This may sound a little sad to some, but I just ate my first fresh plum a few weeks ago. I don’t know why they never appealed before and I’ve no clue why they appealed at that time, but man am I hooked now. I’ve come to believe that we discover some things later than seems normal because, well, it was just the right time. I never had anything against plums, I’d just never tried one before. Realizing how much flavor they pack all on their own, I knew the time had come to try a dessert form I’ve been wanting to make for a while now.
And hey, lookit, we got to break out the fancy schmancy stuff for this one – the cognac! It goes in a simple sour cream accompaniment to the galette and it. is. divine. Yet another sauce or some such that I could eat all by itself with a spoon.
I made the pie crust the night before to cut out an hour of making the whole recipe the day before. As tempted as I was to reach for a yummy Pillsbury ready-made crust, we gave homemade a try and it was really good – taste-wise that is. We do want to warn that the pie crust recipe that accompanies the galette is not quite substantial enough, but we’ll talk more in the notes about that.
Here the crust has been rolled out and is getting a sprinkling of semolina flour and sugar. Why semolina flour, specifically? I couldn’t tell you, but I did manage to find some in the store, so we went with it. It seems to help wonderfully with thickening the fruit juices as the galette bakes. Not sure if regular flour would work or not.
Sis blogging partner worked her magic again and placed each wedge of plum onto the pie dough, leaving about an inch or so of the dough all the way around on the edge.
That edge is then folded carefully up over the edge of the fruit, crimping and pleating wherever necessary.
A little more sugar gets sprinkled over the top. It’s not much, but what little there is helps, again, make delicious fruity juices under the fruit, which thicken, as well as caramelizes the top.
And we’ve got a baked galette! It smells wonderful, of course! Grab yourself a small pastry brush and dab at those fruit juices that bubbled and frothed while baking and dab it onto the fruit.
A little powdered sugar is the last step before cooling. This will also help in further caramelizing the fruit.
This is such an easy dessert and it tastes like you made something that took hours and hours upon more hours. The plums are a great option for a galette, which is basically just an open-face pie, because they do have such great flavor all their own. You obviously don’t need to add much to them. I personally loved this one so much that I’m making a couple more to take into work soon. Others must know the goodness! Hope you give this a try and know it, too. Enjoy.
from Gourmet, August 2006 via Epicurious
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Level: Intermediate Serves: 8
For the pie crust (makes one pie crust):
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For the galette:
- 2 tablespoons semolina flour
- 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 large black or red plums (1 1/2 lb), halved, pitted, and each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
- 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
- 3/4 cup creme frache or sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Armagnac or Cognac (optional)
To make the pie crust:
Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water (for a single-crust pie) or 5 tablespoons for a double-crust pie evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.
Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough. Turn out dough onto a work surface. For a single-crust pie, divide dough into 4 portions; for a double-crust pie, divide dough into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together with pastry scraper. For a single-crust pie, press into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. For a double-crust pie, divide dough into 2 pieces, with one slightly larger, then form each into a ball and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
You can chill the dough up to two days ahead.
To make the galette:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large (17- by 12-inch) baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet.
Stir together semolina flour and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and spread evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange plums, skin sides down, in 1 layer on top of sugar mixture, then sprinkle plums with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Fold in edge of dough to cover outer rim of plums, pleating dough as necessary.
Bake galette, loosely covered with a sheet of foil, 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake until fruit is tender and juices are bubbling, about 5 minutes more.
Transfer galette on baking sheet to a rack and immediately brush hot juices over plums using a pastry brush. Dust hot galette with confectioners sugar (sugar will melt and help glaze galette). Cool to warm or room temperature, about 30 minutes.
While galette cools, stir together crme frache, Armagnac (if using), and remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Serve galette with Armagnac cream.
This is only the second time we’ve tried a homemade pie crust and felt the recipe above is barely enough to roll into a 13-inch round. You might only roll it out to 12 inches, but just see how it goes. You can probably use the store-bought Pillsbury crusts that come two to a box if you want to save some time.
Ours took about 15 to 2o minutes longer than suggested to just brown, once the foil was removed. Ovens vary, but I wasn’t expecting that much. Just be aware yours might need more browning time as well, maybe less.