Everyone knows that summer is my absolute favorite season. One of the reasons why is the abundance of summer fruits, especially the stone fruits—the peaches, plums, nectarines. Soft, sweet and dripping down your chin. Mmmmm. So once Friedel Family Farm started loading their market table with all these luscious fruits, I was inspired to develop a few recipes. I am particularly proud of this galette because it came together with a lovely flavor balance of semi tart fruits—plums, peaches and blackberries nestled in a super-short sugar cookie crust.
I chose a galette instead of a tart because this buttery sugar cookie dough is traditionally used as a pat-in-the-pan crust, almost impossible to roll out without a lot of care. The free-form galette is much more forgiving. So you could turn this into a pat-in-the-pan fruit tart, if you wanted. Up to you, just realize baking time/temp might differ from what I have prepared below. Also, I found it advisable to roast my plums and make my galette dough a day ahead. Separate the roasted plums from their juice (There will be a LOT of juice, which is good!), and refrigerate overnight. Chilling the dough overnight is a must, too. Be brave…and hungry! Here we go….
- One and one-quarter cups all-purpose flour
- One-third cup sugar (Evaporated cane juice works well because it is finer than raw sugar.)
- One-quarter teaspoon fine sea salt
- One teaspoon grated lemon zest
- One-half cup softened unsalted butter (one stick)
- One large egg yolk, slightly beaten
- Unsalted butter to coat your dish and top your plums during roasting
- Eight to 10 plums, washed, halved and pitted (Size will determine how many. I made this dessert twice once with 10 smaller plums and once with eight large ones.)
- Two tablespoons light brown sugar (Dark will also work if you want a more intense molasses flavor.)
- Spices: whole star anise—about a crumbled tablespoon--and Ceylon cinnamon stick—about two inches crumbled into big slivers, one-half teaspoon ground cardamon (All my spices come from Penzeys. Note that these are my choices and don’t need to be yours. Use the spices you like.)
- Roasted plums brought to room temperature
- Roasted plum juice, also at room temperature
- One tablespoon cornstarch
- One teaspoon tapioca flour
- About four tablespoons of cold water for the slurry
- One cup whole blackberries (Blueberries work too, or a mixture of both.)
- One recipe sugar cookie dough, chilled
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Divide the softened stick of butter into eight tablespoons and add to the flour mixture. Using your pastry blender, mix until you have an even texture of coarse crumbs.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and blend in the beaten egg yolk. The dough will be wet and sticky. Mix with a rubber spatula until the dough forms a ball. Wrap tightly in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter an eight-inch square baking pan.
- Wash, halve and pit your plums. No need to peel because the plum peel will loosen on its own as they roast. You can just pick out and discard most of the peels once the plums cool.
- Place the plums single-layer in the butter dish. Top each plum half with a pat of butter and sprinkle all over with brown sugar. Sprinkle the crushed and ground spices over all.
- Bake 15 minutes. Immediately remove hot plums to a heat-proof storage dish and pour the juice in a second heat-proof storage dish. Here is why: if you let the plums cool in their juice, they will get too mushy—they are going to continue to make more juice, anyway, which you can pour off a second time before making the galette filling sauce. Furthermore, if allowed to cool in the original baking dish, you will have a sticky, hard-to-clean mess. Ask me how I know that. Sigh.
- Remove any clinging large pieces of spices. Refrigerate the plums and the juice separately overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place your oven rack in the lower part of the oven.
- Remove the plums and the juice from the refrigerator. Remove the skin from the plums—if some remains, no worries. Just get off as much as you can. Check for any larger bits of whole spices you might have missed and drain any extra juice that developed in the plums overnight into the juice you already have. Allow plums and juice to come to room temperature.
- Remove the sugar cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften a bit.
- Meanwhile, put all the juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a strong simmer. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and tapioca flour and cold water. Whisk it smooth and then whisk the slurry into the simmering spiced plum juice. Cook, whisking constantly, until the juice thickens into a sauce, about five minutes. Allow to cool.
- Now address the crust. Place your dough disk between two pieces of parchment paper. Pat out a circle as much as you can with your hands; then, use your rolling pin to roll out about a 12-inch circle. I lifted the top piece of parchment a couple of times to avoid too much sticking. Some sticking is inevitable, but do not fret. Slide the parchment paper with the rolled crust onto a large rimless baking sheet.
- Once you have your crust on the baking sheet, place your plum halves in the center, leaving a good inch around the edge for folding over. Mix the blackberries into about a half cup to three-quarters cup of the thickened plum sauce and spoon this among the plums.
- Now carefully fold in the edges of the galette around the fruit. It is going to tear and that’s just fine. Pinch it back together and keep going until everything is in a nice nest of sugar cookie. For a final touch, butter your dough edge with softened butter—just a little—and sprinkle everything with a little raw sugar for sparkle. Place in the lower half of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The center should be bubbly and shiny. The crust should be golden brown.
- Slide the galette on its parchment paper to a cooling rack. Cool completely or serve when slightly warn. Your choice.
Note that the prep time refers to the time it takes to complete all initial steps, minus overnight chill. The bake time is the combination of the time it takes to roast the plums and bake the galette.
This galette holds a lot of possibilities. The plums make a great deal of excess juice, and it is doubtful you will use all the thickened sauce in this one recipe. So you’ve got at least enough, I think, to turn it into a peachy crisp, a fresh fruit pie or tart, or a fruity crostata (which is just another name for a galette). A little of this sauce, a little imagination from you, and a lot of those gorgeous summer stone fruits and berries. Here are some options from the blog—a pear crisp, which is suggested as a guide not a rule book, a savory sweet take on this pastry that uses caramelized onions and a blueberry and peach crostata.
The photo on the left gives you an idea of how the chilled plums and juice look. Note that the plum skins have all but pulled away on their own–easy peasy. Be sure you drain the plums a second time at this point, so the filling in the galette isn’t too runny.
Handy hint: It is also worth place a baking sheet or pie shield in the rack below your baking galette, since I experienced a spill with one of my creations. That extra insurance makes oven cleanup easier. More time to enjoy this galette!
Friedel Family Farm
And if you live in my neck of the woods, please support family farms like the good folks who grew my fruit. Friedel Family Farm is quite special—they grow the best pecans, for one thing. I have been filling my freezer, anticipating fall and winter baking. But these raw buttery nuts are loaded with antioxidants and enzymes that end up in all sorts of dishes, including the Overnight Goat Oats I recently posted. Like Friedel on Facebook and visit their stall at the Goshen Community Market. Fruit and nuts are just the beginning at Friedel. Fresh corn, market veggies and much more. Such sweet smiles to greet you, too. And it’s all local—their farm is on the Mississippi River Road in Batchtown, IL. So huge flavor and nutrition with low carbon footprint. Win win!