Monday, October 17, 2016

Cooking is Cheaper than Therapy: The Forgiving Fruit Galette

As the New York Times once said, "A pie is homey. A tart is fancy. And a galette splits the difference... "

Galette is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or free form, and very rustic looking pastry. A basic pie dough is rolled out flat, then folded around the filling. In Italy the same free form pastry is often referred to as a crostata. Classic and beloved chefs, such as Julia Child, Jacque Pepin, and contemporary chefs like Ina Garten and Martha Stewart all have their own galette recipes - and essentially they are all the same. 

I have chosen not to even bother posting a recipe for a galette crust. Use your favorite single pie crust recipe, or even purchase the crust - yes, you heard me right. Just go buy the rounds of pastry crust and enjoy the free time. 

The recipe is very simple and so basic that you will never forget - - and almost fail proof. For a stone fruit or a berry galette, around four cups of fresh or thawed frozen fruit will work.  A mixture of fruits like peach and berry, as seen below, are pretty and colorful. 

If you have chosen to bake an apple galette, around four - five apples (peeled and sliced) will be sufficient. Granny Smith or JonaGold works the best - basically any cooking apple. You can also add a pop of color by sprinkling in a few raisins, nuts, or even fresh cranberries. When using apples be sure to add some lemon juice to keep the apples white, and even a sprinkling of lemon zest will add a nice accent of flavor. Preparing an apple galette, I generally top the filling with about a tablespoon of chilled butter, chopped and dabbed in small pieces. However, if you forget - no worries. 

A savory galette? For another time, but an assortment of vegetables, cheeses, bacon, ham, fresh herbs, or even a layer of sliced potatoes, caramelized onions, and cheese could be quite tasty as an appetizer or meal.  Maybe pears, brie, and walnuts? It's endless. 


Peach and Blueberry Galette
The ingredients for the filling, as per the photo: 

1 single pie crust, your favorite recipe or store bought. 
1 lb. peaches, fresh or thawed, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 2 cups) 
3/4 lb. blueberries, fresh or thawed, rinsed and sorted (about 2 cups) 
1/4 cup brown sugar, or more to taste 
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, may use another tablespoon if fruit is extra juicy 
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 
Pinch of table salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet of parchment paper on baking pan. You will be happy you added the parchment paper to the pan. Easy clean-up. Prepare a single crust pie dough into a flattened shape of about 12-13" round (or use store bought crust). Place pie crust dough on parchment paper on baking pan. 

Prepare the fruit filling. In a medium bowl, toss the peaches, blueberries, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mound or arrange your fruit in a pattern, leaving about 1-1/2 inches of space around the perimeter of the dough. Fold the outside edge of the dough over the fruit, making occasional pleats. Sprinkle lightly white sugar evenly over the dough and fruit. 

Bake the galette until the crust turns a light brown and the filling bubbles, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven. While cooling, an option is to make the crust and fruit "shiny" by brushing with melted jam or jelly, especially apple jelly. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into wedges and serve warm. An option is to serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream - always a welcomed addition. Easy! 









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