date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

I catered a small dinner party last weekend. Some things I knew would turn out - a couple dressings and sauces were a shot in the dark, but I was certain they'd pass as edible. Summer produce makes this such an easy season to cook in because the produce needs little done to it. I know where to get the tomatoes I'm faithful to, even mediocre corn is passably sweet and crunchy, and a basic fruit dessert requires little fuss, as the juicy berries and stone fruits can hold their own.

I served a maple-slathered, grilled peach half with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and crumbled gingersnaps, an even easier adaptation of a treat recipe in our cookbook. It was the most basic dish I served and it was the one dish every single person cleared their bowl of (yes, I watch, who do you think is doing the dishes?). Granted, it was a small dessert, but it made me think, how often am I overcomplicating things?

Fast forward a few evenings, we had guests over here for a BBQ. A friend was talking about how a couple invited their family over for dinner and the hostess just ordered a pizza and made an easy green salad. She mentioned how much she respected that - how getting together, eating together, sharing good company and conversation is enough. I stood at the sink cleaning dishes after they left. I had made everything from scratch - dressings, marinades, a crumble, etc. I don't make complicated food, I don't know how to cook complicated things, but what I do does take me a lot of time and I spend even more time just thinking about the meal. Where is my tipping point between making food for people that is special, but still allows me to just enjoy the company? How to channel this effortless effort... I feel like I am narrating to and for myself here, bear with me, think Carrie Bradshaw Sex in the City monologues except we're talking about dinner. Our own heads, my own head, is a rabbit hole. I get down there by over thinking and over complicating when the answer is really up top at the proverbial pizza.

The peaches for this tart were leftover from that easy dessert I mentioned a minute ago. I didn't have a recipe in mind, I just didn't want to waste the peaches sitting on the counter on their peak day. I remembered a crust I wanted to try and layered from there. It's simple, a fantastic peach is what makes the whole tart, but it is a new favorite. You could merely change the fruit on top or try different nuts in the crust. Summer in all its glory. I can hear Hugh sneaking into the fridge, his fork clattering against the plate as we speak.

There is an Oscar Wilde quote, "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." So applicable to cooking, to creating things, to feeding people... the act is often times less complicated than we make it. Here's to the simple things.

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

SUMMER PEACH TART // Makes one 12'' tart

crust recipe adapted from A House in the Hills

I know some of you will be looking for alternatives to powdered sugar here in the cream layer. It helps set the creme fraiche to not puddle everywhere, a liquid like maple or honey will not work. You could try coconut sugar if you are ok with a little grit, but I can't say I've tried it.


  • 9 pitted dates
  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

/cream layer/

  • creme fraiche option:
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup powder sugar
  • 1/4 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 3 large/4 small ripe peaches
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • toasted pecans, granola, turbinado etc. for garnish

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen


For the crust, pulse all ingredients in the food processor until crumbly. When you pinch some between your fingers it should stick. Add a tiny splash of water if it needs help holding (this will depend on the freshness of your dates). Press the mixture into an even layer the bottom of a parchment lined, 9'' or 10'' springform pan.

Make your cream layer. Follow the directions for the the coconut whipped cream. Otherwise, whisk together the creme fraiche, powdered sugar, muscavado and corn starch. It will be loose but should hold shape when spread over the crust, if it looks too loose, add another Tbsp. or two of powdered sugar. Spread the cream layer over the crust.

Halve and pit the peaches and slice them thin. Layer the peaches in concentric circles, starting against the outer edge and then starting again with another circle, inside that outer circle. Brush the top with lemon juice and garnish with chopped pecans, granola, turbinado or whatever you wish. Refrigerate for at least two hours to chill completely. Remove the ring of the springform pan and cut into slices.

Store covered in the fridge. Should be enjoyed within 3-4 days. The colder it is, the easier it will be to get clean slices, just fyi.

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

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Reader Comments (78)

I often thinking about the balance between feeding people & enjoying food with them versus cooking and preparation. Sometimes I get caught up in my head too much thinking about it - so I really connect with the thinking in this post. It's funny how the simplest meals, the ones you think about the least, are often the ones you most enjoy. It's always good to have a reminder to relax and enjoy. (And that tart looks divine - I'm going to have to dry that base recipe soon!)

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHarriet

I always have a hard time pulsing dates in my food processor and have given up on any recipe that calls for this step. Is there a trick that I could use or should I go for the date paste that I see at the international store sometimes? Thanks!

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane @ Vintage Zest

Simple food is always so well received! But for people like me (and you!) who love to cook it's always about striking a balance. Either way, I'm sure this would be a winner.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This looks like summer on a plate. I definitely think about time in the kitchen vs quality of food. I generally try to do as much as possible before people arrive and we have an open plan house, so you can still join the conversation while in the kitchen.

This looks too good. We've been eating a lot of peaches here recently (I wish the season was longer....) and this looks like a wonderful way to enjoy them .

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

This recipe looks heavenly! We have a lot of plump, fresh, peaches everywhere right now...will give this a try!

You forgot cleaning the entire house before the guests arrive. Yes, I hear you.
I'm going to make this tart RIGHT NOW! I have all the ingredients - yay! And I'm not sharing it with anybody (okay, maybe my immediate family).

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

I, too, spend an unusual amount of time thinking about food. Is it healthy? Are there other things to think about? I say 'no' until we have kids. We eat 3 times a day. It must be important ;)

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

Can you really go wrong when there is creme fraiche involved?

Peeps are always won over by the proverbial pizza in my world too. Whether that's an actual pizza that facilitates a very connective and involved conversation, or something I made that's so simple I feel almost ashamed over serving it to guests. That's always the thing that people like. Can't fight it--want to every time though while I'm scraping away tidbits of confit tomatoes that took 5 hours and little bread pieces that I drove 20 minutes out of my way for because it's THE BEST bread ever. Lovely tart, lovely you xo

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Yum. Like really, yum. I just made peach pie last night (with store bought crust, too, because... because pie crust is finicky and I just wanted to use the peaches, dang it) and it was awesome. Can't go wrong with peach season. Headed to the farmers market again this weekend- will def be picking up some more for this recipe. My husband doesn't know it, but he's very thankful to you for this coming awesomeness. ;(

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShellina

Also, that was supposed to be a winky smile, not a winky frown. No one winky frowns. Popeye maybe. But that's not the point, turn that frown upside down. ^

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShellina

Love the simplicity you write about here, and how much warmth can be found in that. This peach tart is the perfect picture of just that!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie @ Little Kitchie

I loved this post! It's so nice to see you share the same thoughts. I spend HOURS thinking about potential dinner party (or just our own food) menu ideas and so many hours cooking. At the end of the day, I enjoy the process. But, it is so true to think that maybe all the effort isn't always necessary!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElena

I'm forever having the same "issue" with dinner parties - I want to make it special by making everything from scratch, but it would be a huge relief to just do take out once in a while.

I also catered a small dinner party last week and the most popular dish was the simplest, the most "off the cuff" recipe and the one I stressed the least over... go figure.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ La Dolce Pita

I can completely relate to your feelings in this post! Must learn to change my ways and simplify a bit more. This dessert is incredible. Can't wait to get my hands on fresh Colorado peaches so I can make this!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Grilled peach is tasty, isn't it. And served for guests may be a hit :)

Those peaches! YUM! What a gorgeous tart! Often it is so easy to overcomplicate and over think things, especially food, but simple always turns out best! Especially fresh summer produce! Beautiful thoughts and photos x

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

Amen for pizza and green salad dinner parties, right!? I used to stress about making intricate meals as well. But no matter how good the food is, if the hostess is stressed out, then the guests won't feel relaxed. I'd much rather enjoy a simple meal with great company over great conversation.

This peach tart looks like summer on a plate. :-)

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha @ Vignette

Oh, Sara, I just adore you and your mental rabbit hole.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercourtney leduc

I can so relate to this, Sara. I often invite friends over for food and spent hours and hours prepping, knowing that many of my friends would just as soon order pizza from down the street if they were having me over. I think there's a time and a place for both (I'm learning to appreciate takeout now with Neko!). This looks like the perfect 'easy' yet homemade dessert. xoxo

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

Off the charts gorgeous!!!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWinnie

Such a pretty little tart. Can we ever go wrong with creme fraiche..yumm..

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAsh@foodfashionparty

This is so beautifully put together. I just bought 2 lbs of Colorado peaches at the farmers market today. This will be one of the many splendid things I make with those. Thanks for making it so easy and so beautiful.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Straley

You've mentioned before that food is how you show your love. I can see how you could easily spend lots of time thinking about and preparing meals for guests - and I think that's just wonderful! We all extend our love to one another in different ways, and what a blessing it must be for your friends and family to have you in their lives. I say embrace the hours of preparation and clean-up... can you really imagine it any other way?

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I agree that there's a balance. Sometimes, it seems like the best thing in the world if I can spend all afternoon making macarons for guests. But other times, another complicated project is just going to make me super frustrated, and I need to keep it simple if I'm going to have time to have guests at all. I try to let both be ok with me, and happen as they need to. That tart sounds like a dream combo of flavors, by the way!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrench Toast Tasha

Sara, I think about the same things as is how I "resolved the issue". 1. I'll invest more time& effort into meals for people who really appreciate that. After a while, you learn who really appreciate food from scratch, all that time invested etc. ( This doesn't really apply to people where the best meal is pizza and best dessert is donut or brownies, especially at work)
2. I will invest lot of time and all my love for people who really appreciate every single meal I prepare. 3. After having a kid, I try to simplify a bit to not spend all my free time with cooking and preping or at least I'll involve my kid to help me out to create a fun and quality time 4. The favorite meals among friends are the simplest recipes or one pot dishes like butternutsq.gnocchi& sage, shank stew&polenta, marinated shrimp, grilled peaches or fruit tarts, how crazy is that 5. Every culture has different expectations in terms of preping, cooking and serving food. For me, european vs american food culture was a big shock, but you learn with the time where and when it's worth all that work. At the end, the most important thing is that all that process makes YOU happy and you should be proud of that, otherwise 90% people in america would end up with ordering a pizza so we are lukcy to have people like you!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaterina

So true. I'm often guilty of over-complicating when it comes to cooking for loved ones. I try new recipes that I would never normally cook and try to do about a million things (as well as chronically over-catering). And when nothing works out quite like I imagined, I get grumpy and kill the atmosphere with constant apologising. Here's most definitely to the simple things. This tart, for example, is simple perfection.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

I often think about all the energy I put into making meals for get togethers too, but I've definitely gotten to a point of not caring as much if, say, the bread or hummus hasn't been made from scratch. I invite more of a balanced approach. And there are definitely people who I've served that just don't appreciate the care and effort I've taken, so I cut myself some slack when I know they're coming over : ) This peach tart however, looks amazing!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

Well said! Food is experiencial! It's doesn't need to be complicated but there needs to be the element of community, memories and stories. Almost every dish I create speaks for milestones throughout my life!

Love your passion and commitment to food!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAli

When I saw the pic on Instagram I was so hoping to see a recipe. It looks more incredible than I imagined, can't wait to make this, thank you!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

Oh my! Mouth watering!! Hard to get out of that rabbit hole! Lol! Your intentions show that part of the way you show your love is through your food - nothing wrong with that ;) But yeah...don't forget to enjoy the company too! My husband always laughs at me and shakes his head cuz I end up making new recipes I've never tried before for dinner parties with friends, which in turn stresses me out. A vicious cycle. Ha! Great post Sara! Can't wait to try this one!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYumi

I can totally relate! I am usually a "everything from scratch" type of girl, but reading your commentary made me realize that keeping that mindset without exception is also what holds me back from having people over and entertaining more often, which is a shame. I am reminded, though, of the times I've found a happy medium between homemade and take-out: setting up build-it-yourself food bars, like gourmet paninis or individual size pizzas or a chili + potatoes bar in the winter. I can buy all the ingredients at the store, throw together a salad, and then make a nice homemade dessert. It's fun, interactive, and still feels special and personalized...without making every course from scratch.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Frank

Just put this wonderful tart in the refrigerator to chill. I cannot wait to see how it tastes all together...couldn't help but nibble on each of the layers as it was coming together. Cheers!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie Flynn

Your blog is so detailed! I would love to try out this recipe! But too bad there aint any nice peaches in where I live.... Probably I will have to subsitute with some other fruits. But thank you for sharing!! x

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrena S.

100% agree, sometimes simplest is best and it's often the random recipes we throw together which work out most wonderful. Beautiful beautiful recipe and pics.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf

Looks so tasty - for sure bookmarking this to make before summer ends!

Thanks for sharing!

Susan Loves...

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan C.

Ooo beautiful! Stone fruits are probably one of my favorite summer treats!

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMallory

I know that I find the most beauty and joy in the simplest of things. The peach tart that you made looks absolutely beautiful! So fresh and perfect for summer. I know why it was such a hit!

Great minds must think alike! I posted a Raw Peach Tart a couple weeks ago, they're simply divine aren't they? Yours looks beautiful as well.

True story, it is so easy to needlessly overcomplicate things when in your heart and in others' hearts, keeping them simple would have been just fine. Your thoughts on life are always appreciated and right on. :)

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

I've been loving fresh peaches everyday for the past couple weeks. I'm going to try this once I need something a little more complex.

I've had to think about this a lot this summer as I've been to more get-togethers and hosted more people than ever before. It's hard to strike a balance between a casual, relaxing food environment and serving food you are really proud of.. I think about this a lot. Sometimes simple is best.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaimie

oh my, wonderful peaches and fantastic photos. This has put me in the mood for a peach iced tea.

August 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradele

i love what you wrote at the beginning, about the time with people being enough, perhaps even more important than, the meal itself. i'm always daydreaming about delicious impressive things to make, which are of course enjoyable but i've been learning that whats more important is just being present, even if it means simplifying, even if it means store bought. i highly recommend you read bread & wine by shauna niequist for more insight on that idea!

August 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

Beautiful tart and lovely commentary on letting go of expectations when cooking. It's a nice reminder for so many of us! Thanks for sharing.

August 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZoe @onebeet

My, my that looks like a tasty treat! I love peaches! That's a unique recipe you have there. I want to try making that at home. I love how you added pecans, dates and cinnamon to the tart. That explains its extraordinary taste! My family's going to love this! I am going out now to buy the ingredients and prepare it for dessert to tonight's dinner!

August 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Curay

What a sweet and lovely story! This loaf looks scrumptious and delicious! Thanks for sharing your cute story!!!

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersour salt

I love what this does to me.

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

I love what this does to me.

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

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