There's something about making homemade fruit pies with a flaky, buttery crust that makes me happy. My grandmother taught me to make pies so perhaps it's that connection that soothes me. See Mammaw ... I remember what you taught me, with your strong hands gently rolling soft dough into family memories.
Plums are nearly perfect in every way. They're sweet, juicy, soft, tart and absolutely satisfying. Whether made into jam or eaten fresh from the tree, they've always been a favorite of mine. And don't you know they make a pretty terrific pie too.
I've made a lot of crusts over the years so I am often surprised when a find a new version I really like. This recipe from Jacques Pepin as posted in Food & Wine magazine is "buttery, flaky and very forgiving." While I'm not usually happy with an all butter crust, this is the exception. Made completely in the food processor it comes together in two pulses of the switch. I adjusted the water down a little because I have found it makes for a flakier crust. Too much water makes a crust tough.
Rustic tarts, Galettes and even pie crusts can be perfected with very little effort. This Galette is like a really thin pie make without a dish. I trimmed the crust so I could use the extra for decoration but it's not necessary. It doesn't matter if it turns out round or odd shaped. Divide the dough and make two smaller Galettes, that makes it easier to share :)
I was really getting into this dessert so I ended up layering the plum slices in concentric circles. It tastes just as great with a pile-o-plums and that gives it a much more rustic presentation.
Bake for about an hour or until the fruit is very soft and the crust golden brown.
Lightly brush the fruit with plum, raspberry or apricot jam to add a little sweetness and that lovely shinny glaze.
for the pastry:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons ice water
for the filling:
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons ground almonds
3 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 pounds large plums, halved, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch wedges.
(Use 2 1/2 pounds of plums if you prefer a thicker Galette with the plums piled high)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup good quality plum, apricot or raspberry preserves, strained if chunky or seedy
1 tablespoon turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling on the crust
To make the crust put 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 sticks butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 5 seconds. Be careful not to over process. The butter should still be in chunks. Add the ice cold water and pulse 5 more seconds or until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a disc. Place on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 16 (+-) circle. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and then in half again. Transfer to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Unfold the dough and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the ground almonds and 3 tablespoons of flour. Spread the almond mixture over the dough leaving a 2 inch border. Arrange the sliced plus on top and dot with 3 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Fold the edge of the dough up over the plums to create a border. Sprinkle the border with 1 tablespoon of turbinado or coarse sugar.
Bake the Galette on the middle rack for about 1 hour, or until the fruit is very soft and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the hot fruit with the preserves. Allow the Galette to cool to room temperature and serve.
(adapted from Food & Wine)
Did I mention I'm on vacation? We're having a wonderful relaxing day in Florida, searching for shells, taking long walks on the beach, playing with a new camera and eating way too much. Oh yeah naps. We get to take naps. This is way better than working! I'll have vacation photos to post next week so stay tuned. And, please check back later this week for a wonderful, delicious, healthy recipe for Taco Soup.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope your day is wonderful and fun.