Americanizing myself

It has been a year since I moved to America. It was summer (obviously) and Scott and I had huge fights about the air conditioning all the time. He, as a good American, wanted to have the air conditioning on all the time so the apartment was constantly at 67º F. I, as a good Spaniard, hated the AC and wanted to turn it on only if the temperature went over 80º F. In Spain, summer is supposed to be hot and most people believe that air conditioning is not good for you. That's just the way it is. But now, a year after, America has won the battle. We never fight about the AC anymore, and it's always on. When my friend Almu visited us from Spain, she didn't stop complaining about the Air Conditioning in restaurants, the metro, the stores and...our apartment! I realized that I now love the AC and that going from a 100º F street to a 68º F store is like going from hell to heaven. 

Now I am in Spain, and I can't get used to not having air conditioning. The heat keeps me up at night and sweaty during the day. It makes me be in the mood of notdoinganything, and that includes cooking and blogging. Also, I am at my mom's, so why would I cook? However, people ask me why I haven't been blogging recently, so I decided to finish this post, which I started to write about 3 weeks ago, after making delicious peach tart for the first time.

Since I saw Amanda Hesser's peach tart recipe last winter I had been wanting to make it. However, I had to wait for the summer to come and sweet afordable peaches to arrive to the grocery store. Finally, last week about 3 weeks ago, the wait finished.

I used white peaches the first time, the one you can see in the pictures. The second time I made it I used yellow peaches. It's delicious with both as long as they are ripe.The first time the crust was too thin, so the second time I doubled the recipe (thanks Lisa) and used enough to get the desired thickness. 

Peach tart
Adapted from Amanda Hesser, Food 52. Serves 8.

For this tart I used a 11 inch (27 cm) diameter removable bottom tart pan.

3 cups (380 g) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cups (150 g) plus 2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) mild olive oil
4 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
4 small ripe peaches, pitted and thickly sliced (about 1/2-inch (1 cm) wide)
1 handful of chopped bleached almonds

Heat the oven to 425º F (220º C).
In a mixing bowl, stir together 3 cups (380 g) flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoon sugar. Stirring enables the salt and sugar to sift the flour, so you don’t need to sift it in advance.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it. Then, transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan, and use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. It should be about 1/ 8-inch thick all around. Trim and discard excess dough. 

In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons butter. (If your peaches are especially juicy, add 1 tablespoon additional flour.) Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, with a mixture of fine granules and tiny pebbles. 

Starting on the outside, arrange the peaches overlapping in a concentric circle over the pastry. Fill in the center in whatever pattern makes sense. The peaches should fit snugly. Sprinkle the pebbly butter mixture over top (it will seem like a lot). Sprinkle the almonds. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature. It is delicious with vanilla ice cream.


  1. Looks very yummy, and I happen to have 5 peaches sitting on the counter right now! Interesting that the crust uses olive oil, didthe flavor come through at all?

  2. The crust is really really good, and so easy to make! For a 11 inch pan, I found that the original recipe is not enough. I'd use a 9 inch if you have one or double the recipe and discard the excess of dough (or make it much thicker). Let me know how it comes out if you make it! xoxo

    1. PS: The quantities that I wrote are already doubling the original recipe. Don't double that!

  3. Too bad you have americanized yourself! The AC should be used ONLY when strictly necessary. In my car it's almost always at 22º-23ºC (70ishº F?).
    Elsewhere, I don't care much about it. Last time I was in the US, two years ago, I complained in a supermarket because I was really cold and didn't have a jacket w/ me. What a waste of energy!!
    Will try your recipe. Hope to see u next time you come over. Hugs and kisses from your tía viejuna!