You might have noticed that I’ve been gone… I had a knee replacement four weeks ago. Before that time, I absolutely struggled to do just about anything that had to do with living, and I cannot tell you how glad I am to be reversing the trend! So, I think it’s time to dig back in again. Woo-hoo!
I have a love of Summer, and even though it’s rapidly slipping away before my eyes, I thought I’d do a tribute to one of my favorite fruits, as well as one of my favorite desserts. It involves pie crust, and making things look a bit rustic… I’m making galette!
It’s not as fancy as a pie or tart, but rather casual and easy to throw together. I made one last year, though that one was savory, using zucchini, cheese and tomatoes. This will be the sweet, peachy one, though you can use any kind of fruit that you like. I’m also going to top the crust with some slice almonds for texture.
For this, I’m using my favorite standby pie crust recipe, mainly making sure that everything I’m using is icy-cold, before I begin. I usually cut up the butter in a stainless bowl, allowing it to chill. The flour is also measured out and allowed to sit in the fridge for about an hour. This really helps to make a good, tender crust.
For the pastry:
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup ice water
1 beaten egg (for pastry egg wash)
For the filling:
3 cups peaches or other Summer fruit, thinly sliced (or, think berries, figs, apples, other stone fruit, etc.)
½ cup sugar
½ vanilla bean, scraped
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
juice of ½ lemon
Turbinado sugar (just a sprinkle on the exposed crust)
¼ cup slice almonds (optional)
Whisk together the dry pastry ingredients in a large measuring cup and allow to chill for at least an hour. In a separate bowl, cut up the butter into small pieces and allow that to chill, also.
When you are ready to make the pastry, mix the chilled butter into the bowl with the flour and work with a pastry cutter or two knives. Mix until you the dough forms little pea-sized clumps. Add in the ice water and mix just until it holds together. Just don’t overwork it, or it will become tough. Gently shape the dough into a ball, then transfer to a firm surface with a large piece of plastic wrap laid out on it. Flatten the dough ball into a disk about ½” thick, wrap it up in the plastic wrap, and then allow to chill for at least 1½ hours.
When the pastry is chilled, and you are ready to make galette, pre-heat the oven to 375º F. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it set out for about 10 minutes or so. It should be very firm. Prepare a work surface by covering it with a large piece of parchment paper. I usually bake mine on a round pizza pan, so I simple cover that with the paper and dust it with a little bit of flour—it saves steps and mess. Meanwhile, you can make the filling.
Mix together the sugar, scraped vanilla bean, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Place the sliced peaches into a larger bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over them. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the peaches and very gently stir them together. The peaches should become quite juicy.
On the prepared surface, roll out the pastry into a round about 14″ to 16″ in diameter.
Arrange the sliced peaches in concentric circles on the pastry, leaving about 1½ to 2 inches from the outer edge. You may want to leave most of the juice in the bowl, because if you put it all into the galette, it will likely overflow onto the baking sheet and make a big mess. Of course, you may not mind that, either. When you run out of peaches, fold the outer edge of the pastry over the top of the peaches, pleating as you go around.
Brush the outer exposed edge of pastry with the beaten egg, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top.
Top that with sliced almonds if desired, gently pressing them into the pastry.
Place into the preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Cool.
Serve by cutting into wedges and topping with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Makes about 6-8 slices.