I’ll call this one a cheater’s pie. My mom has this stunning peach pie she makes each summer. It’s rich, custardy, and full of cream and sugar. My great aunt won a prize for it at her county fair. (Growing up, I thought that to be the highest honor—a prize winning pie!). It takes several hours to put together, and let me tell you, it’s a masterpiece. Because it’s so rich and time consuming, my family only had it a few times each summer. But when we did, it was the best day. I love celebrating family traditions like that. To this day my mom makes her peach pie a few times per summer. And now that we’ve shared it on the internet, it’s special to hear from people all over the country each summer making my mom’s recipe to celebrate peach season.
Sometimes, though, I’m daunted by the thought of crimping edges and boiling peaches and baking for an hour and chilling for another hour. And sometimes I’m looking for something a bit lighter, less of a sugar coma and more of a light sugar high. So for moments like those, I’ve created this cheater’s pie, or really, a simple peach tart.
This simple peach tart is not about store-bought shortcuts. It still uses homemade crust and takes a bit of time to put together. However, it’s a simpler, lighter take on my mom’s stunning pie. First, it uses our rye pie crust, which has a bit of rye flour to add a nutty taste and a bit of nutrients. It’s significantly smaller than a traditional pie; the tart shell is small and baked with only a very thin lip around the edge. This allows for spreading thin layer of honey mascarpone over the entire crust, instead of a dense, custardy filling. To mimic the taste of my mom’s peach pie, I added a kick of vanilla that brings in a similar vibe. For the topping, one ripe, juicy peach, which I kept raw, cut into thin slices, and arranged in a spiral. It’s sprinkled with a few fresh thyme leaves and then drizzled with a bit of honey. And for a final decoration, a few tiny stars cut out of the remaining pie dough (there is a significant amount left over since the tart shell is such a modest size).
Is this considered a healthy dessert recipe? It depends on your definition of healthy. It does contain butter, flour, and mascarpone cheese. However, it’s made with real food ingredients, has a small portion size, and is naturally sweetened with honey. For us, that’s a healthy end to a summer meal.
So whether you’re looking for a stunning pie or a cheater’s pie, this simple peach tart hit the mark for us. Happy peach season!
Looking for peach recipes?
Peach recipes are what summer’s all about. Along with this peach tart, here are a few of our favorite peach recipes:
- Peach, Heirloom Tomato, and Burrata Salad
- Fresh Peach Salsa
- Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa
- Peaches, Greek Yogurt, and Honey
- And of course, The Best Peach Pie
Looking for healthy dessert recipes?
Let’s face it: there are no truly healthy dessert recipes. However, there are lots of dessert recipes that are lighter takes on traditional heavy sweets. Here are a few of our favorite lighter dessert recipes for summer, with a few peach recipes thrown in:
- Berries and Peaches with Mint Syrup
- Peach Brulee
- Balsamic Strawberries with Greek Yogurt
- Berries and Yogurt Whipped Cream
- Amazing Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Tahini No Bake Vegan Cookies
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this peach tart, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, naturally sweet, refined sugar free.Print
- 1 rye pie crust
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, plus additional for drizzling
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large ripe peach
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Make the rye pie crust (save the second dough for later use).
- Remove one dough from the refrigerator. Let it stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes until it is able to roll. Roll it out to an even 1/8-inch thickness, rotating the dough often and dusting with a little flour if it sticks. Cut the dough into circle a bit larger than the bottom of a 9-inch a pie plate; we traced around a plate 8 1/2 inches in diameter (you also can trace free hand a circle about 8 1/2 inches in diameter). Place it in the pie plate; the edges of the dough should come up about 1/2 inch on the inside of the plate. Dock the dough by pricking the bottom and sides all over with a fork; make as many holes as possible since this will prevent bubbles from forming.
- If desired, with the remaining dough, cut out small stars and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the stars about 10 minutes, until golden, then remove from the oven to cool. (Discard the remaining dough, or sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the scraps and bake them with the stars for an added treat!)
- Bake the tart shell until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Then remove it from the oven to cool fully; we slid ours out onto a baking rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the mascarpone with the honey and vanilla. Thinly slice the peaches.
- When ready to serve, spread the tart crust with mascarpone (it helps to let it stand for several minutes at room temperature so it is easy to spread). Arrange the peaces in an overlapping pattern over the mascarpone, then sprinkle with thyme leaves. Place the stars in the center. Drizzle the entire top with honey in both directions. Carefully cut into wedges and serve. (Make ahead: the tart is best the day it’s made, but you can make the pie crust in advance and set at room temperature until serving, or refrigerate overnight. It is also possible to refrigerate leftovers and eat chilled the next day, it saves well wrapped in aluminum foil in the refrigerator.)
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.