When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. When life gives you an abundance of peaches you make a peach galette. On the way back from Penticton we stopped by my friend Emma’s mother’s place in Peachland. Yes. That’s right, Peachland. We had a little visit that ended with a box full of peaches. Peaches from Peachland. How awesome is that?
We had a ten pound box of incredible tasty peaches and there was no way that any of them were going to waste. We barely made a dent in their numbers by eating them and giving some away to my parents so I needed to actually make something with them. We’d had a fabulous dinner in Penticton hosted by Joy Road Catering and that reminded me of a very good fruit galette that I bought at their farmer’s market booth two years before. I don’t really bake (like almost never) so I picked a dough recipe that looked pretty simple to make. When I think of baking my thoughts immediately turn to the Smitten Kitchen. A search for peaches turned up a number (okay a very large number) of really tasty looking recipes. I used the recipe for “pate brisee, galette and hand pies” The Pâte Brisée is the recipe for the dough. Further along in the post is the recipe for nectarine and blackberry galette which I changed to peach and blackberry galette.
I had another omen that I might be baking in the near future. When we go on trips my mother cat sits for us. She likes to buy random stuff and leave us gifts upon our return. I have no idea what goes through her head when she’s selecting this stuff but it’s usually some food but also something we have absolutely no use for. This time the list included potato chips, bananas and what looked like a large cigar tube. On closer inspection it was a tube of vanilla beans. The vanilla came in handy when I made the filling for the galette. Thanks mom.
Since I rarely bake I followed the dough recipe very closely. When I cook I use a recipe as a guide but I rarely follow it to the letter. Baking is basically chemistry and small changes in the wet or dry ingredients can have large consequences in the final product so I chose to stick very closely to this recipe. I did make a small modification mid flight when I read some of the comments at the bottom of the post. People were adding sour cream, lemon juice or vinegar to the wet ingredients so I decided to put a little vinegar in with the ice water. The dough turned out okay so I must not have strayed too far off course.
I’ve said before that I rarely bake and here’s a couple things to prove it. I had to go out and buy a rolling pin before I started this project. I also picked up a pizza stone. The stone a good investment. The bottom of the galette did not burn. I also had another issue while measuring the flour. It turns out I didn’t have enough so it was back to the grocery store to get some more flour.
The original recipe called for nectarines but I had a ton of peaches. You can leave the skins on nectarines but these peaches had a fairly thick skin with lots of fuzz so it had to come off. I cut an X in the bottom of the peach and dropped it in boiling water for 30 seconds and then in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. After that little hot / cold bath the skins came off with little effort. That presented another problem. Skinless peaches are really slippery. I managed to cut and remove the pit from all of my peaches without launching one across the kitchen or cutting myself. Not too shabby, eh?
Once the peaches were sliced up I put them in a bowl with the black berries and a few blueberries. I opened up the cigar tube of vanilla and was greeted with the most amazing smell. Fresh vanilla is awesome. The pod was cut in half and the wonderful smelling seeds were scraped out with the back of the pairing knife. Sugar and corn starch were added. I gave the whole thing a good stir and continued to stir it a few times over the hour that the dough was resting in the fridge.
The dough came together really well (once I had all the flour I needed). The flour, salt and sugar went into the food processor and were mixed well. The butter was added and was pulsed for about ten seconds to cut it in to the flour mixture. I slowly poured the ice water / vinegar mix in to firm things up. This doesn’t make a solid dough. It’s supposed to be crumbly. I dumped it out on the counter and formed it in to two piles. Each pile was then formed in to a disc and it was wrapped in cling film and put into the refrigerator for an hour.
When I was ready to assemble the galette I took one of the dough discs out of the fridge and floured the rolling pin and a sheet of parchment paper. The dough was rolled out to about 1/8 inch thickness. I put some of the fruit and the juice that came off it in the middle of the dough and then painted the outer 2 inches of the dough with an egg wash. That outer 2 inches of dough was folded up and pinched around the fruit filling and then the outside go the same egg wash treatment. Some turbinato sugar granules were sprinkled on the egg wash to finish it up. The galette went on to the pizza stone in a 375 degree oven for about 55 minutes.
I’m impressed with how this turned out. It even looked like the pictures on the Smitten Kitchen website. When I make this again I will probably rollout the dough a little thinner and make sure to get more filling into the edges so that there isn’t such a thick crust at the outer edges. The original recipe called for warmed peach preserves to be put over the top after the galette came out of the oven. That would probably have improved my final product but I didn’t have any of those kicking around the house. Another thing to try next time.
We hadn’t seen my parents since getting back from Penticton (and getting engaged) so we invited them over for desert. Everybody enjoyed their galette paired with vanilla ice cream, some leftover fruit from the filling and a cherry fruit wine from Forbidden Fruit Winery.
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen. This made enough dough for two galettes.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
splash of white vinegar
Put flour, salt and sugar into a food processor or mixing bowl. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse for about 10 seconds (use a couple of knives or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour if you are using a mixing bowl). Add a splash of vinegar to the ice water and slowly pour it in through the feed tube of the food processor while pulsing for a max of 30 seconds. The dough will be crumbly but not wet or sticky. Dump the dough mixture on to a clean counter top and divide it in two. Form the dough into a discs and wrap with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Peach and Blackberry Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Makes two galettes
pâte brisée dough (above)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
6 – 8 peaches, each pitted and cut into 16 slices
1/2 pint basket blackberries
1 vanilla pod or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water to blend (for glaze)
Raw or coarse sugar crystals
Pot of boiling water
Bowl of cold water
Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Cut an X in the bottom of each peach and place in boiling water for 30 seconds. Transfer to cold water bowl to stop cooking process. You can do this in batches if all the peaches don’t fit in the pot or bowl. Remove the skin from the peaches and cut in half to remove the stone. Cut each peach into eight pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add the blackberries to the bowl and sprinkle on the sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Mix the fruit and continue mixing every once in a while for 30 minutes. Juice will come out of the fruit and that’s a good thing.
Pre-heat the oven and pizza stone to 375 F. Flour a rolling pin and a sheet of parchment paper. Place one of the discs of dough on the paper and begin rolling out. Roll to about 1/8 inch thickness. If the dough has gotten a little warm at this point you can put it back in the fridge to cool for a bit. You don’t want it to be so cold that you can’t fold up the sides while at the same time it can’t be too warm so the butter in it starts to melt.
Prepare the egg wash mixture by beating the egg and adding a splash of water (less water will result in a darker crust after baking). Dump half the fruit mixture and some of the juice on to the middle of the rolled out dough. Paint the outer two inches of dough with the egg wash. Fold the outer edge of the dough over the fruit and pinch together. Paint the outside of the now folded dough with egg wash and sprinkle on the granulated sugar. Put in the oven and cook for about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack.