I know, I know...your probably tired of reading about peaches from me. And one would think that I would be tired of talking about and cooking with them. But no, I found myself a bit sad yesterday as I pulled the last peach from our peach picking extravaganza out of the fridge. Over the weekend, when I still had a bowl of them on the counter I decided to make this Peach Galette.
I've never made a galette before, and there are no pictures in the cook book I used, so I was pulling from memories to decipher exactly how it was supposed to turn out. Later in the weekend, after fully enjoying this dessert, I looked it up in my ever faithful Food Lover's Companion. I learned that a galette, hailing from France, is a round flat cake made of flaky-pastry dough, and can be topped with fruit, jam, nuts, meat, or cheese. Other galettes I found looked like this, and this.
All in all I was pretty happy with the look and much more importantly the taste of my little galette. Also I liked it for its similarities to pie, but much more free form, and easy to pull together. The crust turned out nice and flaky but substantial, and the filling was pure comfort food, soft bits of peach with an essence of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Adapted from Cooking Fresh from the Bay Area
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cane sugar (or white sugar)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup cold whole milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
6 peaches, peeled and cut into slices or chopped*
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Blend flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. With a pastry knife or two knives, cut the butter into flour, until the mixture resembles a course meal. Leaving some butter chunks about the size of peas. In a separate small bowl add the milk to the vinegar, and stir briskly. Sprinkle over the flour mixture. Work the liquid into the mix using your fingers to mash, turn, and lift until it forms a ball of dough.
On a lightly floured surface, gently press the ball into a flat disk, and using a rolling pin, roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick. At this point you could trim it into a circle (using a plate as your guide) or leave it as is to have a little more dough to cover the filling in the middle. Prick the pastry in several places with a fork and set it to chill on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling, peel and cut the peaches and place in a strainer over a bowl to let the excess juices drain. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Discard the juice and place the cut peaches and and flour mixture into a bowl, toss carefully until the peaches are fully coated.
Spoon the peaches into the center of the dough round. Fold the edges up to partially enclose the filling. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, covered with plastic wrap.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the galette for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden brown. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
Peaches from Peter Wolfe Ranch, also available at farmer's markets right now in Northern California. Butter from Clover Organic Farms, and milk from Straus Family Creamery.
*Before I started canning last week my Aunt turned me on to an easy trick for peeling peaches. Boil a pot of water and then drop the peaches into the boiling water for about 20-30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon put them in a bowl and rinse under cold water to cool. The skin just slides right off.
This galette can easily be pre-made and stored, to be baked later. I made mine in the morning then wrapped it up well in plastic wrap for several hours before baking it fresh at a friends BBQ later that evening.
Serves 8 easily as a dessert.
(photography by: alison clayshulte)