aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Ourminds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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peach tart with pecan gingersnap crust + we're off!

Do you remember how I said that I wasn't too worried about our list of "to do" items at the beginning of this week?  Ummm.  Well, it turns out that when you are leaving the United States for a year to travel around the world, there is a lot to be done and a lot of money to be spent in the last week.  Best Buy, for example, might as well just start bleeding me for money because we have been there five times in the last two weeks. 

Peach trees Peaches

We test packed on Tuesday night and our electronics bag weighs --- wait for it, wait for it --- 21 pounds.  Twenty-one pounds.  As in, Patrick is going to be carrying the equivalent of a toddler on his back for the next year.  When I suggested to Patrick that we trim down the gadgets and gizmos, Patrick ADDED two external hard drives, a Skype headset, and several other items that seem entirely unnecessary to me.  My mom is convinced that we are going to adopt the posture of Quasimodo by the end of this trip.  

(And, for those interested, I am going to post our gadget-focused packing list to supplement the woman's round-the-world packing list in short order.  I expect there to be much chastising because we are carrying over $7,000 worth of electronics, making us perfect targets for scammers, pickpockets, and other unsavory characters.  Do we fit the definition of flashpackers or what?)  But, I am now adopting George's mantra and chanting to myself, "Serenity now" at frequent intervals.  Because we are done.  As you read this, we are on a plane heading across the Pacific Ocean to Sydney.  If we haven't done an item on our list by now, it isn't going to get done until we get to Australia or won't get done at all. 

 

Before we head over the ocean, I want to share with you the dessert I made to celebrate our departure and remind us of home in the South.  We picked up these end-of-season peaches on our drive from Jacksonville to Atlanta about three weeks ago.  Off I-75, past the dozens of billboards for truck stops, fast food restaurants, and "massage parlors," acres and acres of peach and pecan trees line the backroads of Peach County, Georgia.  Three of these juicy ripe peaches are sliced, sweetened and spiced, and placed atop a crust of ground gingersnap cookies and toasted ground pecans. 

I made this tart thinking that it would last us several nights.  But, Patrick, my parents, and I unabashedly went back for seconds and, within five minutes, there was nothing left but crumbs (and, ahem, I may have sneaked some of those remaining crumbs into my mouth).  The tart crust is spicy, crunchy, and rich with the flavors of butter and molasses.  The minimal topping lets the full flavor of the peaches shine through.  My advice: hurry and make this before stone fruit season is gone.  And, we'll see you on the flip side in the land down under.

Peach Tart with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust

Crust adapted slightly from Epicurious, Sweet Potato Pie with Gingersnap Pecan Crust
Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8 people 4 people

Ingredients

For Crust:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for buttering pie plate
Flour for dusting
1 cup finely crushed gingersnap cookies (5 ounces; 20 2-inch cookies) [I recommend using a good whole-wheat variety of gingersnap cookies.  I like the extra spicy Midel brand gingersnap cookies, but use whatever you like.]
1/2 cup finely ground pecans (2 ounces), toasted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling:
3 large ripe peaches, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

1.  Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour tart dish, knocking out excess flour.
2.  Toss together all crust ingredients in a bowl with a fork until crumbs are moistened, then press evenly over bottom and up side of pie plate with fingers. Bake crust 4 minutes, then cool on a rack.
3.  Layer peach slices in concentric circles within the tart crust. 
4.  Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg evenly on top of peach slices.  Then, spread sugar evenly on top of peaches.
5.  Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until top is glistening brown, peaches look soft, and crust is dark brown.
6.  Let tart cool before serving. 

09/19/2009 22:57
Ohhhhhhh, I'm so jealous. If I didn't have a small child and a husband unwilling to leave the confines of our giant, empty country...that's what I'd be doing too. Travel, my dream. One day...
Elizabeth's recent blog post: Butternut Squash Gnocchi
09/19/2009 23:32
Hi Akila,
It's finally here...one year around the world. Good luck, darling, and have the time of your life!!! I'll be following you...
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09/20/2009 05:50
I'm sold on the crust!

Wow... I'm so excited for you. Let the adventures begin!
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09/21/2009 11:01
I'm so excited at the prospect of your travels! In the words of Sir Richard Francis Burton: "Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands."

He goes on to write: "Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares, and the slavery of Home, man feels once more happy."

Find joy in your freedom and happiness wherever you lay your head!
Daniel's recent blog post: Budgeting for the return home
09/21/2009 18:39
Thanks so much all! We are, so far, having a great time in Sydney. The weather is gorgeous here and Patrick has told me about 4 times in the last two days how excited he is that he is no longer employed.
09/22/2009 04:52
Can I just say that this has been sitting in my RSS reader for several days now until I was well and truly able to appreciate your recipe. Every day, I've glanced longingly at the title and thought I would wait just a little longer. It has been tempting. My taste buds are thanking you in advance.

Best of luck to you both on your upcoming adventures. Your time is finally here and I trust that you will find happiness, good eats and a lifetime of adventure in the months to come.
09/28/2009 08:56
Hope you've already began your blast! This looks absolutely mouthwateringly delicious! Cannot wait to try :)
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10/09/2009 06:19
Thanks Carrie, Shannon, and Bethany! Now that we're in Australia, I am SO happy that I made this peach tart before I left because I haven't seen a single peach in Australia. Maybe they don't grow them here or it's the wrong season for them? We are having a lot of fun already and can't wait for everything yet to come.
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01/17/2011 12:04
cooooool recipes... it makes me want to eat my laptop monitor lol, and it seems so easy to make, I'll try it this weekend. And by the way this is a really cool blog and clean design (I rarely see a food and recipes blog with pure white design) I like it!
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Thanks sync!
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12/29/2011 22:06
This was delicious! But once served on a plate it resembled more of a peach crumble than a pie as the crust became all crumbly, I would also use maybe a cup and a half of ground gingersnaps in the crust because I feel it could use more crust when spreading it out in the pan.
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