Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Fruit Galettes

Some people are chocolate lovers; I am a fan of fruit, in particular the succulent stone fruits of summer. Now, for many valid reasons, you may not want to crank your oven up to make this, but imagine the waste of a dozen or so local, farm-fresh peaches just under or past their prime. Then you'll see the beauty of the galette.

I owe this recipe to Alice Waters and her Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook, although I adapted it to be a whole grain crust. I've said this before, but whole wheat pastry flour is magic. It's light enough to make pancakes, waffles, and baked goods both whole-grain-healthy and delicious.

Galette Dough

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp sugar (if you're Alice Waters, if you're me you put in 3 TBSP of organic raw sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
12 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
7 TBSP ice water (make more, you will need it)

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut 4 TBSPS of the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (or even a potato masher and a knife if you can't find yours immediately), mixing until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal. (Butter dispersed throughout the flour in tiny pieces makes the dough tender). Cut in the remaining stick of butter with the pastry blender, just until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of large peas--or a little larger. (These bigger pieces of butter in the dough make it flaky).

Dribble 7 TBSP of ice water (that's 1/2 Cup less 1 TBSP, Waters helpfully notes) into the flour mixture in several stages, tossing and mixing between additions, until the dough just holds together. Toss the mixture with your hands, letting it fall through your fingers. Do not pinch or squeeze the dough together or you will overwork it, making it tough. Keep tossing the mixture until it starts to pull together; it will look rather ropy, with some dry patches. If it looks like there are more dry patches than ropy patches, add another TBSP of water and toss the mixture until it comes together. Divide the dough in half, firmly press each half into a ball, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pressing down to flatten each ball into a 4-inch disk. (Anyone know if you could substitute a damp kitchen towel here?) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. (The dough will keep in the freezer for a few weeks).

When you are ready to roll out the dough, take one disk from the refrigerator at a time. Let it soften slightly so that it is malleable but still cold. Unwrap the dough and press the edges of the disk so that there are no cracks). On a lightly floured surface (I actually like to use cornmeal), roll out the disk into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Brush off excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush (a step I most definitely skipped). Transfer dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before using (also skipped this step). The rolled-out circles can also be frozen and used the next day.

Makes about 20 oz of dough, enough for 2 open galettes or tarts or one covered tart.

I made a peach galette (we're overflowing in them from our CSA) that roughly followed the proportions for Waters' apricot galette. I left the skins on, and, per her instructions, put the skin side down, touching my galette dough. I followed her tip to use a pizza stone and baked for 45 minutes at 400F (make sure you put the pizza stone in while the oven's warming up). I love her instructions: "Arrange the fruit, skin side down, in concentric circles on the...dough, making a single layer of snugly touching (peaches, in my case) pieces and leaving the border bare. Evenly sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar (raw organic) over the fruit. While rotating the tart, fold the border of exposed dough up and over itself at regular intervals." You're basically making an edge to stem the flood of luscious, lava-like fruit juice that will come rushing from your peaches. Don't forget to dot your tart with unsalted butter before you bake it.

Also? It's unbeatable the next morning for breakfast.


Laura/CenterDownHome said...

Mamabird, my husband will love you for making me want to try making this. I made a peach cobbler a couple of weeks ago, but this sounds like it's more about the fruit, less about the doughy stuff. Now, where did I put that pizza stone?

We are enjoying tomato sandwiches with a thin layer of olive tapenade these days. Thin. tough bread -- like maybe a ciabatta sliced into thin layers. Mayo (or just a dribble of olive oil) on the bottom, a thin layer of tapenade on top bread. Lovely Hanover tomatoes in between. Killed my "cleanse". Oh, well.

eco 'burban mom said...

OH! Sounds so delicious. Why does my nutritious, yet boring, organic raisin bran I brought with me to work sounds so unappealing for breakfast now? ;o) Thanks, though, I have a dozen peaches hanging out in my fridge that are slightly too soft for eating, this sounds perfect!! YUM!

MamaBird said...

Oh, Laura, those sandwiches...I am such an olive lover...and the fresh maters.

Eco Burbs, I love me some raisin bran but yeah, hoovering the remainders of this in the morning has its appeal!

Green Me said...

We have an abundance of apricots from our CSA and I picked this cook book up used back in April. Thanks for the reminder, the motivation, and the tip to use whole wheat flour. :)

Thrift Store Mama said...

At the risk of embarassing myself...I think I love you. Not in a crazy weirdo sort of way but in a "I can't wait to see what you post next sort of way."

Whole wheat pastry flour. Never knew it existed (remember I'm new to this). I'm going to ask for over-ripe peaches at the market on Thursday.

Mindful Momma said...

Oh Yum! I've been in fruit crisp mode but I think a galette is in my future....

The Happy Housewife said...

That sounds really good, now only if I could get the rest of my family to love peaches!