Granted, we are in the middle of one of our recurrent semi-Biblical heat waves and you may think it's a little hot to be baking, but it'll cool off eventually. Or you can take a cue from pastry chefs and get up before dawn, when it's nice and relatively chilly, and bake then. The butter for your pastry dough will not melt and neither will you. (You can also freeze and grate the butter, if you live in the valleys and it's creeping towards the triple digits already.) Freshly baked pies or tarts, like these individual peach galettes from Angeli Caffe's chef Kathy Ternay, make a lovely breakfast.
The other reason to bake Ternay's galettes now is that we're in high peach season, when the stone fruit is fragrant and deeply flavorful. Choose good peaches, preferably high acid fruit, for these tarts. Just because you're baking doesn't mean that the fruit should be of lesser quality than if you're eating it out of hand.
Little Peach Galettes
From: Chef Kathy Ternay of Angeli Caffe. The pie dough recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Good-for-Almost-Everything Pie Dough.
Makes: 4 small galettes
Almost Dorie Greenspan's Good-for-Almost-Everything Pie Dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks very cold unsalted butter, diced
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
1/2 cup ice water, approx.
1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and mix them together with a whisk or your pastry blender. Put your diced butter into the bowl and lightly toss in the flour mixture so that each piece is coated with flour. Add the vegetable shortening. Cut the butter and shortening into the flour using a pastry blender.
2. Dorie says: "what you're aiming for is a mixture where some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Add the water by sprinkling it evenly over the flour-fat mixture. Using your fingertips, or a fork toss the water into the mixture until it starts to form big clumps. When it's mixed in take a bit of the dough, put it in your palm and gently give it a squeeze. If it holds together without being wet it's perfect. If it's a little crumbly and you're a beginner then add a little more water 1 tablespoon at a time being careful to not make the dough too wet."
3. Dump the dough onto your work surface and press it into a puck. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or until very cold.
4 ripe peaches
2 - 3 tablespoons brown or white sugar to taste or mixture of both
1 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup heavy cream
sugar for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel the peaches like you would tomatoes, by dipping them in boiling water for 10 seconds then slipping the skins off.
2. If the peaches are freestone, make an incision vertically around the fruit and twist the halves apart. Discard pit and cut peaches into ½ " thick wedges. Put the wedges in bowl. If peaches aren't freestone then just cut the wedges off the pit and put in bowl.
3. This is the most important part: taste the fruit. Then add sugar a tablespoon at a time, mixing as you go, and keep tasting until it is sweet enough to suit your taste. Add a bit of lemon juice to lift the flavor. Not a lot, just a little squeeze. And if you want a bit more complexity of flavor, add the ginger.
4. Now it's time to add the flour. Again, add a tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. You want just enough flour to catch and bind the juices that have been released by the sugar once the galette is in the oven.
Assembly + Shaping the Galettes
cream and sugar for brushing
1. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into four pieces. Roll each piece into an approximate circle.
2. Place a dough round on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan lined with parchment. Place the prepared peaches in the center of the dough circle and bring the edges up over the fruit pleating as you go. The fruit should be exposed in the middle. Continue filling and shaping the galettes.
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3. Leave enough space between each little pie so that they have room to expand. Brush with cream and sprinkle sugar over the crust.
4. Bake in the preheated oven until the fruit is soft and crust is a beautiful deep golden color, approximately 20 minutes.