Among the four seasons, summer has got to be my least favorite. I hate the heat and humidity that summer brings. The worst time for a pastry girl who likes to play with chocolate, laminated dough and macarons.
I often told my friends that I wouldn't mind the long cold and dry months in Chicago, because that's the best weather condition to bake! And I wasn't kidding.
The only redeeming aspect of summer, in my pastry oriented point of view is the endless stream of juicy sweet berries and stone fruits. I reconcile my dislike for summer with many bowls of sweet cherries in front of the computer in an air-conditioned room. When I muster enough courage to turn on the oven, I make many fruit tarts with the berries, peaches, apricot and nectarines.
Depending on my mood, sometime I like to leave the fruits unbaked and garnish directly onto the sweet tart shell with a little pastry cream,like these. Sometime, I like to bake the dough and fruits together, like these gorgeous galettes.
I made a few galettes last week when the temperature hadn't hit triple digits in the east coast. The abundant bounty of stone fruits at the grocery store screamed out loud to be baked that I couldn't turn a deaf ear. So I lugged as many home as OCT allowed. Along with the SUPER sweet mango and lychee, which I snack on everyday. (more on the mango and lychee next time).
Back to the galette. I made a 9-inch one for OCT's lab and a few smaller ones for us. I adapted the flaky dough recipe from one of my favorite author Ina Garten and the filling and custard idea and recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours.
I love how flaky and sturdy the dough is, which can hold a thin layer of my homemade strawberry jam, sprinkled graham cracker crumbs, various kinds of stone fruits and blueberries and a little sweet custard that was poured in when the galette was almost done.
A rustic but absolutely delectable and flexible dessert. You can use whatever stone fruits you have on hand, replace the jam with another kind of preserve and sprinkle almond flour to soak up some of the oozing fruit juice instead of graham cracker. The galette was so good that it doesn't need any adornment other than a few sprinkle of powdered sugar.
It is definitely a recipe that makes the sweltering summer heat slightly bearable.
I am planing to show OCT how to make this galette,so he can make it for us in the coming months while I hide in the air-conditioned room with bowlful of cherries. :)
Summer Fruit Galette
for the pastry
adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 tablespoons (3 ounces)ice water
Put the all purpose flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a spatula to stir and make sure that they are well mixed. Add in the diced butter. Use your hand and fingers to break up the pieces of butter and at the same time, rub the butter into the dry ingredients. (you can do this in the food processor, but I find it easier to do it by hand)
Stop when the butter is the size of pea.(you will see pieces of butter in your finished dough, but that is what gives you the flakiness in the tart) Add in the ice water and gently knead to make a dough.Depending on the humidity level, you may or may not need all the water. Stop when the dough almost come together. (you will see some pieces of flour at the bottom of the bowl that refuse to be binded)
Turn the dough (including the flour at the bottom of the bowl) out onto a well-floured board. Roll it into a ball with well floured hands, and cut in half. Flatten the doughs into 2 flat disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. If you are going to use one disk,the second one can be freezed and use later.
For the filling:
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
jam/marmaleide (i used homemade strawberry jam)
graham cracker crumbs (or almond flour)
summer fruits of your choice (i used nectarine, peach and blueberry), sliced
vanilla custard (combine 3 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Preheat the oven to 425F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the pastry out from the cooler and roll it out on a well floured board into a 11 inch circle. Remember to turn the dough as you roll it out, so it doesn't stick to the board. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky to work with. Transfer the roll out dough onto the sheet pan.
Use a 9 inch cake pan as your guide, mark a circle in the middle of the dough. Spread a thin layer of jam in the circle, and spread the cookie crumb on top. Arrange the sliced fruits within the confine of the circle. Carefully fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge.
Keep it in the cooler for 15 minutes so the dough has a chance to relax.
When ready to bake, brush the border of the galette with water and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar. (You can use granulated sugar too, but I like the crunch of turbinado)
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the galette turns golden and the fruits are soft. With a tablespoon, carefully pour some vanilla custard into the galette. Take care not to fill up too much until it overflow. You may not be able to use up all the mixture, but a few tablespoons will help to firm up the oozing juice from the baked fruits.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the custard has set.
Let cool on a cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar when ready to serve.