This peach custard tart is made with a spiced shortcrust tart shell, fragrant with cinnamon and ginger. The filling is a creamy and light custard pastry cream that is topped with fresh yellow peaches and a clear jam glaze for a glossy finish.
The warming spices in the buttery tart shell work so well with these yellow peaches. It's the perfect flavour combination for the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall peach season. This peach tart is light, creamy, and not too sweet. The fresh peaches are the highlight of this tart and they do all the work here.
How to make a peach custard tart
Make the shortcrust tart shell
In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together softened butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.
Add in the flour, cinnamon, and ground ginger and mix on low speed until it forms a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press together with your hands to form a flattened disc shape. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour until firm or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
After chilling, let the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling out. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a sheet about ⅛" thick.
Carefully lay the dough into a fluted 9" tart pan and press into the bottom and sides of the pan. Don't worry if the dough breaks - it's very soft and forgiving. Press small pieces of dough into any cracks or bald spots if needed. Roll the rolling pin over the top edges of the tart to cut the excess overhanging dough off.
Use a fork to prick holes into the bottom of the tart dough. Gently press a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the tart dough and fill with pie weights or uncooked rice.
Bake tart shell for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let tart shell cool before removing from tart pan.
Make the custard pastry cream
In a small pot, bring the milk and vanilla extract to a simmer.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and cornstarch until creamy.
Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking continuously and vigorously to temper the eggs.
Pour this entire mixture back into the pot and return to the stovetop on medium heat.
Stir constantly until it thickens into a creamy custard consistency, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in one cube of butter at a time until all melted and combined.
Pour the custard into the baked tart shell and smooth the top with an offset spatula or spoon. Chill the tart in the fridge while you prepare the peaches or overnight.
Make the peach topping
Slice peaches into thin wedges or slices. Arrange peach slices on top of the custard.
In a small bowl, stir together jam and water and use a pastry brush to gently brush over the peaches for a glossy finish.
Let the tart chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours for the custard to firm up for best results when cutting into the tart.
Substitutions and alternatives for making a peach tart
- Tart shell - I've made a shortcrust tart shell here but you could also make this peach tart with a biscuit crust if you wanted to make it completely no-bake. Crush up graham crackers, gingersnaps, or digestive biscuits and use the tart shell recipe from my s'mores tart for an easier tart shell alternative.
- Custard - I've made a simple vanilla custard here but you could also add the same spices from the tart shell here for extra flavour. Add in ground cinnamon and ground ginger or even some chopped basil or mint for a fresher taste.
- Peaches - I've made this peach custard tart with fresh, ripe peaches but you can also cook the peaches for a softer and juicier fruit. Try poaching, grilling, or baking the peaches with some spices before adding them to your tart and they would taste amazing. You can also peel the skin off of the peaches - I just liked the variation in colour and don't mind the skin at all. Canned peaches would work wonderfully in this tart because they're already so soft and juicy.
Frequently asked questions
You can store this peach tart wrapped or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Custard or pastry cream made with cornstarch doesn't freeze well as the texture will change once thawed so I would not recommend freezing this custard tart. The tart dough and baked tart shell do freeze well on its own and can be done do by following the directions below.
Shortcrust tart dough can be frozen in its flattened disc shape for up to 1 month and thawed in the fridge before rolling out or made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. A baked tart shell can be frozen for up to 1 month and thawed in the fridge before filling or stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. The custard can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Finally, a tart filled with custard can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before topping with peaches.
The key to cutting perfect tart slices without the filling sliding around is to chill the assembled tart adequately until the filling firms up, preferably overnight, before slicing. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut through the fruit and tart shell. Make sure the peaches are ripe and soft or sliced thinly so that the knife can cut through them without pushing down on the filling.