I am back with more Okanagan bounty. I’m afraid to say I don’t think this will be the last post about my Okanagan goodies but seriously, when they’re THIS GOOD, who cares, right?
I love making rustic tarts with puff pastry. First of all, they’re super easy (if you totally cheat like me and buy the puff pastry) and second of all, they’re so easy to photograph. And I find about 75% of the battle to get a good food photo is having something beautiful to photograph in the first place. You don’t need a lot of fancy props or elaborate setups when what you’re shooting is simply gorgeous to begin with and, rustic tarts are almost always beautiful when you take them out of the oven in a messy, haphazard way.
One of our last stops on our Okanagan trip was Arlo’s Honey farm up in the hills of Kelowna. It’s a tiny stop but worth it. With over 200 hives they have a lot of honey. When we arrived we were the only people in the small shop and we peppered the girl behind the counter with questions about all matters honey and bees, in between sampling their impressive range of flavoured honeys and checking out their beeswax candles and skincare products.
She knew her stuff and we learned a lot. Like for instance, the Okanagan’s bees do not seem to be suffering the same fate as many bee colonies around North America, due in large part to virtually no GMO crops being grown in the area and therefore, very little use of the chemicals that are thought to be behind the huge number of bees dying in other parts of the continent. Interesting. And good. When you’re Canada’s fruit basket and wine glass… you need your bees!
One of the honeys that Ethan and I both fell in love with and purchased was the Arlo Black Noir honey. It’s simply honey that’s very dark in colour. Honey’s colour is determined by the flowers that the pollen came from. We found this one to have a stronger, almost molasses like taste to it and I thought it would be perfect to use in this tart with fresh Okanagan peaches and cherries.
The tart is simple to make – the most time consuming and messiest piece is pitting the cherries but I try to tell myself that is one of the joys of summer and to embrace the cherry stains that wind up all over the counter, the sink and, usually, me and my shirt and shorts. (I should one day use an apron or something…). It won’t use up a lot of fruit if that’s your goal (one peach and a cup of cherries) but it will look pretty spectacular. The fruit lies on a bed of pastry and cream cheese mixed with the dark noir honey. Brush some more honey on the pastry edges while partway through baking and you’ve got something special coming out of your oven in no time flat!
It’s quick and easy and so tasty!
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 peach, pitted, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 cup of cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 3 tbsp of spreadable cream cheese
- 3 tbsp of honey, divided
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- preheat oven to 425F
- lightly flour your rolling surface and rolling pin
- roll out the sheet of puff pastry to about an 12 x 8 inch surface
- if your rolling isn’t even, fold over the edges of the pastry to form a nice 8×12 rectangle
- with a small paring knife, score a line around the edge of the pastry about an inch in from the edges
- mix the cream cheese and 1 tbsp of honey together in a small bowl until smooth and easy to spread
- with a small knife or spatula, evenly spread about half the cream cheese mixture over the surface of the pastry, leaving the outer edge of the pastry, outside your score lines, empty
- bake the pastry in the oven for about 5 minutes until it just starts to puff up – you can use this time to slice your fruit
- after the five minutes is up, remove your pastry and let the centre deflate (you can press it down with a fork if it needs some help but usually it will deflate on its own as it cools)
- spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over the same area you covered before baking
- arrange your fruit however you wish – the tart can look beautiful when done orderly and lined up or when you toss it all onto the pastry!
- sprinkle sugar around the edges of the pastry
- bake in the oven for 10 minutes – at this point you’ll want to check to make sure everything’s baking nicely and nothing is burning
- bake for an additional five minutes – the puff pastry edges can be temperamental so I like to keep a close eye on them as the cooking time winds down
- when the edges are just starting to become golden, spread the remaining two tbsp of honey around the edges of the tart and bake for another 2-3 minutes, keeping close watch
- remove from the oven, cool and then slice into pieces
If you head up to Kelowna, be sure to stop in at Arlo’s Honey Farm – it really is a treat. And no, we didn’t get any free honey and I wasn’t on a press trip or paid or asked to write this post or anything like that. I just really, really liked the honey farm! (and you can order a limited selection of product on-line!).
Rustic Peach and Cherry Honey Tart (recipe)