Friday, July 27, 2012

Galette = Easy Elegance

I love pie, but in all my years of eating and making it, I had never tried a galette.

That's funny, because it's hard to find something that's simpler to make than one of these beauties, which can be filled with just about anything you like, sweet or savory.

This particular variation is based on a recipe from the Martha Baking Handbook. You start with a cornmeal pate brisee, a.k.a, crust, which is very similar to regular pie dough. Chill, then roll out into a large round and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. (These things tend to leak.)

In a large bowl, toss together whatever fruits you're using (I chose plums and blueberries--delicious!) with some sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt.  A bit of cinnamon wouldn't hurt either.

Then pile the fruit in the center of your dough and simply fold up the dough all around it.  Before baking, for about an hour, brush the edges of the dough with a beaten egg and dust with sanding sugar.

This is one of the most delicious pies, tarts, or galettes I've ever eaten.  Really good with a dollop of whipped cream.  The crust is crisp (at least for the first day or two) and sweet, with a nice subtle undertone from the cornmeal, and the fruit is beautifully steamed and juicy.

I would serve this the same day for the best results as the juicy fruit tends to soften the crust the longer it sits.

Cornmeal Pate Brisee


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


Place the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter, and process, until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, pour the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, until the dough just holds together (do not process for more than 30 seconds).

Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten each to form a disk. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before using.

Plum-Blueberry Filling

1/2 recipe cornmeal pate brisee
1 1/2 pounds stone fruit (plums, apricots, or nectarines) pitted and cut into sixths
2 cups fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 a lemon
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional)

In a large bowl, gently toss fruit, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon if using.  Arrange fruit mixture on top of dough, leaving at least a 2-inch border all around. Fold border over fruit mixture, overlapping where necessary and pressing gentle to adhere the folds. Brush edges with egg and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Transfer on baking sheet to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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