Bikini season, what?!
I am getting so fat. Seriously, I’m not even kidding. Ever since our AC started working again I’ve been baking like a maniac. In this heat wave? Yes…and I can’t stop. Everywhere I turn there’s a farmer’s market with the most gorgeous summer fruit and all I can think about is making golden, buttery galettes! I’m the type that when something’s in season, my eyes glaze over and I buy it all. Peaches are in at the moment and my kitchen is stocked. Not only that, my freezer holds a precious batch of flaky pastry dough that I made back in May in full anticipation of this seasonal splendor.
I’m not a huge fan of pies, but I adore galettes. Why? Because of their even filling to crust ratio. Galettes or ‘free-form’ tarts are made without using a tart shell. They claim to be simple and rustic, but at first I just didn’t get it. How do they fold the sides like that? Why is my filling running all over the place? Why doesn’t mine look like the picture?
So, first let’s talk pastry dough-
If you’re a baker or a pie enthusiast, I’m sure that you have an opinion about pastry dough. All butter? Shortening? A combination of the two? I prefer an all-butter crust for its superior flavor. But these days I throw in a little shortening for flakiness. Leaving the butter in large chunks will also give you a flaky crust, however a little bit of both suits my taste.
See those big white spots of butter? That’s what you want.
Now, let’s talk about the sides-
First and foremost, you have to work with cold dough. That is the only way. Soft, overworked dough is too difficult to fold and will usually result in a tough crust (and a few foul-mouthed words). The second thing is to create a 2-3 inch border so that you can actually pull up the the sides over the fruit. If your border is too narrow, you won’t get the full effect.
If at anytime your dough starts to tear while folding, gently press it back together. If it starts to soften up, just pop it back in the fridge (make space ahead of time!) Remember, cold is key.
As far as the filling goes, galettes can be made with any kind of fruit. Keep in mind that all fruits have different moisture contents. Peaches hold up pretty well, while berries do not. Cornstarch will help to thicken up any running juices. And if a little spills over, it’s totally ok. You’re going for that ‘rustic’ look.
On that note, don’t worry about making your galette look like the pictures- each one should be unique and different, like you! After all, they are homemade.
*To get ahead, I always make my dough in advance. You can either refrigerate it (up to 3 days) or freeze it. This way you can whip up a galette whenever the mood strikes.
*It is best to use firm, ripe peaches for this recipe. They are easier to slice and will hold their shape while baking.
*For best results, bake your galette on a pizza stone. The bottom crust will be perfectly crisp.
- 2½ c. flour
- 14 tbsp. unsalted butter (cold), cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp. shortening (cold), cut into cubes
- ¼ c. sugar
- ½ tsp. fine grain sea salt
- small glass of ice water
- 2-3 firm, ripe peaches
- juice of ½ small lemon
- ¼ c. sugar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 tbsp. apricot jam, divided
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. sanding sugar
- ¼ c. slivered almonds
- Preheat your oven to 375 F. If using a pizza stone, place inside of the oven to heat up.
- Get ahead- Cut the butter and shortening into cubes and place in the freezer. Then, make enough space in your refrigerator to fit 1 baking sheet. If your dough starts to soften, place it there to chill (and thank me later...)
- Make the dough- In a food processor, add the flour, cold butter & shortening, sugar, and salt. Pulse 5-8 times until the butter is the size of peas. Slowly add the ice water (1 tbsp. at a time) and pulse the machine until the dough just comes together. You will use anywhere between 3-5 tbsp. of water depending on your dough. It's appearance should look crumbly, not like a ball. When you pinch some between your fingers and it sticks together, it's done.
- Dump the dough out onto a work surface and gently shape into a flat disk. If it seems too crumbly don't worry; it will come together as it rests in the fridge. Cut the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour - overnight.
- Make the filling- Run your knife around the peaches and twist open to reveal the pit. Cut each half into about (6) ½ inch slices.
- Transfer the peaches to a bowl. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Using your hands, gently mix to combine. Set aside.
- When your dough is nicely chilled, roll out 1 disk into a 12 inch circle (save the other disk for a future galette). Do this between 2 sheets of floured parchment paper so that it does not stick. Don't worry if it's not a perfect circle; you can trim the edges with a pairing knife or just leave it as is. Transfer the dough to the fridge to chill, leaving it on on the parchment paper. Let it rest for 15 minutes or until firm.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread 1 tbsp. of apricot jam onto the center of your dough creating a 2-3 inch border along the edge.
- Place your peaches in the center and fold up the sides, gently tucking them in between the peaches.*See note.
- Beat the egg with a splash of water and brush the sides of the dough.
- Sprinkle the peaches and outside of the dough with sanding sugar and almonds.
- Transfer your galette (by lifting up the parchment paper) to a baking sheet or preheated pizza stone. Bake on the center rack for 60-75 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
- When finished, brush the warm galette with the remaining apricot jam to lightly glaze. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.