Our founder Kristen Baughman recently had the honor of judging the North Carolina State Farmers Market's 2018 Peach Dessert Contest. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it! Kristen served on a panel of four judges who each tried more than 20 recipes to determine the top three winners. Check out the recipes below for these three award-winning sweet treats! Happy baking.
1st Place Winner
Peaches & Cream Tart
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional
Whipped cream cheese filling:
1 brick softened cream cheese
½ cup of powdered sugar
½ cup apricot preserves
¼ cup water
4 peaches, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
Process flour, sugar & salt in a food processor for a few seconds until combined. Add butter & pulse until mixture becomes crumbly. Add eggs & vanilla extract & pulse until mixture starts to come together. Dough should be crumbly with large clumps.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface & form into a ball. Flatten slightly with hands to form a thick disk. Wrap with plastic wrap & refrigerate for an hour.
While dough is freezing you can make your filling. Using a hand stand mixer, whip cream cheese until light & fluffy. Add in powdered sugar & mix until combined. Set aside.
To roll out the dough, remove from refrigerator & set it on the counter for a few minutes. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a circle. Gently place into a tart pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. Trim edges with a sharp knife. Freeze for 30 minutes until firm. Preheat oven to 375 degrees & place rack in the center. Place parchment paper against crust covering the edges so they don’t burn. Fill with dried beans making sure to cover the whole surface. Bake crust for 30 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once crust is cooled, spread filling all over (light layer) and refrigerate for one hour.
Decorate with peach slices. Start by placing a small slice in the middle of the tart. Keep adding slices around in a circular motion.
Melt apricot preserves in the microwave safe bowl with water for 1 minute. Let cool & brush peaches with this glaze.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes & ENJOY! (Yields 10 servings)
2nd Place Winner
Bella Davis & Kelli Carver
Petite Torta Della Nonna
340 g puff pastry, rolled out into a 9 x 14.5 rectangle – roughly 1 mm thick
25 g unsalted butter, melted
40 g brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 small container mascarpone cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup confectioner sugar
1 cup of fresh NC peaches and 1 small can peaches in syrup pureed together in binder with
3 tbsp. local peach wine or peach nectar
Local NC peach preserves
¼ cup almond slivers
1 cup fresh peaches mixed with 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, pinch of nutmeg, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, ¼ tsp. almond extract
Pastry: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof/baking paper.
Mix sugar & cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
Brush one side of the puff pastry sheet lightly with melted butter & sprinkle on ½ of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Use a pizza cutter to cut the pastry into 4” x 4” squares. Then cut each square diagonally to make triangles.
Bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes until dough is puffy and brown. Set aside & let cool.
Whip heavy cream & sugar together until almost the consistency of whipped cream (stiff peaks). Add mascarpone & vanilla and whip for another 30 seconds. Slowly incorporate pureed fresh peach/canned peaches/peach wine mixture into whipped cream. Put in a pastry bag.
Separate bottom and top layer of each puff pastry triangle. Spread a thin layer of peach preserves on each triangle bottom and lightly cover with almond slivers. Pipe filling onto pastry bottom. Top with fresh peach mixture. Lightly spread peach preserves onto top triangle & add 1-3 almond slivers. Keep refrigerated until serving.
3rd Place Winner
Whipped Mascarpone Peach Tart
Butter Biscuit Crust:
200 g (7 oz) vanilla wafers of similar biscuit type cookies
45 g (3 tbsp.) granulated sugar
¼ tsp. salt
130 g (9 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
375 g (1 ½ cups) or 13 oz. mascarpone cheese room temperature
180 ml (3/4 cup) whipping or heavy cream room temperature
40 g (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 peaches, pureed
5 large peaches, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line the bottom of a 9 inch springform cake pan or tart pan with parchment paper, set aside.
To make the crust: Placed biscuit type cookies in a food processor and blend on high until completely crumbly. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in sugar and salt. Pour over the melted butter while it’s still warm/hot. Stir with fork until the crumbs come together and resemble wet sand. If you pinch the crumbs together with your hand, they should stick together. Transfer to the prepared pan and push crumbs onto the bottom and slightly up the sides. Tightly press the crumbs together using a measuring cup, the crust needs to be compact. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, just until it’s golden brown. Remove from oven & let cool completely. If any areas have risen, gently push the crust down with the back of a spoon.
To make the filling: combine mascarpone, cream, sugar, peach puree and vanilla extract in the bowl of your mixer/food processor with a whisk attachment. Whisk on the lowest speed just until the ingredients come together and light peaks form. Spread over crust evenly and chill for at least two hours.
To decorate: add peach slices right before serving for best effect. Start by placing a small slice in the middle of the tart. Then keep adding slices around in a circular motion with slices only slightly overlapping. It’s best to serve/eat this dessert within a day.
NOTE: You can make the crust a day ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator. All else needs to be completed the day of serving. Make sure you slice the tart with a big, super sharp knife. Slowly outlining the slice by cutting through peaches first, very gently. Then you can use more force to cut through the rest of the tart as it’s not as delicate as the fruit.