I am having a great summer. My summer job (at a summer-long camp for boys) keeps me feeling like I am outdoors most of the day, even though I work in the office. I have had an eerily good run of days off with excellent weather; it always seems to rain on days when I’m working, when it rains at all. My brain is finally relaxed after nine months of intense social work classes last school year, and (dare I say it) perhaps I’m even ready to dive back into all that again in a few weeks.
To symbolize this wonderful summer, I wanted to make a special dessert this weekend. I’ve been combing my 44 (and counting) food blog feeds for pie recipes. I don’t know, for some reason I just have pie on the brain. My friend Tony recommended key lime pie, which I very nearly chose this weekend (I have been eyeing this recipe from Baking Bites). However, I was feeling a little more loose, a little more flexible, perhaps from all the So You Think You Can Dance I’ve been watching lately. I wanted something a little less precise, a little less confined-to-the-pan. The solution? A galette, or free-form tart. This type of tart uses a fairly sturdy and mostly fool-proof dough that usually contains a bit of cornmeal. Summer fruit desserts are pretty much my favorite thing ever, so to fill my galette I chose fresh blueberries, peaches, apricots, plums, and raspberries.
This was my first time making a galette, and I clearly don’t have the dough thickness down yet. The part of my galette that is NOT visible in the photo is the side where I rolled the pastry too thin. Too thin pastry = juices leaking out everywhere. On the upside, I enjoyed several spoonfuls of warm filling that had spilled out onto the baking sheet when I pulled it out of the oven. Yum! :)
The pastry dough itself is very easy to handle, not terribly finicky. I chilled my dough per the original recipe and found that it rolled pretty well. Next time I will be more careful about looking over the pastry for thin spots (and reinforcing them) before filling the galette with all that glorious fruit.
This tart is so simple, and so delicious, I don’t think I need to say much more about it than that.
Adapted from The Skillet Chronicles
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup organic cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water (may need more or less, I needed a bit more)
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt, stirring well. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, blending with a fork until dough comes together. Turn dough onto a large piece of parchment and gently form into a ball. Flatten ball into a rough disk shape, wrap completely and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour but not more than 24 hours. (Dough can be frozen at this point for future use.)
Berry and Stone Fruit Filling
Adapted from The Skillet Chronicles
2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced
2 fresh apricots, pitted and sliced
1 large black plum, pitted and sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons milk
In a medium mixing bowl, combine fruits, the 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and salt, stirring gently. Set aside while you roll out the pastry.
Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a large piece of parchment paper, being careful not to let any one area get too thin. Entire piece of pastry should be about 1/8 inch thick. Slide parchment and dough onto a baking sheet. Dough can be refrigerated at this point, up to one hour (if you have not made your filling yet, for example).
Preheat oven to 375F. When ready to bake, arrange fruit mixture in center of chilled pastry dough, leaving a border of about 2 inches around the outside edge. Gently fold the pastry up over the fruit, pressing the dough into evenly-spaced pleats to enclose the fruit. Use a bench scraper or sharp broad knife to gently loosen dough from parchment if it sticks or resists folding. Brush the pastry edge with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool until galette is set enough to slide off the baking sheet. Can be served warm or at room temperature.