The peach man cometh, steering a flatbed of stone fruit seeking shelter. Six cases in all, three white and three yellow, the peaches are neither fragrant nor ready for pie-ing. Unable to offer the peaches a place in the sun, I gesture to a few vacant square feet of checkered linoleum. Overhead, a relentless fruit fly swoops in for a quick look; disinterested, the fly returns to my work area, hell bent on tormenting me.
With a short-term memory like a fine-mesh strainer, I am unable to retain the fact that six cases of fruit are sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. After several near misses, I decide to relocate the fruit to the rear of the bakery. There’s barely enough space against the wall, directly adjacent to the industrial ice machine. The floor-to-ceiling, commercial cuber and I are about to come to blows. The crash of ice followed by a reboot from the compressor is deafening. Even the fruit fly is putting his wings in his ears.
It’s too early in the day for any sort of mood altering beverage, unless of course, you happen to be residing in a small European city high atop the hills of Austria. Living vicariously through the travels of Master/Master and Sweet Soprano is a fine distraction, especially when photos of European sweets are included within their correspondence.
Most recently, Master/Master snapped a few up-close-and-personal shots from his Kremcake excursion to Zagreb. (See this week’s Pies About Town for a full recount.) Surrounded by peaches, I see no Kremcake in my future. This doesn’t stop me however, from dreaming of an exquisite European peach dessert from a previous visit to Vienna.
La tarte aux pêches Bourdaloue sounds quite glamorous, and it is. A tart shell filled with almond cream, topped with curvaceous peach halves, it can also be made with pears or apricots. My memory of this tart featured peaches, a jewel-like dessert staring back at me from the glass case of Vienna’s Demel’s food emporium.
Is there a better antidote to a day featuring the boom-boom-boom of Motown with ice cuber playing back-up? Doubtful. With the mercury hovering near 90 degrees, poaching peaches in Lillet Blanc and blind baking a tart shell requires the briefest stove top/oven encounter. Peaches and Lillet may not be a holiday in Europe but in desperate times, to peach his own.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm