Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fruit Galette

Fruit Galette

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

A galette is an open, rustic, French pie - there's no need to worry about making it look perfect! It will look beautiful once it has baked! Use any fruit such as apples, rhubarb, apricots, peaches, plums, etc. 

1 1/2 lbs of fruit
a few squirts of lemon or lime juice
3 Tbs butter (for dotting the fruit before baking)
1/3 cup brown sugar (for sprinkling on the pie before baking)

Prepare the fruit.  Peel it, pit it (as needed) and cut it into pieces - quarter the plums or apricots, cut rhubarb into 2 inch pieces and apples or peaches into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the prepared fruit in a bowl, add lemon or lime and mix the fruit to coat it well.  You can use a little more or less juice, if you prefer, but you must use enough to coat and stop the fruit from browning, especially apples. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Next prepare the base:

3 Tbs whole ground almonds
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs flour

Place these ingredients in the food processor and pulse until they look like very fine bread crumbs. Set aside.

The secret to the pastry lies in having all ingredients very cold, leaving the shortening in large chunks, working very quickly and allowing the dough to rest in a cold environment before baking. If you keep your flour in the refrigerator it will always be cold when you need it!

For the pastry:

8 oz cold organic, whole grain, pastry flour
6 oz cold butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup ice cold water

Cut the butter into 1 cubes. Measure the flour, mix in the salt and place in the food processor. Make sure to keep the water cold until you're ready to use it.

Add the cold butter to the cold flour in the food processor and process to a count of 8 short pulses, so that the butter is cut very little and mixed roughly into the flour - the butter should still be clearly visible and no less than about 1/2" in size. Pour the water in through the funnel to a count of 4 short pulses. The dough should form into a ball. You will have to work with this until you produce the required results as it is affected by your environment. You can now wrap it in some plastic and put it in the refrigerator or use it immediately.

Place the ball of dough onto a lightly floured silicone mat or, failing that, a piece of grease proof or waxed paper. Carefully press a rolling pin down across the dough starting in the middle, working towards the edges and slowly flattening it. Always work from the middle to the edges with the pin or you will stretch and break the dough. Keep the pin and dough lightly floured and flip the dough occasionally to avoid sticking. Work methodically, turning the dough a little when the pin reaches the sides, rolling it into an oblong about 15 inches across, 18 inches long and about an 1/8 inch thick. Leave it on the silicone mat/waxed paper and put it on a cookie sheet.  Spread the prepared base cover to within an inch of the edge. The base cover will keep the bottom layer of pastry dry and crisp.

Spread the fruit to the edge of the nut mixture and carefully fold the pastry edge up over the fruit. If the pastry tears or develops a hole, patch it with a little pastry from the edge. Dot the fruit with tiny chunks of the 3 Tbs butter. Dampen the pastry edges with some of the liquid left in the bowl and pour the rest over the fruit. Sprinkle the fruit and damp edges with the 3 Tbs brown sugar.Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Meantime heat the oven to 400 degrees F or 204 degrees C.

Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 1 hour. The pastry should be brown and the fruit soft. If you have used grease proof or waxed paper, slide a knife under the pastry as soon as it comes out of the oven to ensure any escaped juices don't make it stick. Brush a little berry jelly or strained preserves over the fruit to give it a sheen. The pie can be eaten cooled a little or completely cold.

Serve as is or with mascarpone, whipped cream or ice cream.


This is a plum galette

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