Oh! Plums! These delicious garnet-colored jewels are here and they are absolutely delicious! This is what I look forward to all year -- the arrival of stone fruit season. I love them all, but plums, cherries, and nectarines are my personal all-stars.
We were invited to one of our friends' place for dinner and I volunteered to bring dessert. Interestingly enough, I really agonized about what to bring. Matters were further complicated by the fact that whatever I made had to come together quickly, as R had reading camp in the afternoon, and we were going to have an early dinner (the hosts were catching a 6:30am flight to the East coast). Well that put a kink in many of my first choices. I then was able to narrow the range down to something where 'fruit' would be the star. I mean, why bother with chocolate desserts now when we have all this glorious fruit bounty in front of us? There will be many a dreary, gray, cold, winter day when chocolate desserts will have their turn (and suddenly the world is a better place :-)).
Anyway, after quite some time perusing my cookbooks, reading blogs, googling, etc, I decided on something - a Plum Galette! Are you surprised? Well, I was too. You would think that after all the time I spent
thinking obsessing about what to make for dessert, I'd at least pick something more complicated. Well, sorry to have let you down. Please don't go away. I promise, it was simple, but oh so delicious!
Well, my dilemma did not end there. There are a gazillion recipes for galettes, so I was actually quite at a loss as to which recipe I should pick. They all have their pros and cons. Well, suffice it to say that I finally picked a hybrid recipe. The galette crust recipe was from Cooks Illustrated (have I told you I love these guys?) and the filling recipe was borrowed from Jacques Pepin via a post on the Daily Green.
Why the hybrid recipe? I loved the idea of adding cornmeal to the galette crust (and I was not dissappointed. It provided a really nice texture and earthiness to the crust). I liked the addition of ground almonds to the filling. It really helped absorb any liquid the plums put out upon baking, and did a great job alleviating the soggy crust problem. This isn't such a big deal if you plan on serving the galette immediately after baking, but I needed it to keep for a few hours.
I hope you enjoy it!
Plum Almond Galette
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp ice water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup fine stoneground cornmeal
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbsp cream (for brushing pastry)
3 cups plums, ripe but firm, cut into 1/4 inch slices
5 tsp sugar, plus upto 2 tsp more if needed
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into slivers
2 tbsp finely ground almonds
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
For the Pastry:
1. Stir together the sour cream and water in a small cup and set aside in the refrigerator.
2. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Scatter half of the butter pieces over the flour mixture, and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas, about 4 one-second pulses. Scatter the remaining butter over the flour mixture, and pulse till most of the butter is incorporated, and a few pea-size pieces of butter remain. While processing, add the sour cream and water mixture, and process just until the dough comes together around the blade. Please do not overprocess, or you will sacrifice flakiness of the crust.
3. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten into a 6-inch disk, wrap well, and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days ahead.
4. When ready to roll and bake the galette, adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400F.
5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap the dough between 2 large sheets of parchment papper and roll roll into a 13-inch round, still between the sheets of parchment. Slide the dough (still with parchement on each side) onto a large baking sheet and chill 20 minutes.
Assembling the galette:
1. Combine the almonds, 2 tbsp flour, and 2 tbsp sugar. Set aside.
2. Remove the rolled dough from the refrigerator. Carefully peel top sheet of parchment paper off. Sprinkle the almond mixture on the dough.
3. Pile the sliced plums in the center of the dough, leaving a 2 1/2 inch border of dough. Sprinkle 3 tsp sugar (you can use 5 tsp if your plums are underripe or sour) on top of the fruit. Dot with slivers of butter.
4. Pry the dough off the bottom layer of parchment a bit at a time and fold the edges of the dough over the fruit. Don't worry too much about making it pretty. If you gather the dough a bit at a time, you should have it pleat quite easily. Either way, fret not. It will look great once it bakes. If your dough is sticking to the parchment paper, use a thin spatula to loosen it from the paper.
5. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the dough with the cream and sprinke with remaining 2 tsp of sugar.
6. Bake at 400F until the crust is golden brown and crisp, and the fruit is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and allow the galette to cool about 10 minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the galette directly onto the wire rack to cool an additional 10 minutes. Serve the galette warm or at room temperature. Good vanilla ice-cream served alongside would be divine and a sure way to please your guests.