Caramelized Peach Tart

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This has happened to me a couple of times now…when I’ve made a recipe that I really want to share with you.. but then I just cannot come up with a story to go with, or something fun to talk about. This delightful peach tart just happens to be one of those times. I think the last recipe that I could’t come up with anything was my peas and carrots recipe, in which Michael informed me that we don’t do anything fun… and that we suck.

So, I foolishly reached out to him last night once again.. asking him if we’ve done anything in our lives that might pertain to peaches. You know, anything fun, or funny. He informed me that we still suck, and nothing is funny. At the time, he was watching a football game, and I’m assuming it wasn’t going the way that he had hoped.

Immediately shrugging off Mike and his crankiness…I texted Katie, asking her if there was anything fun that has happened in our life that might go with that peach tart.  She texted me right back, and suggested I talk about our yellow lab that we had years ago, named Sadie.

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Yeah… Sadie. My little peachy.

I’m a nicknamer…and any living being on this earth is fair game to me. You never know when it might strike…and most likely, it’s going to stick because the names tend to catch on, and before you know it, a person or sweet little four legged creature has a new nickname.

Sadie was our very first dog. She was a yellow lab, but more on the whiter side…and she was about the size of a polar bear. Honestly..she was a big girl, but she had the sweetest nature..a gentle giant, if you will.

And…Sadie was loved by everyone who knew her..
She was a peach..

The Peach
Peachy
Peachy Pie
Peaches

And she knew it. She knew her name was Sadie…but she also answered to all of those names above.

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You know…dogs have such great, yet different personalities. I can’t say that the Peach was funny…because she never acted goofy, but she had a great sense of humor. She was always willing to go with the flow.

We had a black lab / chow named Mollie (Choonie, Choon, Choon-a-loon) at the same time as the Peach, a few years younger…and her personality was just the opposite. I always said that Choonie really wanted to be a lab, but the chow wouldn’t let her! When people would come to the house… Peachy would be there to welcome them with open arms…and was genuinely happy to see them! Choonie, on the other hand… I’d have to tell the people “Don’t look at her, don’t talk to her, and don’t put your hand out to her… just let her sniff you until she’s comfortable with you”… And the person would stand there stiff as a board, scared to death!!

Peachy would let a burglar in, and show him around the house… and offer him a cup of coffee while he robbed us. Choonie, on the other hand…would bite his arm off, and hold him down by the neck until reinforcements came…

They were a pair… the odd couple.

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And as cranky as she was…Choonie was funny, quite comical…and I swear, Peachy was always laughing at her… There were so many times that you might find Peach following Mollie around the yard in her slow Eeyore kind of way…almost shaking her head in laughter knowing that Choonie was going to be up to something funny… which always meant that Choonie was up to no good…and the Peach would think that was hilarious! And then they’d both get into trouble….

They loved each other….those two girls.

Sadly, we lost the Peach at age 13…and while most people will say that she lived a long and happy life for a dog… and she did… there is still a little hole in our lives without her. About a year later, we lost Mollie at age 7.. we are convinced that she could never get over the depression from losing her Peachy.  We were devastated.

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And now we have Sophie… Funny Face, Funny, Feenie, and Sofaletta…and she has brought us more joy in these last two years that we desperately needed.

But this one… this is about the Peach. This sweet caramelized peach tart is the perfect dessert to dedicate to my Peachy.  It’s sweetness is the epitome of her…  And I’m quite certain…a tart that she would offer to the burglar as he robbed us blind…

I decided to use a puff pastry for the crust, because I wanted it to be strong enough to hold the cream cheese filling, the juicy peaches, and the caramel that would be poured over it in the end.  I wanted to be able to remove it from the pan, and serve slices that would hold up on their own.   The puff pastry was the perfect choice.

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This is a tart that I will make again…and again. The ingredients are simple…and it doesn’t take long to throw together… and it’s one that really calls for a strong cup of coffee or tea… Perfect for a cool day…an end of summer dessert,  in celebration of those glorious peaches that come and go so quickly…that tell us that summer is almost over… and that we will be heading into the crisp air of fall very, very soon.

So how about you? Do you have a little four legged love in your life? I’d love to hear about him/her…

Life is good.  It’s a “Peachy kind of sweetness for a sweet kind of Peachness” kind of good…

Caramelized Peach Tart
Serves 8

1 puff pastry, thawed

3 large peaches, sliced wedges
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp dark rum

1 8oz cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Press the thawed puff pastry into your favorite tart pan, and bake according to the package directions, and it is golden brown, and fully baked. Set aside to cool.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over low heat, and add the peach slices. Sauté for about five minutes on each side, remove from heat and add the brown sugar, salt, and rum to the pan. Stir gently to combine. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the brown sugar has caramelized onto the peaches. Just make sure that you simmer them on low heat… and don’t over cook the peaches so that they become too mushy! Otherwise you’ll be spreading them on toast, which isn’t a bad thing at all, just not what you want to accomplish for this particular tart!

While the peaches are simmering, using a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled puff pastry. Add the peaches on top of the cream cheese, and pour the remaining caramel sauce from the pan over the peaches.

Sprinkle with pecans.

Serve warm or cold (It is delicious cold, but I tend to like it warm)

Enjoy!
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Layered Peach Rice Pudding

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A couple of months ago, I had Jessica run to my beloved Wegmans for me to pick up a few groceries. One of the items on my list was a bag of rice.

Ok.
It was my fault.
I didn’t specify.
Jessica came home with a 10 pound bag of rice.

Yes.
10 pounds.
Of rice.

Well, in her defense… I did say “bag” of rice.

What does one do with 10 pounds of rice?
Well…one cooks it.
And cooks it…
Aaaannd…cooks it.

I laughed, of course, and started cooking rice….and have been cooking it ever since. I’m almost down to the end of it; and I surprised myself at how quickly I actually did use it up!

Much to my son Michael’s dismay, I made rice quite often as a side for dinner. He’s not a fan. In fact, he hates it. (I know…there’s a surprise….)

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I also made quite a bit of rice pudding. Jessica loves it, and so do I. It’s definitely a wonderful dessert; or a little snack for the evening…. But I find myself taking a little container of it to work for lunch…or grabbing a few spoonfuls for dinner.

I think that a lot of people underestimate rice pudding. There isn’t much you can do to it to make it pretty. So it’s a dessert that many people might not serve to their guests simply for aesthetic reasons.

It’s boring.
I mean, let’s face it…if you’re not a fan, then rice pudding can be very boring.
I totally get that.
But I also get that those people are totally missing out on a very delicious dessert.

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So, I’m going to be that person. I’m going to be the one that serves rice pudding to her guests… and with confidence….because I know that they’re going to love it. I’m going to pretty it up a little, and serve it with fresh peach jam, and fresh peaches on top…all layered on top of a graham cracker crust.

Delicious.
A perfect summertime dessert that even the “non-rice pudding fans” will even love.

Except for Mike. He still hates it.

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I’m bringing my Peach Rice Pudding to Angie’s Fiesta Friday to share with all of you. I hope you love it as much as Jessica and I do!

We have reached a milestone at Fiesta Friday! It is our 20th week! And this week, we have two larger than life bloggers co-hosting the party! The lovely Suzanne from APugintheKitchen,  brought an ice cream cake to the party.  I mean seriously… she made an ice cream cake!!  And the lovely Fae from Fae’s Twist and Tango made Nazouk  which is an Armenian Pastry ! I know, right? Beautiful!!  I am so looking forward to this….I know that they’ll make this party memorable!  As for Angie… Everyone loves Angie!  She’s polished. She’s sophisticated.  She’s hilarious…and she’s the kindest host you’ll ever want to meet.  A special thank you to Angie, Suzanne, and Fae for hosting this milestone event!

If you have never visited Fiesta Friday, I hope that you do stop by to see what everyone has to offer…there’s always something delicious cooking from so many people from all around the world! If you are a blogger..or new to blogging, please feel free to link up with us! This is a great way to meet other bloggers, and gain more exposure! We are always happy to welcome new people into the mix!  Just click here  to get there!!

Life is good, it’s a “You can never have too much rice in the pantry” kind of good…

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Layered Peach Rice Pudding
Eight 5oz Servings with a Whole Lotta Rice Pudding Left Over

This is my mom’s recipe for rice pudding. It’s one of those recipes that comes from a telephone call, that really had no measurements …. “Mom, how do I make rice pudding?” … “Oh, throw some rice in the pan, throw some milk on top, throw a can of sweetened condensed milk in….” It took me a while to learn how to make a decent rice pudding… but I do have to say that it’s never as good as my mom’s. She makes it the best.

3 cups cooked long grain white rice
1 quart whole milk
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, mix the white rice, the milk, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and salt. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t brown on the bottom. A browned bottom means brown flecks all throughout your pudding. It’s still edible, just not pretty. Cook until it has thickened.

There really is no time frame for me to tell you exactly how long to cook this. It takes a good hour or so to thicken, maybe to a runny yogurt consistency. Remember that the rice will continue to absorb the liquid, so you don’t want it too thick, or it will dry out. I have found a quick remedy to dried rice pudding… just stir some heavy cream in until it becomes the thickness you desire!

While the rice mixture is simmering, crack the egg into a bowl, and whisk it with a fork. Once the rice mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat, and you’ll want to temper the egg before you add it to the saucepan. Add about a cup of the hot rice mixture to the bowl with the whisked egg, and stir it quickly so that the egg doesn’t cook from the hot mixture….and then add the egg mixture to the rest of the rice mixture in the saucepan. Stir it until it is well blended. Add the vanilla, and stir until blended.

Pour into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Serve when cooled.

Peach Jam:
2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and diced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice

Cook the peaches, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over low heat until the peaches have broken down, and thickened. This doesn’t take long…about ½ hour. Remove from heat, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Fresh Peach Garnish:
1 peach, skin on, diced
1-2 tsp granulated sugar

Mix the peaches and sugar in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp sugar

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl until well blended. Set aside.

Assemble the Dessert:

Add 2 tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs to the bottom of each glass.
Layer 2 tablespoons of peach jam on top of the graham cracker crust.
Fill with rice pudding to the top of the glass.
Garnish with fresh peaches.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!!

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