Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Californian Zin and a Peach Tart

I honestly don't know what gives White Zinfandel the bad rap it's been slapped with, because I can't think of anything particularly negative to comment on with this variety from Beringer Estates' California Collection. They were so gracious to send me two bottles of their Californian grown line, and I paired the first gift (a rich 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon) with some Roasted Squash Blossoms back in August. Though I didn't forget about this beautiful pink bottle in our wine rack at any rate, the shifting work and school patterns that came with the end of summer meant that baking and blogging had to once again take a back seat in the grand scheme of things. So, with my deepest apologies to Beringer, I will now share with you what I did do with one of their more "summery" wines!

Considering I know next to nothing about the nuances of wine, and even more so taking into account the fact that I can't actually drink anymore, I left the taste test and judgement up to my mom - the only member of the family who will still consider something wine even if it's not red! Suffice it to say she really enjoyed it - so much so that I didn't actually get a chance to use a glass or two of it myself for a peach sorbet recipe that was waiting in the wings! Luckily, I did score enough off the bat to crank out this decadent cream cheese and yogurt tart, using the otherwise forgotten peaches. Really though, the price of these bottles is more than reasonable for pretty much anyone, even a non-drinker like myself, at $7 US a pop on their website and just under $10 CAN at the LCBO. The drinkability of the White Zin made it something my mom declared she'd easily spend up to $15 on, especially during the summer - though she did suggest making spritzers with it over the Winter holidays with a gingerale or even a lemon seltzer.

Not only did I spike the rich vanilla filling with the wine, using what I could smell as almost a pear / melon / berry type of flavour to play off the juicy peaches, but I also added a decent dose of the White Zinfandel to the shortcrust dough I used as a base instead of the milk. To paraphrase Alton Brown, the alcohol in the wine doesn't bind with the gluten proteins in the flour, so the dough doesn't toughen as quickly in the rolling / pressing out process. Any sort of flavour given to the dough was kind of lost on the tasting panel of my family and friends due to the body of the filling, but I would love to see what it's like au naturel!

Zinfandel Vanilla Tart
Serves 10
Enough shortcrust pastry for a 10" pie
1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp vanilla (or plain) yogurt
2 tbsp White Zinfandel wine
1 tbsp vanilla
1 peach, skinned and diced
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Roll out pastry dough and line an 11" tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom!). Dock with a fork and brush all over with the egg white.
  3. Bake 16 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, beat together sugar, cream cheese, yogurt, wine and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Fold in peaches gently.
  6. Pour cheese mixture into the baked pie shell and chill 5-6 hours before serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 181.0
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Cholesterol: 13.2 mg
Sodium: 167.1 mg
Total Carbs: 21.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 3.7 g


  1. wow great tart I beat the Zin really added a great touch

  2. Sounds interesting!

    Me: I'd have added it to French bread, replacing 1/4 of the water. Yum!

  3. It's also good in quinoa, instead of the water.

  4. I LOVE those ideas!! Stolen... ;-)


Thanks for the feedback!