Summer Plum Galette

I spent Fourth of July, 2016 in Mungeli, a village in rural India where I worked as a public health intern for a grassroots level hospital along with other Denison students. For most of them, missing out on Fourth of July was a big thing (and rightly so). I have missed the past four Diwalis and I know how that feels. As a way to celebrate some of that American culture with our homesick friends, we decided to make some truly red, white, and blue dishes– Mashed Potatoes, Mac & Cheese, and a Pie. With some compromises, the first two dishes were made quite successfully. The potatoes were small, with very little starch but turned out quite creamy and buttery. The macaroni pasta was replaced by semolina wheat penne and the cheddar cheese was replaced with salty, processed Amul cheese but hey! It was better than nothing.

Sadly we couldn’t make the pie. Sugar was scarce, so were fruits, and well, we didn’t have an oven. However, the idea of making a pie stuck with me until I went back home to Delhi in August. I have always been scared of the oven. I feel like I have no control when I am cooking with an oven. I usually overthink the temperatures and either overcook (sometimes burn) or undercook my dish. But I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to conquer the oven. This is when I came across Mellissa Clark’s recipe of a galette. A free form artisanal tart, filled with fresh seasonal fruit that become a syrupy jam as they caramelize slowly under the even heat of an oven. She used peaches and cherries with a french cookie crust. The thing I loved the most about this recipe was how forgiving it was. Unlike a tart, or a pie this kind of broke the norms of french finesse by displaying a form of perfection in its imperfections.

Finding this pastry was SO exciting that I started thinking of how to adapt this recipe for the climate, fruits, and ingredients that might be available to me. I chose to change the crust from the french cookie style which would have been quite crumbly and thick to a more traditional pie crust that might add some depth in flavor, some creaminess, and most importantly something that can hold the weight of jammy fruit without ripping apart. The second thing I changed was the fruit. From peaches and cherries, I chose Plums. Plums are one my favorite summer fruits. They come under the category of stone fruits– a family of juicy fruits that tend to have a low sugar content. Plums look magical, with their deep burgundy, purple hues that are speckled with tan dots like stars in a galaxy. Additionally, they have such a unique taste to them. The skin is tart, a flavor spreads quickly over your tongue followed by a gush of sweet watery juice that annuls the millisecond of sour. It reminds me of a warheads or other sour candies that I had as a child (before I was allergic to citric acid and they burnt my tongue).

Plum

Add some blueberries and this will make an amazing Fourth of July dessert! The blueberries will increase the sweetness so adjust added sugar and cornflour accordingly. Additionally, I would top it with a vanilla bean ice cream and chuck the annual boring pie!

Have a try! Like, share, and let me know how it goes!

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour [can be replaced with almond flour]

1 Stick (8 tablespoons) of Salted Butter, cold and cubed [if you are using unsalted better then add 1/4 teaspoon of salt] {almond or hazelnut butter tastes good too}

2 to 4 tablespoons of ice cold water

For the filling:

3 cups of fruits (plums, peaches, blueberries, cherries)

3/4 cup of sugar (or to taste)

3 tablespoons of cornflour (add only 2 tablespoons if you are adding blueberries)

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

Eggwash and crust topping:

1 Large egg

2 tablespoons of water

3 teaspoons of sugar

Preparation

Crust:

Step 1 

In a food processor blend together the flour and butter until the mixture forms bean-size pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet.

Step 2

Put dough on lightly floured counter and pat it together to make one uniform piece. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours.

Step 3 

Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (400 degrees farenheit). Roll the dough out to a 12-inch (30 cm) round. Dont worry if its uneven. It goes with the rustic vibe! Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill while preparing the filling.

Filling

Step 1

Toss together fruit, the lemon zest, and the cornstarch. Use more cornstarch for juicy stone fruit and less for blueberries, and raspberries. Pile fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Gently fold the pastry over the fruit, pleating to hold it in. Again, imperfect is totally fine. Brush the crust generously with one beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle the 3 teaspoons sugar on the crust.

Step 2 

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling bubbles up vigorously and the crust is golden. Cool for at least 20 minutes (prime instagram picture time). Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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