Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fruit Galette

I'm not all that good at making pie crusts, but this dessert uses a "pastry" crust, which is somewhat more forgiving.  It's also supposed to look "rustic", which is code for being allowed to be imperfect.

One thing I noticed in every photo I researched online was that the fruit did not look very good once it was baked.  It was dry and shriveled because you can't add as much liquid with a stand-alone crust as you can in a pie tin.  I decided to solve that problem by making this for canned fruit, which is already cooked and infused with simple syrup.  Specifically, I'm using two of my three jars of canned nectarines.  This is the kind of thing I made them for.  For those picking up ingredients at the store, peaches or pears would be the obvious choice.  Pie filling would be a second-best option.

I have never understood refrigerating pie dough to make it "easier to handle".  I chilled it overnight and had to let it sit on the counter for an hour before it was warm enough to roll out without cracking.  I'm putting in here to chill it a mere half hour, which is enough time for the dough to hydrate evenly and for the butter to firm up.

This recipe is based on one from The New York Times.  Since I'm always into pastry cuteness, I made four breakfast-sized galettes instead of one large one which would serve six to eight.

1-1/3 C flour
1 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C butter (not margarine-one stick) cut into chunks
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
1 egg
heavy cream

1.  Place flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor.  Add butter and pulse until evenly distributed into crumbs.  This can be done by hand with forks or a pastry cutter, but it's easier in the processor.

2.  Beat egg.  Add enough cream to make 1/3 C and beat together.  Add lemon juice to flour mixture and one tablespoon of egg cream.  Pulse and continue to add mixture 1 Tb at a time until pastry sticks together, up to 1/4 C.  Reserve remaining mix for egg wash.

3.  Form dough into a disc and wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 1/2 hour.

4.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Either roll out one large, round crust that is 1/4" thick or divide for four or six mini pastries and make smaller circles about 1/8" thick.  Use the rolling pin to transfer the crust to the baking sheet and refrigerate it while you prepare the filling.

Filling & Baking
1 29oz can peaches or another stone fruit (about 3 C)
1 Tb sugar
2 Tb cornstarch
1/4 tsp ginger, cinnamon, or another accent spice
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
egg wash from above
extra sugar for sprinkling

1.  Preheat oven to 400º (375º for minis).  Drain fruit and immediately transfer to a bowl so it still has a little juice in it.  Add sugar, lemon juice, and spices and stir together.  Stir in cornstarch and allow to sit a few minutes, until the starch dissolves.

2.  Spoon filling into center of crust.  Don't pour, or the filling will be too wet.  You will end up with a little juice still in the bowl.

3.  To form the galette shape, pull up a thumb-sized part of the circle.  Pinch it into an inward-leaning pleat and move on.  You will end up with something that looks like an inside-out pleated skirt, with most of the filling visible.  Brush egg wash on crust and sprinkle with sugar.  Use a large-grained or sanding sugar if you have it.
4.  Bake for about 35 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.  The boiling filling is cooking the cornstarch and thickening.  Mostly, you want to make sure the crust is done but not burnt.  Cool for five minutes on the baking sheet before trying to transfer the galette to a cooling rack.  Cool another 20 minutes before serving, or the filling will run everywhere.

Serves 4 to 8, depending on slice size and if you make minis

Difficulty rating  :-0

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