The summer of 2015 was the summer of the galette. They were all over my instagram feed, and I contributed to a couple of them, too. When my mom and I was up in Seattle visiting my sister's family and helping out after my nephew was born with an unusual developmental condition called Prader Willi Syndrome, I baked galettes. Seattle, it should be said, is one of the world's best places to bake. And while we were still in that scary phase of learning what the diagnosis would mean, at least we had something comfortingly familiar to eat. (It's actually been a year since my nephew was born, and he is doing amazingly well thanks to the work my sister and her husband have dedicated to him. He's also just naturally a sweet, happy kid.)
Back to baking: I will never give up on pie, but lately it’s hard to get away from galettes. They allow you to be creative in ways that classic pie cannot. They are also convenient: They can be big or small, they bake faster, and they are easy to freeze. And since markets are reaching Peak Fruit and you're going to need something to do with the peaches, plums, or berries, wby not go all in with galettes? .
Before you start, a few tricks I’ve learned:
- When you make your pie dough, experiment with rye flour, buckwheat flour, or cornmeal. Try swapping out 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for one of those alternates. I made an all-whole wheat crust, too, which was great. But I thought it needed a tablespoon of sugar to balance it a bit.
- With really juicy fruit, like strawberries, try macerating the fruit for at least an hour or overnight with some sugar. The fruit will lose some of its liquid as it absorbs the sugar. You can cook the liquid down into a syrup, if you’d like, and stir it back into the fruit. (Or you can simply save the juices for a summer drink with sparking water.)
- To further sop up fruit juices and ensure the crust doesn't get soggy, I mix a bit of almond meal with sugar and place it at the base of the galette before piling on the fruit. But don't get too crazed when juices run over the edge of the galette. It comes with the territory. That's why...
- do line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Consider aluminum foil if parchment paper is unavailable. Cleaning up fruit juice that has caked itself onto the pan is a pain.
- To avoid allowing the galette to glue itself to the parchment paper as it cools, lightly coat the paper with nonstick spray and/or nudge the galette slightly to the side once it’s out of the oven to dislodge it a bit. This saves having any paper stick to the bottom of the galette.
- Chill the dough after rolling it out and before putting the fruit on it. It gives the dough a better texture and allows it to relax in between rolling and baking.
This recipe makes 4 (8-inch) plum galettes and requires 1 recipe for double-crust pie (I make one from a previous blog post with 2 cups flour, 14 tablespoons butter, pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup ice water). The same recipe can be used to make other fruit pies using the same quantity (about 8 ounces) of fruit per galette.
- 1 recipe for a double-crust pie dough
- 2 lbs / 908 g plums, pitted and sliced
- About 1 cup / 195 g granulated or organic cane sugar
- 8 tablespoons almond meal or finely ground almonds
- Divide the dough into 4 even pieces and pat into small hamburger patties. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
- Combine plums with 1/2 cup sugar. In a separate small bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons / 40 g sugar with almond meal.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. For each galette, let dough round sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then flatten into a disk on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12-inch round, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes. (It is easiest to work in batches, shaping and baking 2 galettes at a time.)
- Sprinkle almond meal/sugar in the center of each round. Taste fruit; if it is very tart, plan on sprinkling more sugar on top before the fruit bakes. Pile the fruit in the center, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold edges over and crimp. Brush the crust with water or egg white and sprinkle the crust and the fruit with sugar. You should be able to fit 2 galettes on one half-sheet pan.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling.