This is my best attempt at compromise as summer gives way to fall. I’m trying, I really am, but I’m still not ready (and have some decidedly un-fall recipes to share next week.) Perfectly pretty late summer stone fruits still work for a bit longer, right? If that isn’t enough to convince you, I’m thinking a perfect buttery tart shell filled with smooth buttermilk pastry cream is.
My love affair with pastry cream is intense and everlasting. I didn’t really think there was room to improve upon something that is already so wonderful. But there is a way, and it involves a copious layer of sugar and a kitchen torch. The combination of flavors and textures here is so spot on. As with anything brûléed, the crisp caramel layer will dissolve over time so this is best assembled before serving. However, all of the components (shell, pastry cream and fruit) can be prepped in advance so last minute work is minimal. If you’re in the market for a dessert a bit out of the ordinary that isn’t overly fancy but is sure to impress, well, now you’ve got one.