I should read the news in the morning, but sometimes it’s just too depressing and I feel the burden of the world’s problems on my shoulders and a frustration that I feel powerless to do anything about them.
I should take a shower every day during Nolan’s morning nap, but sometimes I’d rather bake or play video games or just enjoy the quiet.
I should make myself a nice lunch instead of slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, heavy on the jelly, but sometimes I stare at the refrigerator and can’t think of a single thing I can stand to eat.
I should vacuum my rug more often, but sometimes I don’t want to bring the vacuum cleaner downstairs, so I just feel the rice cake crumbs under my feet and crush them further into the fibers.
I should take my son to the park more often, but sometimes I can’t stand the sun and the heat and the rigmarole of getting us both slathered in sunscreen and packing a diaper bag and dragging out the stroller for 15 minutes on the swing.
I should make dinner at least once a week, probably more, to give my husband a break from doing all the cooking, but sometimes 5:30 sneaks up on me and I don’t realize until I hear his key turning in the lock.
I should learn another language, but sometimes I get past the hello-my-name-is-how-are-yous and I get bored and figure I can always bring a phrase book for emergencies.
I should go to the gym with my mom at least 4 days a week, but sometimes I would rather meet her for a beer and a burger.
I should read more books, but sometimes my mind won’t stop running long enough to let me get past reading the same sentence over and over to let me get past reading the same sentence over and over reading the same sentence over and over.
I should be more careful about my spending, but sometimes I see something really great and I just can’t stop myself from buying it, because I know it will make my life better, happier.
I should cook my tarts a little longer, but sometimes I’m too impatient and there’s some runny mess in the center.
I should not eat entire frangipane tarts just because I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the things I should be doing, but sometimes the sometimes get the best of me.
- For the Pâte Sucrée
- 1½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 9 tablespoons (125 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and frozen
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- For the Peach and Hazelnut Frangipane Filling
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- ¾ cup (100 grams) raw hazelnuts
- ⅓ cup (40 grams) all-purpose flour
- 7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 3-4 ripe, blemish-free peaches*
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- 6-8 large basil leaves
- Butter a rectangular tart pan. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Scatter frozen butter cubes over the dry ingredients and pulse until the largest butter pieces are the size of peas. Add egg to the food processor and pulse until the dough clumps together, about 10 long pulses. Press the dough evenly into the buttered tart pan. Poke the dough all over with a fork and freeze in the pan for at least 30 minutes. (Clean the bowl of your food processor for the filling.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of foil and press the buttered foil tightly against the dough. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, press down any bubbles with the back of a spoon, and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl. Add baking soda, then hazelnuts. Boil for 4 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer hazelnuts to the ice water bath. Rub the hazelnuts to remove the skins; the skins will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Move the skinned nuts to a towel and rub them dry. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F for 15 minutes, until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool completely.
- While the nuts are cooling, blanch and peel the peaches. Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Score the bottom of each peach with an X. Use a slotted spoon to gently slide each peach into the boiling water. Boil for 4 minutes, then transfer the peaches to the ice bath. Beginning at the X, gently peel the skin away from the peaches. Transfer peaches to a paper towel to dry a bit while you make the frangipane filling.
- In the clean food processor bowl, process the hazelnuts until finely ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk together with flour. In the food processor bowl (it doesn’t need to be clean), combine butter and sugar and process until fluffy and light. In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg and egg yolk and add them to the food processor bowl and process with the butter and sugar until just incorporated. Add the hazelnut and flour mixture and pulse until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the hazelnut frangipane into the cooled tart shell. Slice the peaches in half lengthwise and carefully remove the pits. Thinly slice each peach half crosswise. Use the best-looking four peach halves and evenly space them on the surface of the frangipane, lightly fanning them out. Bake the tart for 45-55 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed up, golden brown, and firm. Allow the tart to cool completely on a wire rack. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Stack and roll up basil leaves lengthwise. Thinly slice the basil, then separate the leaves and sprinkle the basil over the surface of the tart.
- *You’ll really only need 2 peaches, but blanch a couple more for insurance in case they squish or the pits won’t come out nicely.