It took years to overcome my anxiety about pastry. Everyone always claimed it was easy. But the prospect of fiddly, leaky, time consuming dough with a soggy base or a shrunken overcooked edge made me shy away from what I considered to be a too-many-steps-recipe-doomed-to-fail. After years of battling these irrational fears, I have finally landed on a foolproof, all leaks welcome, quick and easy solution - the galette.
Requiring no special tart tin or extra resting time and an endless variety of options to pile into the imperfectly rolled out disc where larger pieces of butter in the dough are a welcome treat, the fruit galette is a crowd pleaser every time. A particularly popular dessert at this time of year, as I make them with reckless abandon stuffed with the glorious end of summer and early autumn fruits varieties available everywhere you look.
So, like many of the recipes here I hope that you will make this your own, piling it with your seasonal fruit of choice. I have given you the dough recipe for two discs. If you are taking the time to mix the dough, you can make double and freeze one for a rainy day or for some last minute dessert ease (it will keep for up to three months) . Or if you are like me, just make two flavours for a greedy crowd and have the leftovers for breakfast with a dollop of plain yoghurt on top.
Summer Fruit Galette
I have given you three different filling options here, depending on the season and what is available. I have written the pastry method first, followed by each filling separately, so while it looks long, there are actually three recipes here all together. Once you have mixed together the dough ingredients it will need to rest for about 30 minutes in the fridge, but will happily sit there wrapped in cling film for up to two days. Otherwise freeze the second disc for later use.
Pastry recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Pastry (makes 2 discs):
320g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
220g (8oz) cold unsalted butter cut into 1cm dice
zest of 1 lemon
125g (1/2 cup) soured cream
4 tbsp ice cold water
2 tbsp demerara sugar
In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and cold butter. Either rub together with your fingertips, or pulse in the processor until slightly crumbly and there are still some butter pieces the size of small peas. Add the lemon zest, soured cream and half of the cold water and mix with your fingertips of pulse a few times again until it just comes together into a rough craggy ball. If needed add more water.
Divide dough into two pieces and wrap into clingfilm, flattening them into discs.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 200C.
Remove one disc of dough from the fridge and dust each side lightly with flour. Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper until about 30-35 cm in diameter. Remove the top piece of parchment.
Pile (or neatly arrange depending on your personality type) the filling of choice into the centre of the disc leaving a good 5-7cm or so free around the edge to fold over.
Gently fold the overhanging pastry, tucking and overlapping where needed to keep a roundish shape.
Beat the egg and brush the edges of the pastry. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and slide the piece of baking parchment onto a baking sheet.
Cook for 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your pieces of fruit) until golden and bubbling.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Filling options (each quantity is for one disc):
Peach and Blueberry Filling:
4 ripe glorious peaches (or nectarines)
3 tbsp caster sugar (or less if your peaches are super sweet)
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour (cornsrtarch)
100g blubeberries, blackberries or raspberries (optional)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Score the bottom of each peach with an X and blanch them in a bowl of boiling water for one minute. Remove from the water and peel (the X on the bottom will help the skin to come away easily).
Slice each peach into 12-16 slices depending on the size, and place in a medium sized bowl.
Add the sugar, cornflour, blueberries, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt and mix together delicately with your hands.
Pile or arrange neatly into the centre of your prepared disc and bake as per instructions above.
Red Fruit Filling:
Feel free to use any combination of cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or sliced early autumn plums. In the winter I use bags of frozen berries to remind me of summer, but whatever the time of year I don't use strawberries. They just don't bake as well. If you are using frozen berries, bake them straight from frozen and don't be tempted to defrost first.
approximately 500g (about 2 cups) mixed red fruit / berries (or single variety, it works all ways)
3 tbsp caster sugar (I err on the side of caution, you may want more if the fruit is frozen or not that sweet)
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
In a medium sized bowl, combine the fruit of your choice with the sugar, cornflour, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt.
Delicately mix together with your hands.
Pile and spread the filling into the centre of your prepared disc and bake as per instructions above.
(an autumnal classic)
approximately 200g (1/2lb) or 3-4 tart apples such as Pink Lady, skinned cored and sliced thinly
3 tbsp muscavado or dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice of half a lemon
50g softened unsalted butter
In a medium sized bowl combine the slices apples, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon juice and mix delicately with your hands.
Arange the spices apple slices in the centre of the dough disc and dot pea sized pieces of butter over the top of the apple pieces.
Bake as per the instructions above.