Slice of Summer

Stylist and chef Kara Mickelson offers her secrets to a seasonal sweet.

Grilled Peach Tart with Buttermilk Custard

Makes one 9-inch filled tart, plus extra mini-tarts


Grilled Peaches

  • 2½ pounds semi-firm peaches
  • ¼ cup melted butter

Begin by slicing fruit in half with a paring knife. Start at the stem end and continue slicing through to the pit. Keep the blade against the pit and slice to the other side. With a firm grasp of each side, twist in opposite directions until the flesh comes free from the pit. Use a spoon to free the remaining pit from the other half, or carefully dislodge it with the knife. Quarter or leave the fruit in halves. Brush with melted butter and grill on a preheated, oiled grill. Grill until marks are visible on the edges. Rotate and grill the other side. Cool to room temperature. Reserve.


Buttermilk Custard

  • 2½ tablespoons all-purpose or pastry flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup melted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon, kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon, ground allspice
  • pinch ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • ¼ cup apricot jam, warmed

Artfully arrange the peaches in a par-cooked tart shell. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and slowly pour over the fruit. Bake tart at 350º for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven when center is cooked through and firm. Brush jam on slightly warm tart.


Tart base—Pate Sucree

Makes two 9-inch tart shells

  • 2½ cups unbleached pastry flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (granulated or light brown)
  • 8 ounces chilled, diced, unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • ½ teaspoon citrus zest

Place dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles a course grain. Add water and egg mixture a little at a time and pulse. When mixture comes together into a ball, remove and place on parchment paper. Smooth and form into a disc. Add more flour if needed to prevent sticking. Begin rolling between two pieces of parchment paper, just enough to flatten the disc to 1-inch thick. Cover and place in the fridge or freezer for an hour.  

Remove dough and let soften till firm yet pliable. Roll into two discs 3 inches wider than the tart pans. Form into tart shell and trim off excess with a paring knife. Prick shell with a fork to allow steam to escape while cooking. Place in freezer or fridge to firm the butter before cooking.

Line tart shells with parchment paper to cover. Fill with pie weights and cook at 375º for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and continue to cook until dough turns pale in color. Reduce heat to 325º if the edges are cooking too fast. Cover with foil or crust guards and continue cooking until edges turn opaque. Carefully remove pie weights and parchment and continue to cook until the edges are light in color and the center is fully cooked. Remove and cool completely before filling.

Freeze unused tart shells for up to 1 month.



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