A fruit galette is the workhorse of the sweet kitchen. Freeing yourself from the confines of a pie plate is so liberating. Somehow, no matter how a galette slumps, breaks, or browns, it’s always beautiful. Glory lies in irregularity. Unlike a deep fruit pie, which tends to harbor too much liquid, galettes always leak a little bit. Rest easy. That’s a good thing! It seems to me that exactly the right amount of liquid creeps out so that what’s left inside is a nicely thickened fruit filling with sweet, concentrated flavor, and a crisp bottom crust. The secret is to remove it from the parchment paper while it’s still warm and the leaked juices haven’t solidified. A bonus is that galettes cool much faster than pies. You are closer to dessert bliss than you think.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
10 tablespoons/ 1 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
SOUR CHERRY JAM:
12 ounces sour cherries, pitted (2 cups)
1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound nectarines, pitted and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Prepare the pastry: Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles even, coarse sand without big pieces. You can use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour to get a more even distribution, but be sure to chill the mixture for a few minutes before proceeding if the butter has gotten warm. Add the ice water to the mixture and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough forms. Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water if you need to, but stop before the dough gets too wet. It should just hold together when squeezed. (Feel free to do this in a food processor if you have one. Just use a light hand to process the butter and water in. It can be easy to overwork the dough in the processor.)
Using your hands, gather the dough into a rough ball in the bowl. Put a piece of plastic wrap on the countertop and place the dough on it. Wrap the dough and flatten it into a small rectangle. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours or up to 2 days. Alternatively, freeze the dough, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.
Prepare the jam: In a small saucepan, combine the cherries and gran- ulated sugar and cook over medium heat, crushing the fruit with a potato masher, until the fruit is soft and some of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove a few tablespoons of the cherry juice and mix it with the cornstarch to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pot and continue to cook, stirring, until the jam is thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
When ready to assemble the galette, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prepare the filling: Toss the nectarines wedges with the granulated sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the dough into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. Spread the jam in an even layer on the dough, leaving a 11/2-inch border bare on all sides. Shingle the nectarines over the jam in 3 rows. Fold the 4 edges of the pastry up and over the fruit and press it gently.
Using the parchment paper, carefully transfer the galette to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the edges with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sand- ing sugar (if using). Bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the galette cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then carefully use a long offset spatula to loosen the bottom of the crust from the parch- ment paper and slide it onto the rack or serving plate. Serve warm or room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from THE JOYS OF BAKING © 2019 by Samantha Seneviratne, Running Press
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