Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Have a craving for pie but want an easy version with some French rusticity to it? Then a galette is the dessert for you. Blackberries are in season and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to incorporate them into a something sweet. The cool thing about galettes is that they are staggeringly versatile. If you don't want peach and/or blackberries you can choose pretty much any other fruit you want (strawberry-rhubarb, apple-cinnamon, mixed berries, banana-caramel, etc..) or you can omit the sugar from the pastry and make a savoury galette (eggs, vegetables, meat, cheese, etc.. you could even make a simple stew with a béchamel or velouté sauce which would be fantastic).
Depending on where you live you should be able to find ready-made pie pastry at the grocery store. Just don't expect it to be half as good as stuff you can make on your own. It does take some extra time, effort and clean up - but fresh pastry is something to be appreciated. It all depends on your schedule and how much it matters to you. You can make your pastry manually or with a blender. I recommend you make it from scratch.
This recipe will yield four servings.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
1 tbsp sugar (plus a little extra for sprinkling)
1 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp ice cold water
2 peaches, stoned and cubed (I used a white-flesh peach and a regular common peach)
5 oz fresh blackberries
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp milk
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 400F/205C.
Time to make the pastry. In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubes of butter. The secret to great pastry is to have your butter very cold and remember that the more you work it the more it will conduct a little heat. If you have a blender, pulse the mixture until it comes together into a sandy texture. If you don't have an electric blender, a pastry cutter/blender is best but you can use two forks or even your fingers (just remember your fingers are warm and that is the enemy to good pastry). Have some ice cold water ready at your side. Add 2 tbsps of the water and stir immediately. You will have to add a little more water but add it little by little. If you add too much your pie will be ruined. You want just enough water to bring everything together into a simple dough. Once achieved, flatten into a disc and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or place it in your fridge from anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of days.
While the pastry is chilling, put the filling together. Add the cubed peaches (no need to remove the skin) to a bowl with the sugar, corn starch, milk and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Let it sit for a minute or two to get nice and juicy. Add the blackberries and give stir just enough to incorporate. If you add the blackberries earlier they will get pulverized and stain your filling.
Lightly flour a clean, flat surface and place the dough on it. Lightly flour the top of the dough and a rolling pin. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. With a knife, cut any excess pastry dough from the edge to make a circular shape (do not fuss about perfection).
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using the rolling pin, gently roll the pastry on the center of the parchment paper. Spoon the fruit mixture in the middle of the pastry leaving a couple of inches around the perimeter. Working around, gently bring up the sides of the pastry and crimp them. If you end up with a little cracking or leakage, don't worry about it. Your end result should look something like this:
Crack an egg into a small bowl and add a little bit of water just to thin it. Lightly brush the pastry with the egg wash to ensure a nice, golden colour when it bakes. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar over the pastry and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. The pastry should be golden and flaky and the fruit mixture should be hot and bubbly.
You can serve warm, room temperature or even cold. Galettes go great with ice cream, but here I cut some crème fraîche with a little cream and my own vanilla sugar and whipped it into soft peaks. You can get soft peaks with crème fraîche on its own, but the regular cream helps it along.