A galette is a French round, flat cake made made with pastry or yeast dough and topped with either a savory or sweet filling, such as fruit, jam, nuts, meat and cheese. It is quicker and simpler to make than a pie or tart. Its deliberately free-formed shape eliminates the need for a pie tin or tart pan. A galette only requires a bottom layer of dough, so there’s no crimping or latticework, often done to finish pies. The dough is simply rolled out, the filling placed in the center, and the excess pastry pulled toward the middle to hold everything in. It’s meant to be rustic and irregularly shaped, not at all fussy nor fancy.
Surprisingly, it took a conscious effort on my part not make the galette look “perfectly imperfect”. I had to fight my impulse to meticulously arrange the fruit in a way that appeared as though I piled them on haphazardly. I stopped myself from making even little pleats with the edges of the dough. I forced myself to break free of my usual obsessiveness and just let the galette take on its own free form.
The addition of cornmeal and almond extract in the dough gives it a nice texture and nutty flavor. It is the perfect vehicle to hold the sweet, ripe plums and peaches.
Plum and Peach Galette
Makes one 10-inch or two approximately 5-inch galettes
For the pastry dough
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup cold water
For the galette
3 large peaches, pitted and cut into eighths or sixteenths, depending on size
3 plums, pitted and cut into eighths or sixteenths, depending on size
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
sliced almonds, for garnish
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the pastry, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Add the butter pieces and almond extract and process until mixture resembles a coarse meal. With food processor running, slowly pour water, a little at a time, into mixture just until dough begins to come together, no more than 30 seconds. It may not need all the water.
Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, lightly pressing together the dough into a ball. If you’re making two smaller galettes, divide dough into two pieces. Form into round, flat disk(s) of dough. Wrap tightly and chill for at least 1 hour.
To assemble galette, roll out dough into circle, about 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer dough to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill dough to firm it up, while preparing the filling.
Place cut plums and peaches in a bowl and add 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, almond extract, cornstarch, and salt. Toss to combine, making sure fruit is well-coated. Arrange fruit mixture in a mound in center of chilled dough leaving a 2-inch border all the way around. Pull the edge of the dough to cover the fruit and press lightly to hold in place, shaping the dough ends into pleats, if desired. Make sure the dough reaches about two inches up to fully enclose and hold all the fruit.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Bake on center rack of oven until crust is browned and juices are bubbling, about 45-50 minutes for one big galette and about 30 minutes for smaller ones. Cool galette on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Skillet Chronicles
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