As the holidays approach, here is an ace for your sleeve: a wonderfully unfussy and extremely versatile tart that comes together quickly, thanks to the help of the food processor. Blitz up a batch or two of the crust dough and stash them in the freezer to pull out for effortless entertaining, or if, like me, this is your idea of a perfectly appropriate weekend breakfast to bolster you before the holiday onslaught.
The plums are beautiful and sweet-tart and a bit unexpected, but bring this recipe with you throughout the year and use whatever fruit is in season – rhubarb, cherries, peaches, or apples. Serve plain and barely warm if you are taking the breakfast route, or with a scoop of Moomer’s cinnamon ice cream if you are impressing guests.
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups cold butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons almond meal
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- pulp from 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
- pinch of salt
- 2 1/2 pounds large plums, halved and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small bits
- 1/3 cup sugar
- egg wash made from one yolk and a splash of milk
- sanding sugar (optional)
To make the crust, put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse for about 5 seconds; the butter should still be in large pieces. Add the ice water and pulse for 5 seconds longer, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces and the dough is just starting to come together.
Dump the dough from the processor onto a lightly floured surface and push it into a ball. You should be able to see translucent pieces of butter peppered through out the dough. This is exactly what you want for a flaky crust. Roll the dough into a 16-by-18-inch oval about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
For the filling, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the ground almonds, flour, vanilla pulp and salt. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the dough leaving a 2 inch border. Arrange the plum wedges tightly on top of the almond mixture and dot with the butter. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the fruit. Fold the edges of the dough up over the plums. Brush with border with the egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, until the fruit is soft, the filling is bubbling, and the crust is nicely browned.
Tenille Enger is an amateur cook and gardener with a passion for moments when the two intersect. She is an active contributor to Taste the Local Difference® in both digital works and in print. You can contact her at [email protected].