Summer isn’t quite over and what better way to celebrate peach season with these Mini Peach and Cream Cheese Tarts. An easy, small batch recipe for 4 mini tarts made with homemade puff pastry, freshly sliced peaches, cream cheese slices, and a cinnamon, lemon, honey glaze.
Fresh Peach Mini Tarts
I can’t believe it took me this long to make a peach dessert. Here we are almost done with summer, and I’m just now enjoying this juicy stone fruit.
Though, I do believe peach seasonality lasts into fall. So, it makes sense I’m just now getting to these little lovelies. I needed to make room for cherries to rule the summer months!
When I think of peach desserts, I automatically go to pie. I’m trying to balance making desserts that seem expected (i.e. pie) vs. unique desserts (i.e. mousse). I’m learning that both are fun to make and share, and nobody said traditional desserts are not good.
So, I took my favorite pie dough recipe and made these Mini Peach and Cream Cheese Tarts. This dessert is:
- Not too sweet – The cream cheese adds a savory balance
- Easy to make – There may be 3 components to make this dessert, but it comes together easily
- Full of peach flavor – We are not caramelizing, soaking, or pureeing the peaches. The fresh peach flavor shines in this dessert.
- A small batch recipe – No unnecessary leftovers here! Besides, these tarts are best enjoyed the day they are baked.
Let’s type up some more words so this post gets good SEO rankings … (wink, laugh, smile, etc.) …
What Is A Tart
Seems obvious, but I did have to look this up because I wanted to title the recipe appropriately.
The Dictionary defines Tart as an open pastry containing a filling. Check.
Wiki gets a little more elaborate in the definition. And in the end, the definition is pretty broad – any kind of pastry, dough, or crust, filled with something sweet or savory. So, I think I have appropriately title the recipe and I won’t offend any professionally trained bakers out there. (I hope)
You could consider these mini tarts a little more rustic. Compared to a dessert actually baked in a tart pan. No pan is needed for these, and we are free-forming the shape of the rectangular tarts.
The dough itself comes from my Cherry Galette recipe. I love this dough for a number of reasons:
- Extra Flaky – And I mean flaky. Thanks to the butter and vinegar.
- Similar to Puff Pastry – For this recipe, we are going to ‘laminate’ the dough a couple of times. Meaning we are going to roll it, fold it, then roll it again. This gives the dough flaky layers, similar to a puff pastry.
- Delicate Flavor – A little sugar goes a long way in this recipe, and the butter flavor really shines through.
- Easy to Make – Only a few ingredients needed, one bowl, and a little time to chill in the fridge. Easy Peasy.
I should note, this dough/crust/pastry may not be what you are accustomed to for a pie crust. Think of the pre-made pie shells you can buy at the grocery. This dough is not like that. This is dough is flaky and we only add a little moisture (water). We rely on the butter to moisten the dough as it bakes, which makes it more flaky.
I referred to these mini tarts as being more rustic. And let’s face it – rustic = easy. That said, we are not going to be too elaborate with the filling.
What seems to be a constant in a lot of tart recipes is there is the crust, then a layer of something creamy, then topped with something fresh.
For this recipe, the creamy = cream cheese, and the fresh = peaches. I think there is a reason for this order of operations – it gives you different layers of texture.
The cream cheese filling is just that – slices of cream cheese. We are going to drizzle a little honey over the top to add sweetness. But that is it. No mixing, or creaming, or chilling required.
And the fresh peaches remain fresh. Again, a little drizzle of honey and some cinnamon sugar sprinkle.
Let’s talk about this honey drizzle …
Cinnamon Lemon Honey Drizzle
This idea comes directly from the dipping sauce for my Homemade Pretzels. When I first had it, I was literally spoon eating it. I never would have thought to combine honey and lemon. Let alone some cinnamon. But the result is something that is nothing short of magical – and addictive. Then again, any time I can dip some bread into syrup, that is a good day.
It makes sense that the flavors go well with one another. Honey has floral/citrus notes – making the lemon a great addition. And to balance the sweet syrup, a little spicy cinnamon and ginger are the perfect choice.
That said, this is another ‘get creative with your flavors‘ speech. But I stand firmly behind the idea that recipes are guides and you should make treats that suit your palette!
Tips For Making The Mini Peach and Cream Cheese Tarts
- Make the dough ahead of time – The dough can be made and refrigerated the night before. Not necessarily a must, but it is nice to have the dough ready to go.
- Use cold butter in the dough – The butter releases moisture when baked, which causes the dough to be flaky. So, the colder the butter, the more moisture in it.
- Don’t be afraid to use your hands – For this dough recipe in particular, I use my fingers to ‘cut’ the butter into the flour. Just be careful not to over-do it (i.e. melt the butter).
- You will have leftover peach – Not a tip, but a note. You can certainly slice more peach, and just eat the rest while you wait for the tarts to bake. I did.
- Be liberal with the cinnamon sugar – Specifically, lots of sprinkle on the tart dough edges. I like a sweet and crunchy bite for this tart dough. I think you will too.
- Enjoy the tarts fresh from the oven – Trust me. These tarts are so much better when they are freshly baked. I have re-heated leftovers, but it is just not the same.
More Peach Dessert Recipes
Mini Peach and Cream Cheese Tarts
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold - cut into cubes, or grate the butter
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream - for brushing dough
- cinnamon sugar - for sprinkling dough
- 1 fresh peach, one half cut into slices
- 3-4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Begin to 'cut' in the butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the butter is about the size of peas. Note – You an also grate the cold butter and gently stir it into the flour. I find this is easier and it distributes the butter more evenly.
- In a liquid measuring cup, add 2 tablespoons of the ice water and vinegar. Add to the dough and stir with your fingers or a fork until you have a rough dough. If the dough still seems too dry, add more ice water – 1 teaspoon at a time. Note – The dough is supposed to be rough and scrappy. You will know you have added enough water when you squeeze some of the dough in your hands and it holds together.
- Pour the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a ball, then flatten into a small disc. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Tart Filling and Honey Drizzle
- We are only using one half of a fresh peach. Slice the peach half into even slices. Reserve the other half for another recipe, smoothie, or just eat fresh!
- Slice the cream cheese into 8 even slices. You can use more or less cream cheese, depending on your preference. Each mini tart will get 2 slices of cream cheese.
- Make the Honey Drizzle. In a small mixing bowl or jar, add the lemon juice, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir. Add the honey to mixture and stir until well incorporated.
Assembling the Mini Tarts
- Preheat the oven to 425F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- Lightly flour your work surface. We are going to roll and fold the chilled dough twice. This will give the dough flaky layers.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle. Then, fold the dough like a business letter – into thirds on op of itself. Roll and fold one more time. For the last roll, roll the dough into approximately a 9×9-inch square. Cut into 4 even pieces.
- Place the cut pastry squares on your prepared baking sheet. Fold up each edge of the pastry square – about 1/4 inch. This will create a 'wall' around the edges of the tart. Place two slices of cream cheese in the center of each pastry square. Drizzle a little of the cinnamon honey over the top of the cream cheese.
- Next, evenly arrange peach slices on top of each tart. I did 4 peach slices on each, but you can do more or less. Brush the edges of the dough with the heavy cream, then sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top of each tart – with a good amount directly on top of the dough edges. Drizzle a little more of the cinnamon honey over the tarts.
- Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until the tarts are golden brown. Transfer the tarts to a wire cooling rack to cool slightly. The tarts are best enjoyed warm, and the day they are baked. Drizzle even more cinnamon honey over the tarts before serving. Enjoy!