Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cherry and Peach Galette



Soooo...it's August 1st today.  Um, what?  Really? No way dude, it can't be August already.  Summer can't be almost over and school can't be just around the corner.  That just seems ridiculous. Sure, fall and school and the promise of warm drinks and cozy sweaters and the changing colors of the leaves seem like nice things, and they of course are, but it's still troubling that the summer is almost over.  What's going to happen to me when I can no longer get massive quantities of fresh summer berries and mangoes and papayas and cherries and peaches!?  I suppose I'll just have to make way for spiced apple cider and cranberry pie and warm pumpkin muffins...not exactly a bad tradeoff!  But, until that happens, let's celebrate what's left of the summer with a dessert that truly highlights the best of summer's fruits.  Cherry and peach galette, anyone? 


I've had it stuck in my mind for a looongg time that I had to make a galette.  I didn't know which type of galette I wanted to make, or where my infatuation with them had come from (I hadn't even eaten a galette prior to making this one), but all I knew is that I HAD to make one, and it had to be soon.  I think it must have had to do something with the simplistic, rustic quality that they have.  They're sort of like, half-pie, and half-tart, but stopping somewhere in the middle because you get too lazy to break out a fancy pie dish or get intimidated by the thought of having to neatly crimp the edges of your crust, weave a lattice, or blind-bake a tart shell.  Laziness can actually be good sometimes, though, and in the case of a galette, I wouldn't even call it laziness.  Intentionally making a half-pie/half-tart is just as satisfying, and just as delicious.  The beauty of a galette comes from the fact that it is so darn easy to prepare, and just seeing a heaping pile of lovely roasted fruits surrounded by a ring of crisp, golden brown cust is enough to make anyone's mouth water.


This galette is full of fresh summer fruits.  Cherries and peaches happen to be some of my all-time favorite fruits, so I make sure to enjoy them as much as I can during the summer.  I love eating them fresh, but baking with them is also fanastic, as cooking the fruit really helps to enhance their already delicious flavors. To prepare the galette, all you need is a simple pie crust, or a pate brisee, if you wanna be fancy, and fresh fruit.  The original recipe used store-bought puff pastry instead of a pie crust, which you can certainly use if you wish to save yourself that extra step and make this galette even easier than it already is.  I chose to make my own crust for one simple reason: I didn't have any puff pastry in my freezer, and I didn't really feel like going out to buy some and then waiting for it to defrost (ok, so that's more than one reason, but whateverrr).  I think the galette still came out really nicely with the homemade crust!  The ingredients listed below for the crust are enough to yield two discs of dough; you only need one disc for this particular recipe, so you can either divide everything by two, or simply make the full amount and save the second disc of dough for some other culinary adventure (I recommend this option!). 


The filling for the galette was perfect, and was probably my favorite part of the whole dessert...or maybe it was the crust?  I'm not really sure anymore, both were just so good!  The crust was buttery and flaky, and had just a tiny hint of a sugary crust from the sugar that was sprinkled over the top just prior to baking.  The filling was full of fruit in every bite, and was not overwhelmingly sweet (always a bonus for me!).  It's pretty safe to say that this galette is a dessert that I would make again in an instant, and one that I would definitely recommend for anyone to try.  It's a great introduction to working with pie crust, since a free-form tart allows you to skip over all the fussiness that can be associated with a regular pie or tart, so there's no excuse for feeling intimidated!  Enjoy!


Cherry and Peach Galette
  • filling recipe from Food Network Magazine, June 2012
  • galette crust recipe from Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts

  • Ingredients
For the Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, and diced
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water

  • For the Filling

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups cherries (about 1 pound), pitted and halved
  • 2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 large egg (for egg wash)
coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

Begin by preparing the galette crust.  Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor, and pulse a few times to blend everything together.  Add the cold, diced butter, and process until the mixture begins to resemble a coarse meal, about 10 seconds.  Turn the food processor on, and as it runs, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough begins to hold together (you may not use all of the ice water, just use enough to bring the dough together).  Do not process the dough for more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and divide the dough in two.  Wrap each half with a sheet of plastic wrap, and flatten into a disc.  Refrigerate the discs of dough for at least 1 hour before using. 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat it to 375 degrees F.  Line  a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.  Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator, and on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round that is about 1/8 inch thick.  Transfer the round to the prepared baking sheet. 



To prepare the filling for the galette, combine the sugar, allspice, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Add the cherries and peaches to the bowl, and toss gently to combine.  Add the 3 tablespoons of flour, and toss until evenly mixed. 


Pile the cherry-peach mixture into the center of the crust, making sure to leave a 2-inch border of crust.  Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces, and dot the top of the fruit filling with the butter.  Gently fold the pastry edges over the filling, making sure to pleat as necessary.



Bake the galette in the preheated oven until the crust begins to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Remove the galette from the oven, sprinkle with the reserved egg wash and some coarse sugar.  Place the galette back in the oven, and continue to bake until the juices from the fruit have thickened, and the crust has cooked through, about 30-45 more minutes (depending on how juicy the cherries are).  If the crust begins to brown a bit too much, simply tent the galette with aluminum foil.  Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool until the filling has set before slicing.  Enjoy!

Makes 1 9-inch galette

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