I love pie. From apple pie to turtle pie and most pies in between – love, love, love them. However, I don’t like making them. It’s the crust thing. I figure, if I’m going to take the time to actually make the pie, shouldn’t I make the crust too? I guess I just haven’t the know how (or patience) to make a pie crust (or two in the case of some pies)… they tear, or are crumbly, or… I don’t know, just not that flaky, yummy crust that I want it to be. And don’t get me started on making them look pretty! Crimping the edges? Um, no.
That’s where the galette comes into play. A galette is a French pastry – usually it is a flat, rustic, free-form crust. It can be sweet or savory, filled with fruits or meats and cheeses. It sounds fancy – but is such the opposite. I imagine these rustic tarts being made on my Gramma’s farm (though, I’m not sure if they actually were) or in the countryside somewhere. Galettes are simple, basic, comfort food. Easy to make, beautiful (in the rustic sense) to look at and unbelievably delicious. My love for pies have now been transformed into my love for galettes! No finicky crust to mess with, no worries about tears or crimping the edges perfectly. Galettes have answered my need for pies in the best way possible!
Knowing that I had a hankering for a galette, I planned carefully at the farmers market last Saturday. I wanted something seasonal. Something sweet, but not too sweet. I knew plums (Zwetschgen) had to be in there, they are in full season now, as are red currants (Johannisbeeren), but I was stumped on what the sweet part would be, until I saw the flat peaches. They are always so sweet and full of that peachy flavor and would be just what was needed in the mix! (Another great thing about galettes? Add any fruit – just like you would a pie… apples – sure! huckleberries – why not! The sky is the limit!)
I took a few tips on how to make the galette crust from different websites and came up with one that worked for me. I was a little bummed that I would have to use butter AND shortening, seemed a bit excessive, but to get a light, flaky, flavorful crust you need both. (Butter gives it flavor and flakiness while the shortening gives it the light, melt in your mouth feel.)
After mixing together the flour, sugar, salt; cutting in the butter and shortening and finally mixing in the egg yolk/lemon juice/ice water… I needed to chill the dough for a bit to solidify the butter and shortening again before baking. I didn’t have time to make the galette the same day I made the crust, so I actually let the dough rest in the fridge overnight.
What I appreciated about the crust was that, when I rolled it out, it didn’t have to be perfect. The rustic look was what it was all about! No pressure about thickness or cutting it perfectly, just roll that baby out in what looks kind of like a circle.
The fruit needed to be cut and prepped. I cut the plums (they are rather small to begin with) into fourths, took the skin off the peaches and cut them into wedges and just cleaned the currants. I’m not sure if vanilla sugar is available in the States, but that is what I used to toss the plums and peaches with (if you don’t have it – just use a bit of sugar).
So, after rolling out the crust, I sprinkled it with an almond/flour/sugar mix, added the plums and peaches and sprinkled the currants on top. The best part was next… no crimping the edges of the crust – oh no – all I needed to do was bring them up to the fruit, it was like wrapping a present that was too big for the wrapping paper and seeing the gift inside!
I cut myself a piece of that bad boy as soon as I was done snapping a few pictures. My dad’s voice soon entered my head, “you know, a scoop of vanilla ice cream would make this perfect” it said. But, I resisted. I wanted the pure taste of the fruit and the flakiness of the crust (though, I’m sure I’ll have ice cream with it another time). It didn’t disappoint. The tartness of the currants and plums were amazing with the sweetness of the flat peaches. It was the perfect balance. The perfect treat on a cool fall morning with a cup of steaming coffee.
Plum Peach and Red Currant Galette
2 c (280 g) flour
1 T (12.5 g) sugar
1/2 tsp (2.84 g) salt
dash of cinnamon
1/3 c (67 g) shortening – cut into cubes
1/3 c (67 g) cold butter – cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
1 tsp or so (about 5 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/4 c (48 g) sugar
1/4 c (35 g) ground almonds (flour consistency)
1/4 c (35 g) flour
1 lb (500 g) plums – quartered
3 flat peaches – cut into wedges and skinned
1/2 c (a handful or so) red currants
1 T (14.19 g) butter
Crust: Combine the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in (with either a pastry cutter or two knives) the butter and shortening until the mixture looks crumbly, like oatmeal (you want to distribute both throughout the flour mixture).
In a small bowl, whisk the yolk a bit, add the lemon juice and enough ice water to measure 1/2 c (125 mL) total. Add a tablespoon of the liquid at a time to the flour mixture, stirring until combined… and the dough begins to hold together (you WON’T need all of the liquid). Dump the dough onto some plastic wrap – shape it into a disc and put it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Bring it out of the fridge for 15 minutes before rolling it out. Then, roll it onto a lightly floured surface – into a circle, about 14 inches in diameter.
Line a baking tin (I used a cookie sheet and then placed a rimmed baking sheet under it to catch the drips while it baked) with parchment paper. Transfer your crust to the lined cookie sheet (I used my rolling-pin to roll part of the crust over it, and then lay it out again).
Filling: Mix together the sugar, ground almonds and flour in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the crust (I didn’t use all of the mixture).
Gently toss the plums and peaches with a little less than a 1/4 c sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it). Add them to the center of the crust. Sprinkle the currants throughout. And dab a bit of butter here and there (not much though).
Then, gently fold up the sides of the crust. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle it with sugar.
Bake at 425 F (220 C) for the first 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 F (190 C) for 30 – 35 minutes (until the crust is a golden brown and the fruit is bubbly).
Have you made a galette in the past? Did you try this one? Drop me a note in the comments section, I love hearing from you!!
**Check out Expat in Germany’s Food Friday link-up!