Make the most of the cherries and peaches in season now by mixing them together in a buttery galette.
The real plus of this recipe is the low amount of sugar that it uses, which allows the natural flavors of the fruit to shine.
It comes from someone named Elise, who posted it on SimplyRecipes.com. Her version simply had peaches in it, but she encourages experimentation and the cherries were too good to pass up.
“Have you seen the peaches in the market? They’re beautiful this season,” she writes. “One of my favorite summer desserts is a rustic tart, or galette, because it’s just so easy to put together. As I have an almost unreasonable love of homemade crusts, I make several batches of dough in advance, and just wrap them in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer until needed. This is a simple peach galette, with fresh yellow peaches tossed with a little sugar, flour, and vanilla.
“You can play around with it a bit. Before laying down the peaches I dotted the bottom of the crust with a little almond paste. You could add blueberries, or toss in a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Sprinkle with lemon juice if the peaches are too sweet. Speaking of sweetness, it’s best to use yellow peaches for this baked dessert. The flavor of sweet white peaches is delicate and doesn’t hold up well to cooking.”
A few other substitutes include using almond extract instead of vanilla or using a mixture of your favorite fruit, including strawberries, plums, pears and apples, though I might sauté the apples slightly first, because they will take longer to cook than the peaches. You could also use 1/4 cup almond flour in place of 1/4 cup flour to give it a nuttier flavor.
I didn’t have any almond paste on hand when I was making the recipe, so I made my own using equal parts nuts (in my case I mixed almonds and hazelnuts) and powdered sugar with a splash of amaretto to moisten it. You could also use kirsh, Frangelico, peach schnapps or any liqueur with a flavor that would complement either the nuts or the fruit.
One last note: This is a fairly small dish, perfect for a family dessert. If you plan on serving this at a party, you may want to double the recipe and make two.
Some of you may remember my fondness for galettes, or croustades, as the Italians call them. Back in 2009, I wrote about them and trying to find the right crust. That post has more information on making crust, if you are a novice. To read it, click here.
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup, 1 stick or 8 tablespoons) butter, cut into small (1/2-inch) cubes, chilled in freezer at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
2 large or 3 medium, not-overly-ripe yellow peaches (about 3/4 pound total), pitted, sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices
6-10 bing cherries, halved and pitted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond paste (optional)
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg mixed with a splash of water
A sprinkling of coarse sugar (optional)
To make the crust dough: In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt, until well mixed. Add the cubed butter, and pulse 8 times. The butter should still be the size of peas in the mixture. Slowly add the ice water, a tablespoon or two at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough just begins to clump. Turn out onto a clean surface. Use your clean hands to form into a disc. Do not over-knead. Work the dough only enough to bring it barely together into a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour on all sides, wrap with plastic, and place into the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
Preheat the oven with the rack in the middle position to 425 degrees. Place the peach slices and cherries in a bowl and sprinkle with the flour and sugar. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle vanilla extract over the peaches. (Editor’s note: You may want to make sure the flour is dissolved, but without bruising the fruit. I didn’t and specks of flour were visible after baking. I dusted with a slight coat of powdered sugar to make it all blend together.)
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water until smooth and set aside.
On a lightly floured, clean, smooth surface, roll out the dough to about a 12-inch diameter. Gently lift up the rolled out dough and place it on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a Silpat.
If you are using almond paste (not necessary, but a nice addition if you have it), dot the middle 6-inch circle of the dough with the almond paste. (If you can spread it, great. Otherwise, just dot with little bits.) Arrange the peach slices in an overlapping pattern in a single layer in the center of the dough, forming about a 7 or 8-inch circle. Arrange the cherry halves on top. Dot with a little butter.
Fold the outer edges of the dough round over the filling, by about 2-inches all the way around, in an accordion fashion. Use a pastry brush to coat the exposed dough with an egg wash (you can cook up the leftover egg as a little scrambled egg, by the way), and sprinkle with coarse sugar if using.
Place in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet, over a rack, about 15 minutes.
Great served with a little vanilla ice cream.
Makes 8 servings.
Adapted from SimplyRecipes.com