There was an open plastic jar of peaches in our fridge for the entirety of our overseas travels. The expiry date was still many months off, and they looked and smelled just fine, but I still hesitated to dip a fork in and eat them as they were. Within a week Haalo was posting about a peach and semolina custard tart and I knew what to do.
I was completely unfamiliar with semolina custard, but the premise seems pretty simple - semolina thickens milk just like eggs do! That had me thinking that I really should just go ahead and veganise the tart. I looked up Wrapped in Pastry for tips on sweet vegan shortcrust and blended it together with my usual food processor method. The pastry didn't brown as quickly as a butter-based version, but with a little extra baking it was crisp and comforting.
This tart is not quite as elegant as an almond frangipane, but it has its own casual charm. We didn't even bother with an (ice) cream garnish.
Peach & semolina custard tart
(pastry adapted from Leigh Drew's Wrapped in Pastry,
tart adapted from Cook (Almost) Anything)
2 cups plain flour
a generous tablespoon of icing sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons semolina
2 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar
3/4 cup almond milk
8 peaches sliced into eighths, or an equivalent volume of canned peaches
Place the flour, icing sugar and salt in a food processor, pulsing briefly to mix them together. Add the margarine in small spoons and blend it all together until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the almond milk and lemon juice, blending further until the pastry dough just starts coming together. Tip the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and pull it together into a ball with your hands. Wrap it up in the plastic and refrigerate the pastry for at least an hour.
Stir the custard ingredients together in a small saucepan. Set the saucepan over medium heat and continue stirring regularly as the custard cooks, turning off the heat when it has thickened. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then place a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the custard to prevent it from forming a skin. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature.
Retrieve the pastry from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap - aim for a circle that's a bit bigger than your pie dish. Ease the pastry into the dish (without the plastic attached to the bottom!). Remove the plastic from the custard and give the custard a brisk stir; spoon it onto the pastry base and spread it out evenly. Arrange the peach wedges over the custard, and fold the pastry edges down, pinching it at intervals.
Bake the tart until the pastry begins to go golden - this took mine about 50 minutes.