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Jenna’s Peachy Keen Tart Recipe

A couple of years ago, QAGOMA ran an exhibition called ‘Harvest‘, which brought together food themed art from its collection. Alongside the gallery installations they ran a food themed film festival. I tried to see at least two movies a week, sometimes with Anthony, sometimes with my Mum but often by myself. I got to catch up on all of these movies that I missed the first time around. One of my favourites was the dark comedy-drama Waitress (2007) starring Keri Russell.

Kick In The Pants Pie
Jenna (Russell) is a waitress working in a diner in a small town in the American south. She is unhappy in her marriage and channels her creativity and longing for freedom into fantastical pie creations with equally fantastical names. Throughout the movie she creates pies, narrating the ingredients and how the pie is prepared. We’re not talking about Mom’s Apple Pie here. There’s the Kick In The Pants Pie with cinnamon spice custard and the Lonely Chicago Pie with rich melted chocolate and smashed berries. When Jenna heads to her doctor for a checkup, she takes him a pie but as he’s out of town, she gives her pie to the locum Dr Pomatter and a very strange friendship ensues. With a few twists of fate, plenty of pies consumed and a good dose of sass handed out by the other diner waitresses Becky and Dawn, Jenna bakes her way out of a hopeless marriage and into the life she dreamed of. A truly quirky movie. Unfortunately, things did not turn out so well in real life for Director/Actor Adrienne Shelly (Dawn). On researching this post I discovered that Adrienne was murdered in 2006, before the theatrical release of Waitress. You should make a point of seeing Waitress if for no other reason than to honour her memory.

On one of Jenna’s visits to Dr Pomatter, she brings along Peachy Keen Tarts. As Jenna didn’t narrate this recipe I have created one of my own, based on a favourite Donna Hay recipe. The grated zest and lemony thyme adds the ‘keen’ to this tart. Jenna made small tarts but I have created one large tart instead. To be honest, if I had my way, I’d be baking the decadent Marshmallow Mermaid Pie however it’s peach, not mermaid, season so Peachy Keen it is.  At the end of this post, I have listed the 19 pies Jenna makes in Waitress.

Lofo for the Food 'n Film link up

I have created this recipe to join the Food’n’Film linkup hosted by Emily from Cooking For Kishore. Her theme this month was ‘True Love’. Whilst Jenna and hapless husband Earl were certainly not a case of true love, I think I have a girl crush on strong, sharp, witty Jenna.

Jenna’s Peachy Keen Tart
(adapted from Donna Hay Modern Classics 2)

Sliced Peach Tart still in tart tin sitting on a chequered table cloth


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 150g cold butter, cubed
  • 2-3 tbsp water, iced
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • zest of 1 lime, grated
  • 1 x egg
  • 1 x egg white, extra
  • 1 tbsp sugar, extra
  • 6 x peaches, stoned and sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling
Trio of photos showing a peachy keen tart being prepared for blind baking, baked tart filled with custard and completed sliced peach tart


  1. Place flour, 3 tbsp sugar and butter in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Whilst motor is running, add iced water a tbsp at a time until the dough just pulls together.
  3. Tip mixture into a bowl and knead gently into a ball. Wrap loosely with plastic and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove dough from fridge and place on a floured surface or between two sheets of baking paper. Roll dough out to an even thickness of around 2-3mm.
  5. Drape dough into 26cm tart tin and gently press into tin, making sure the dough is pressed well into corners of tin. Prick dough on base of tin with a fork half a dozen time (to dock the pastry).
  6. Cover dough in tin with a piece of baking paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice (to blind bake the tart shell).
  7. Place tart in an oven pre-heated to 180c and bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake for an additional 10 minutes until pastry is golden and starting to colour. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  8. Whilst the pastry is cooking, mix sour cream, 2 tbsp caster sugar, thyme leaves and the egg in a bowl until well combined. Pour mixture into slightly cooled tart shell and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and turn temperature up to 200c.
  9. Whip the egg white in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Stir through the peach slices, lime zest and sugar and spoon onto tart filling.
  10. Sprinkle the Peachy Keen Tart with the extra sugar and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. remove from oven and cool completely before removing from tart tin.
  11. Serve as is or with thickened cream or a saucy wink

Serves 8

Closeup of Sliced Peachy Keen Tart decorated with thyme leaves

Pies From The Movie ‘Waitress’

  • I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie or Bad Baby Pie (tomorrow’s Blue Plate Special) – brie quiche w a smoked ham centre
  • Kick In The Pants Pie – cinnamon spice custard
  • I Hate My Husband Pie – bittersweet chocolate drowned in caramel
  • Spaghetti Pie
  • Marshmallow Mermaid Pie – coconut cream w marshmallows
  • Fallin’ In Love Chocolate Mousse Pie
  • Baby Screaming Its Head Off In The Middle Of The Night And Ruinin’ My Life Pie – New York cheesecake brushed w brandy & topped w pecans
  • Peachy Keen Tarts
  • Earl Murders Me Because I’m Having An Affair Pie – smashed blackberries and raspberries in a chocolate crust
  • I Can’t Have No Affair Because It’s Wrong & I Don’t Want Earl To Kill Me Pie – vanilla custard with banana (hold the banana)
  • Spanish Dancer Pie With A Potato Crust
  • Naughty Pumpkin Pie
  • Strawberry Chocolate Oasis Pie – bittersweet chocolate with a hint of spice
  • Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie – lumpy oatmeal w fruitcake mashed in (flambé of course)
  • Lonely Chicago Pie – melted chocolate & smashed berries
  • Car Radio Pie
  • Jenna’s First Kiss Pie
  • Old Joe’s Horny Pie
  • Chocolate Moon Pie
15 comments… add one
  • Jan Rhoades February 20, 2016, 7:45 am

    Looks delicious. Thanks for a lovely post. I missed out on seeing that movie.
    Right at this moment I want my pie with lashings of ice cream, eaten in an air-conditioned room, with my ankles steeped in a foot bath of iced water and the fan blowing on my head, neck and face. Get the picture. I’m over February.

    • Fiona Ryan February 20, 2016, 9:14 am

      Surely the best thing is to stay in the air conditioned house and re-read To Kill A Mockingbird for the rest of the month?

  • sherry from sherrys pickings February 20, 2016, 10:52 am

    i loved that movie and i thought she was fab in it. I wonder why we don’t see much of her in movies? Wow all those pies! Americans do seem to have a “thing” about pies don’t they?

    • Fiona Ryan February 21, 2016, 10:13 am

      It was fun. Keri Russel is in a series called ‘The American’s on ch 10/11. It’s fantastic. Set in the early 80’s, its about two KGB sleeper agents who have been living in the US almost all of their lives in deep cover. Not only is the story interesting, if you lived through any part of the Cold War, there are so many memories. Clothes are great too. Up to s2 in Australia, s4 in the US.

  • Tandy I Lavender and Lime February 20, 2016, 3:19 pm

    Your pie looks fantastic Fiona 😀

  • Sean February 21, 2016, 4:44 pm

    Waitress has been turned into a musical written by Sarah Bareilles – very good advance buzz, opening on Broadway this season. No word on whether they’re selling pies at interval…

    • Fiona Ryan February 22, 2016, 6:47 pm

      Gosh – I hope they are. They better be good though!

    • Fiona Ryan February 22, 2016, 6:48 pm

      ps: hasn’t Donna been good to us? She really is the ‘go to’

  • Emily (Cooking for Kishore) February 23, 2016, 6:34 am

    Great post Fiona, and thanks for joining in this month’s Food ‘n Film!
    I loved her inner dialogue as she was making and naming the pies that really made it for me. 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan February 24, 2016, 2:52 pm

      Just watching the trailer makes we cant to watch it again. I’ll see how I go for March, as I will be away for some of the time.

  • Gretchen March 3, 2016, 6:39 am

    Love your peach pie and reading the list of all the pies at the end has me craving pie right now. Luckily it’s almost National Pi Day so a pie is in order soon!

    • Fiona Ryan April 5, 2016, 8:26 am

      I missed National Pi day as I was travelling but I saw many on social media. What did you make?

  • The Dan's September 5, 2018, 5:13 pm

    I love this movie and there are more than a few recipes I plan on making.

    Sad note: the director of the movie is also one of the cast. The actress who plays the waitress Dawn was also the director. Tragically weeks before the opening of the movie, she was murdered outside her front door by an undocumented construction worker. She was the mother of an infant. He killed her so she wouldn’t call the cops on him for getting in her a face about a noise issue. Sad.

    • Fiona Ryan October 1, 2018, 2:33 pm

      Hi – yes, it was very sad that she was killed. It makes the movie all the more poignant as she clearly had a bright future as a film maker. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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