In the garden at Santa Caterina is an old late-fruiting white peach tree, which produced several weeks ago a crop of small and rather hard fruit - not exactly ambrosial, and although perfectly edible in their natural state, they benefit significantly from being cooked in some form rather than just eating them as they come off the tree. Combined with apples to make the purée base for an apple and peach tart, for example, or used in this recipe, which is an adaptation from a classic Tarte Normande.
For one 8" tart.
Ingredients: Shortcrust pastry, made with 150g '00' Flour, 120g Butter, and approx 40ml Water; 2 large or 3 medium peaches; 2 oz plus two tablespoons of sugar; 1 Egg; 1 oz Flour; 5 fl oz Cream; 3 tablespoons Marsala; Icing Sugar.
1. Roll out the pastry, line an 8" false-bottomed tin, and leave to rest for thirty minutes before blind baking in a 200 degree C oven.
2. Stone, quarter and peel the Peaches, and cut into thin slices (you want to be able to lay them flat in the tart shell, such that they can be subsequently covered with the Marsala Cream, without it overflowing the rim of the pastry). Sprinkle over the Peach slices the two spoonfuls of Sugar, and return the tart shell to the oven for a further fifteen minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together the Egg and Sugar, then beat in the Flour, and finally the Cream and the Marsala.
4. Remove the tart shell from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150 degrees C.
5. Carefully pour the Marsala Cream over the Peach slices, and bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes, until it has puffed slightly, and the top has begun to brown.
Serve warm, and dust the top with Icing Sugar before you cut into it.