peach bakewell tarts

ok hi from dinnertime in sydney! i'm eating couscous and french fries in bed right now and refreshing my email every few minutes to make sure that i can download the final pass of molly on the range in time for the thousand hour flight that i'm about to embark on. i get that room service couscous is not what you're supposed to eat on your last night in sydney (and that kangaroo and emu pizza probably is what you're supposed to eat on your last night in sydney??), but i am totally pooped! i had quite the day of eating vegemite and butter on toast, getting emotional at the sight of the sydney opera house, and then ferrying over to the zoo to meet koalas.

my number one goal of the day was to cuddle a koala. i put on extra lip gloss and cleaned the frosting off of my nice sweatshirt, and then figured out the ferry boat system to get to the zoo and restrained myself from taking 100 pictures of the opera house on the way in order to save camera battery life. and then when i got to the zoo i thought i'd better eat a small snack so that i could be extra alert and not at all woozy for my new koala friend, so i bought a bit of pumpkin, which is so common and great here (my understanding is that all squashes in australia are actually called pumpkin), and then sat and caught up with eggboy about the tour de france, the sugar beets, etc., and then i just sort of enjoyed my pumpkin and the crisp winter weather... 

and do you know what was happening during the exact moment that i was leisurely eating my pumpkin and being an all-around space cadet????? the koala cuddling station closed for the day. two hours before the actual zoo closed, i had no idea! 

i frowned so hard. it was my only chance because i leave bright and early tomorrow. so i bought a cherry coconut chocolate bar to try and make up for it and watched some koalas sleep and climb trees from a distance. they are the cutest plops of fluff in the world, they would make such great cuddlers!!!!!! 

oh well, more reason to come back! 

these peach bakewell tarts were cut from molly on the rangei was so sad because they are so tasty and almondy and i love how the photos came out, but ultimately they didn't totally fit right in with the story of the book, so here they are now! they are a great summery version of the cake-within-a-pie that is a bakewell tart, and they transport well. so bring these on your next picnic, as soon as the weather cools down (or heats up, depending on where you are in the world).

peach bakewell tarts

makes 12


1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 c sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp almond extract


1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c almond meal

1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1/2 c sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/3 c peach preserves


1 c confectioners’ sugar

5 tb heavy cream

1/4 tsp almond extract

To make the shells: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Coat a 12-cavity muffin tin with cooking spray and set it aside. In a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-sized. Whisk together the egg and almond extract and add it while pulsing. Process until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into 12 equal small balls. Roll them into about 4-4 1/2” circles and press them into the muffin cups, trimming the edges. Freeze the shells for 10 minutes, fill them with paper muffin liners and pie weights or beans, and then bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, almond meal, and flour and set it aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then mix in the lemon juice and almond extract. With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture and beat to combine. 

To assemble the tarts: Spoon a heaping teaspoon of peach preserves into the bottom of the tart shells. Spoon in the filling and then bake until lightly browned, begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove to the rack and cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and almond extract. Spread it over the tops of the tarts and serve.

Note: for a more transportable version, forego the glaze and simply dust the cooled tarts with powdered sugar.


pictured: mini cake pan