Talk about color. This tart is completely gorgeous, suitable for even the newest of cooks, and, as a bonus, tastes pretty dreamy, too. Rich, crumbly--and a little crunchy--shortbread gets topped with a modest layer of thick almond butter and quick-simmered blueberries with a little silken tofu added just to lighten it up and smooth it out. Slice up a ripe peach, garnish with a bit of basil soaked in orange liqueur, and have you ever got a summer tart worth sharing. Skip the basil-liqueur bit, and it's absolutely kid-friendly. Note that we strongly suggest using raw almond butter here for its less aggressive, and totally lovely, flavor.
This tart is best enjoyed within a day or two, since the peaches get less fresh all the time. Store any leftovers tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, but let sit at room temperature for a bit before re-serving so the crust has time to loosen up--it gets rather rigid chilled.
One last note: calling for a half-cup of almond butter, this isn't the least expensive dessert in the world, but it helps that it uses an entirely reasonable amount of seasonal fruit while still tasting thoroughly of it. A quarter of a pint of berries and one good peach are all you need to serve up this stunner, which means you can buy small, or enjoy the extras all on their own (which tends to be our favorite way to dig into summer fruit, anyway).
Fresh Peach Tart with Almond-Blueberry Puree (and a Dead Simple Shortbread Crust)
yields 1 9-inch tart, crust adapted from Martha Stewart Living
For the Dead Simple Shortbread crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 TBSP natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1/2 tsp fine sea or kosher salt
1/4 cup melted unrefined coconut oil
For the Almond-Blueberry Puree:
1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
1 TBSP maple syrup (preferably grade B)
1/2 cup smooth, raw, unsalted almond butter
6 oz silken tofu (half an aseptic package)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping:
6 small basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (about 1 tsp chopped)
1/2 TBSP maple syrup (preferably grade B)
1/2 TBSP orange liqueur
1 medium, ripe peach, pitted
Begin with the crust: whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Add melted coconut oil and stir until thoroughly combined and sandy. Transfer to a 9-inch round springform pan and use your hands to press the dough firmly into the bottom of the pan (don't forget the edges). Freeze 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375. Bake crust until just golden, 22-24 minutes. This crust burns quickly, so be prepared to watch it carefully after 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before removing the side piece from the base.
In a small bowl, combine the basil, 1/2 TBSP maple syrup, and liqueur. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside.
Combine the blueberries and 1 TBSP maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, while the syrup simmers. After a minute or two, the syrup will turn dark from the blueberries beginning to give off liquid. When it does, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring very frequently, until the berries have begun to break down and the whole mixture is saucy and fragrant, 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the almond butter, tofu, and vanilla extract to a food processor. Carefully add the cooked berries and puree until very smooth, scraping the sides every 30 seconds, as needed. (This may take a minute or two total.) Transfer to a bowl, place plastic wrap over the surface, and chill until needed.
Aim to assemble the tart roughly half an hour before serving, to let the topping flavors mingle. To assemble, dollop the almond-blueberry puree all over the completely cooled crust and spread evenly with a frosting spatula. Slice the peach into scant 1/4-inch slices and arrange them around the perimeter. Drizzle the basil-liqueur-maple mixture evenly over the top of the peaches. Let sit at room temperature until ready to serve.