Peach tart + what not to do while running a business

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A little advice for all you budding entrepreneurs out there. This is very specific to India because I have come to the slow but painful realisation that this country does not want you to succeed. Do I sound cynical? Maybe. But I have learned a few hard lessons over the last two years and thought it might be helpful for some of you out there struggling with similar issues.

1. Don't expect people to do the right thing. They never do. Demand it and make it happen even if they are kicking and screaming.

2. Don't be a pushover. There is a difference between being polite and being a pushover. In fact don't be afraid to be called an asshole. Because assholes get shit done.

3. Don't pay someone till the job is complete. Pay in instalments but only after the timelines are met. Never, ever fall for their sob story. 

4. Don't play the victim card. It's the worst. Own up your shitty decisions, learn from them and move on.

5. Don't be in love with your product. Be in love with your customer. And do everything to make their life better. We get so caught up in the product or service we have created that we forget the true purpose: have a satisfied customer by making their life easier. Keep that as a singular objective.

Now, that I have bummed everyone out there collectively, lets talk about this peach tart. I first came across this easy recipe in Amanda Hesser's book, Cooking for Mr. Latte. I immediately fell in love with her voice and wanted to make every single thing she had listed in the book. Since then, a lot of her recipes are part of my cooking repertoire (chicken salad, almond cake, chicken with sour cream) because they are big on flavour. This peach tart has made an appearance at housewarming parties, birthday or a regular weeknight when you need a little distraction.

The steps are simple, you stir together the dough in a mixing bowl and gently press it into your tart shell. There is no kneading or rolling required. Arrange thick slices of peaches in the shell and then add the crumble topping. That't it.

I had a string of little failures at work and to keep myself from dissolving into a puddle of angry tears (its not a pretty sight), I baked this peach tart. It was a good distraction even though it was brief and it was much, much easier to console myself with a slice of this juicy, delicious tart.


PEACH TART

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4cup mild olive oil
  • 2tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2teaspoon almond extract
  • 2tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 3small ripe peaches (up to 5), pitted and thickly sliced (about 1/2-inch wide)

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stirring enables the salt and sugar to sift the flour, so you don’t need to sift it in advance. In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it. Then, transfer the dough to an 11-inch tart pan (you can use a smaller one if needed), and use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. This will work if you pat firmly and confidently, but not if you curl your fingertips into the dough. It should be about 1/ 8-inch thick all around; trim and discard excess dough.
  2. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the butter. (If your peaches are especially juicy, add 1 tablespoon additional flour.) Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly, with a mixture of fine granules and tiny pebbles.
  3. Starting on the outside, arrange the peaches overlapping in a concentric circle over the pastry; fill in the center in whatever pattern makes sense. The peaches should fit snugly. Sprinkle the pebbly butter mixture over top (it will seem like a lot). Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature, preferably with generous dollops of whipped cream.
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