Galette gives unripe fruits their just deserts

The bounty of local fruits inspired the current A la Carte story about summer desserts.

But we all know the season for fruit travels northward, bringing the produce of Mexico and California to stores months before local growers are ready to harvest. Despite their picking and transportation usually before reaching ripeness, these south-of-the-border fruits still are so tempting, particularly where favorites are concerned.

For me, it’s apricots and plums. The first of the former just arrived from who-knows-where in local stores, and it was an exercise in willpower to pass up these apricots even though their aroma did nothing to suggest sweetness.

The only remedy for unripe fruits, of course, is cooking with some sugar. If I really couldn’t wait another month, I might consider baking some of these grocery-store apricots into a dessert.

But lavishing a lot of effort on subpar fruit is time misspent. So rather than fuss over a tart, one of last week’s suggested uses for ripe berries, or even a pie, I’d go with something much simpler.

And it doesn’t get much simpler than galette, particularly when made with store-bought crust. I always say there’s no shame in purchasing pie crust when you couldn’t make it better and don’t make pies often enough to practice.

Galette, also called crostata, is basically free-form pie that doesn’t even need a baking dish. Pile the sweetened fruit in the center of a round of dough and fold up the edges. It’s such a loose concept that the filling could pair a good-quality fruit preserve (like apricot, peach or fig) with ripe, local berries. The following recipe from the Los Angeles Times calls for a splash of almond extract, which also improves the flavor of unripe stone fruits. 

MCT photo

Apricot-Almond Galette

1 pound apricots

2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of apricots

1 teaspoon almond extract or 2 tablespoons almond liqueur

Prepared pie dough (homemade or ready-to-roll crust found in refrigerated sections of grocery stores)

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

1/3 cup raspberries, if desired

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon coarse sugar

Cut each of the apricots into 6 to 8 wedges, discarding pits. Combine apricots with the granulated sugar and almond extract in a bowl and toss well to mix.

Heat oven to 400 F. Remove dough from refrigerator to a flat surface lined with a lightly floured sheet of parchment. Roll dough into a rough circle about 15 inches in diameter and a generous 1/8 inch thick. Transfer dough (still on parchment) to a baking sheet.

Gently stir the sliced almonds and raspberries into apricots. Spoon fruit into center of dough. Fold outer 3 inches of dough circle toward center to make a packet, leaving inner 4 or 5 inches of apricots uncovered (assembled galette will be about 9 inches in diameter). Lightly brush pastry with the beaten egg, then scatter the coarse sugar over apricots and pastry.

Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden-brown and apricots are softened, about 45 minutes. Start checking galette after 30 minutes and loosely cover fruit with a sheet of foil if they color too quickly. Cool galette 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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