What can I say about canned fruits and Christmas in the Philippines? One of the most popular sweet dishes served over the holiday season is fruit salad that consists of canned fruit cocktail, cream and sweetened condensed milk. I grew up with the stuff but my children prefer our home grown version made with fresh fruits and that has been their preference since they were in grade school. Good thing in a way because the price of fruit cocktail goes sky high as December draws near year after year.
This peach and custard tart kind of stays in touch with the canned-fruit-special-occasion-dessert tradition. But prettier because it is a tart and it is served in slices rather than as a blob of cream and diced canned fruits. It is based on a summer tart recipe with fresh peaches but since peaches don’t grow in this country — and we do love canned peaches in the Philippines — I thought this would make a lovely special occasion dessert. After all, it is my daughter Sam’s birthday today. Happy birthday, my love.
Peach and Custard Tart
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Stir together the ingredients for the crust.
- Press firmly onto the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. If you don’t have one with a removable bottom, you can use a regular tart pan BUT it is likely that the first slice you cut and serve will fall apart.
- Bake the crust for 7 minutes.
- Cut the peach halves into two.
- Make the custard filling. In a bowl, stir together the cream, egg, sugar and half of the zest.
- Split the vanilla pod, scrape off the seeds inside, stir the seeds into the cream (don’t throw away the pod — use it to make vanilla sugar).
- Stir the lemon juice into the cream mixture.
- Pour the custard filling into the baked crust.
- Drop the peaches into the filling — use just enough to bring the level of the custard to almost within the top of the tart pan. Sprinkle the remaining zest over the peaches and custard.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Cool the the peach and custard tart. Chill for a few hours. Slice and serve.