together. I use an electric hand beater for this. The mixture should lighten in colour to a pale cream and become fluffy.
Mix in the eggs
Fold in the ground almonds, flour, salt, lemon zest and baking powder
You should have a loose mixture that drops easily from a spoon.
Spread the raspberry mixture across the base of the pastry tart
Arrange the peach slices carefully, putting the remaining berries in the centre of the tart.
Top the whole thing with the frangipane, using a palette knife to spread it as evenly as possible. Don't worry too much if you have gaps!
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
Spread the flaked almonds over the top of the tart and return to the oven for 5 minutes
Meanwhile, whip the cream with the remaining Courvoisier and Peach syrup
Serve warm or cold.
Although this dessert looks a little fiddly when the recipe is written out in full, it’s actually a piece of cake (or of peach melba tart!). Make the pastry in advance and freeze it, or use ready-made. Make up the raspberry filling in advance too – it’s great with yoghurt for breakfast. Or use a shop-bought coulis. You could even cheat and use Opies own summer berry compote if you don’t have raspberries. Frangipane is simple to use because there’s no rolling out and fitting, no glazing and no sealing. The mixture does it all for you. The peaches, from the Opies Fruits with Alcohol range, are something to keep in your store cupboard. You’ll find them in Tesco – or online at ww.opiesfoods.com. I promise you it is totally delicious.
Thinking of making this recipe at home? why not pin this post for later
Disclosure: This recipe has been created in conjunction with Opies who have provided samples of their peaches and are covering the cost of making the dish.