White Peach-Brown Sugar Tart by Priscilla Mayfield

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PIE-A-DAY #45

Priscilla Mayfield, founder of the hyperlocal food discussion site OCFoodNation.com, writes for Orange Coast Magazine, including the Taste of Orange County food blog. This pie, which is really a tart, is adapted from a Ruth Reichl recipe.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I had one of those kitchen confluences, in this case tripartite: Fragrant white peaches from my favorite farmers market seller needing to be used, sure knowledge of a disc of tart dough in the freezer, and a fresh reminder of the mysteriously minimalistic apricot pie from Ruth Reichl’s 2001 Comfort Me with Apples, the second volume of her memoirs. And, in the June blog post that jogged my memory, Reichl called it “World’s Easiest Pie” and said sort of in passing that brown sugar would work—two things that appealed to me a lot, especially the easy part on what was a very warm weekend.

And so. A tart not a pie, and peaches not apricots, but SO none the worse for so being. Even if this wasn’t the world’s easiest pie, it still would be one of the best.

Keep reading for the recipe…

White Peach-Brown Sugar Tart
(adapted from Ruth Reichl’s World’s Easiest Pie)

1 10-inch unbaked tart shell, waiting in the freezer while you prep the filling
4 oz. butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
Fresh nutmeg
About 5 large peaches

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar and flour. Grate in a good hit of nutmeg. Set aside.

Take the tart shell out of the freezer. Pit and slice the peaches (don’t peel), and arrange in the shell. (In the original, using apricots, Reichl instructs to break the fruit apart with your fingers… peaches were too juicy for that!)

Distribute the sugar mixture over the fruit and put the tart on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 degrees and bake for 30 or 35 minutes more, until the top is crusty and golden. Cool on a rack before cutting.