Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stone Fruit Galettes

Last summer our neighbors gave us a bag of plums and peaches from their backyard.  I wish we had something to exchange with them in return, but our poor fruit trees have been barren for many years.  In the peak years, we actually had some pretty tasty asian pears and white peaches, but they were often smaller than tennis balls.  Thus, I'm thankful to share in the bounty of others who have greener thumbs.

stone fruit plum galette
Plum galette with a flaky crust
I'd always read about galettes and was drawn to their rustic nature and simplicity compared to a formal pie. I found them relatively easy to make and impressive-looking despite the imperfections.  It's probably one of the few desserts that actually embraces imperfections!  I'm usually deterred from making crusts from scratch just because working with butter can get so sticky, messy, and bothersome to clean up after.  I'm hoping that the more I try it out the less bothersome it'll become.
This recipe wasn't as quick as I originally anticipated so I'd suggest making the crust beforehand as it does require some chilling time: 30 minutes of chilling after making the dough and another 30 minutes of chilling after rolling it out into a circle.  I love that this dessert works well with just about any fruit - plums, nectarines, pluots, pears, apples, even berries.  It also goes great served with vanilla ice cream.  I'm definitely looking forward to making this again.

stone fruit nectarine dessert galette pie
White and yellow nectarine galette

Stone Fruit Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2–inch pieces
4 Tbsp ice water
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter pieces with a pastry blender or two knives, mixing until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal. 
  2. Dribble four tablespoons ice water over the mixture and stir to combine the mixture together. Gather the dough into a ball and gently knead for a few seconds. If it’s not coming together, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until it does. 
  3. Shape dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
  4. When ready to roll out the dough, take the disc out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften slightly.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. 
  5. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using. Rolled out dough can also be frozen for up to one day.
2 Tbsp ground almonds (I grind up blanched almond slivers)
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 recipe of galette dough, rolled into a circle and chilled
1 1/2 pounds of ripe fruit (3-4 large pieces of fruit or 2 cups berries)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the lower third of the oven. 
  2. Toss the ground almonds, flour, and 1 Tbsp of the sugar together.  Remove the rolled out dough from the refrigerator or freezer and sprinkle the almond mixture evenly over the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2 to 2-inch border uncovered.
  3. Cut fruits in half, remove pits or cores, and slice into wedges.  Arrange the fruit in concentric circles on the dough, overlapping wedges as needed so that the area inside the border is tightly covered with fruit. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar evenly over the fruit.
  4. Fold the border of exposed dough up and over itself at regular intervals around the tart, roughly crimping and pushing it up against the fruit.  Make sure there are no breaks or tears in the dough (or patch any that do occur) otherwise the tart may leak.
  5. Brush the border with melted butter, and sprinkle it with remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar.
  6. Slide entire parchment paper with the tart onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven.  Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is well browned and edges are slightly caramelized.  As soon as the galette is out of the oven, gently slide the galette onto a cooling rack otherwise it may get soggy if it sits on the baking sheet.  Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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