easy peach tarts – flopped!

Have you ever found a recipe that seemed too good to be true? Four or five ingredients, a handful of instructions, ready in less than thirty minutes unless you’re a food blogger and you need to take 200 hundred shots during the cooking process and ‘voila’ you have a crispy, caramelly I know – it’s not a word –  slightly sweet peach tart.

Had I followed the directions as they’d been written, I’m sure my little treat would have been perfect. Sadly, I decided, instead of using a metal muffin tin to bake the commercial puff pastry, I would substitute some much prettier ceramic souffle cups. The blue rim on top of the cup would pop against the red in the peaches. There was some rational behind my actions. I completely ignored the fact that ceramic doesn’t conduct heat like metal so couldn’t possibly crisp up the bottom of the tarts, no matter how long I let them bake! I went over the recommended oven time by 15 minutes trying to get the bottoms to at least brown and in the interim lost the beautiful color on top. It went from a stunning rosy peach to an insipid rusty brown. No amount of whipped cream was gonna fix these puppies!

I also broke my own cardinal rule “use great ingredients”. I didn’t start out knowingly using less than stellar fruit. Look at the photo – they were gorgeous peaches. I’m about to reveal a secret about myself. I don’t taste while I cook. I don’t. I never have. Over the years, I’ve developed a really keen sense of smell that has rarely ever failed me. The peaches smelled awesome.

Ralph walked into the kitchen just as I was pulling the tarts out of the oven.

“Wha cha makin’?”, asks Ralph.

Peach tarts

“With the peaches that were in the fridge”?

Why?, I ask slightly irritated because I know his tone of voice. It’s the ‘I know she’s going to lose it if I tell her’ tone.

“Well, I had one for lunch yesterday and, what do you call it when peaches are kind of dry and tough”? He’s backing out of the kitchen…


“That’s it!”

His cell rang and saved him from a barrage of rhetorical questioning that just would have ended badly.

So my end product was an under cooked bitterly vile tasting-nothing-like peach tart that even after a rescue attempt in a metal muffin tin ended up in the trash.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know me well enough to guess that I’ll be trying these tarts again and when I do I’ll share the recipe and I’ll follow the directions!

Thanks for reading.

  • Penny Wolfe

    I love it when I find a recipe that is so simple and so delicious. I made some Asian marinated chicken for Chinese new year that was literally four ingredients and everybody loved it. But I agree there is nothing more frustrating than when you find a recipe that looks so simple and taste so bland and then you think “I should’ve known better.” The only saving grace when that happens is when nobody else finds out about it. Ha ha! Thanks for sharing your flops! It is a good reminder that not everything that comes out of the kitchen always turns out perfect. But usually there is a lesson learned. I can’t wait for the follow up recipe!

    • The truth is the recipe is lovely. It was my greater wisdom that caused the fail. I think I’ll wait for some summer peaches!

  • Sandy Erwin

    I think the tarts were still pretty even if they didn’t taste as good as you had hoped. I’m like you as far as never tasting while I cook. I too have a very sensitive nose, but that’s not the reason I don’t taste. I just know my ingredients and know what I think taste good together so my end results usually are good. At least I know I will like them. We all have a flop here and there. I remember making a homemade cake from scratch one time for my daughter when she was young because I didn’t have the money to go by a mix. Well it looked pretty enough with the frosting and all, but the texture was that of rubber. LOL I didn’t follow a recipe and that is where I went wrong. Some times I still add my own spin on recipes but I do make sure I follow the main ingredients that make or break. Thanks for reminding me that cooking isn’t always full proof. 🙂

    • Hi Sandy,
      They were so awful that today when Ralph and I were food shopping and I looked at the peaches he quietly said, “could we wait for summer” I laughed and told him not to worry I was just browsing…
      Have a great weekend!

  • theculinarychase

    You’re right Michelle, the blue does pop! Maybe bake in the muffin tin & transfer to your pretty dishes. Peaches are tricky when not in season locally – it’s so hit & miss.

    • You’re so right – next time I’ll bite into the peach before I bake it!

      Nice to hear from you

  • Lets always have fun with tasty treats like this…. We can always make mistakes, but learning from it and kicking it up is the real magic to this fun foodie world!

  • Josee Feezor

    I often wondered why my crust were not as crispy as I would like. I’ve always used glass pie plates….not anymore! My daughters will be pleased to know as well. I am loving your blog, your photography is amazing and your recipes are terrific. Glad to are continuing on:)

    • Hi Josee,

      Don’t be so quick to get rid of the glass pie plates. The difference is I was using puff pastry as opposed to pie pastry which cooks beautifully in glass or ceramic. Also the beauty of glass is that you can actually look at the bottom to make sure that it is brown.
      Thanks so much for your lovely comments and hope to hear from you again!

  • Awww, I’m sorry to hear about your flop. That’s so frustrating but at least you know how you can improve! Your peaches do look gorgeous – I would’ve never guessed they were “mealy.” Better luck next time! 🙂

    • Hi Leah,

      Just goes to prove that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover but usually dry fruit doesn’t smell as delicious as those deceptive peaches did!
      Have a great weekend.

  • I can totally relate to this post. Sometimes the blogger, or more accurately, the wanna-be food stylist, in me wants to pretty up something and bake it in a cute little dish, and I forget that there are sometimes reasons for recipes calling for a specific method or pan. I’ve been there.

    When it comes to tasting as I cook, I am the complete opposite of you. I am constantly tasting. My husband teases me that I should leave something in the pan to cook instead of tasting all the time. I’m constantly tweaking as I go.

    I appreciate this post as there is something to learn from “mistakes” as well as successes. I love your photos.


    • Hi Daisy,

      I think I have learned far more from my cooking mistakes than I’ve ever learned from the successes. I kind of expect things to work so when they do I take them for granted. It’s the ‘fails’ that haunt me until i get them right!

      Thanks for commenting and have a great weekend!

  • Yes, I can relate! I’ve had some disappointments from similar causes…trying to be smarter than the recipe, or tweaking it to achieve what I think I want! My most revealing experience of this nature was with baking biscuits. I wanted very lightly browned biscuits…so I lowered the baking temperature. I had to bake longer for the biscuits to get done, and then they were tough…did the recipe the way it was written, and voila! perfect! A lesson not to over think the instructions!

    Regardless of how these turned out…the photos were beautiful! So you’ve got that going for you!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your ‘flop’. I am coming to find out that I’m not the only cook who has flops in the kitchen – lol…

  • Deb

    I am so glad to hear from another cook who smells, rather than tastes as she’s cooking. I swear I can even smell whether something has enough salt! And as for peaches, I haven’t had a good peach from a grocery store in some years now. Unless I can find them at a local farm stand, I don’t bother any more. Which is heartbreaking, since they are absolutely my favorite fruit. Thanks for the post!