Monday, August 18, 2014

Friends Stopped By for Lunch

Dessert for lunch? Not for everyday, but when friends stop by (and our elephant heart plum tree is in season) it seems leek the right day for a quick, slightly tart plum galette. Galette's (or crostada in Italy) are European-style free-formed rustic pies, sweet or savory.
Use any pie crust you like. I quickly mixed 1 cup of flour, 1 TB sugar, 1/ tsp salt, and 5 oz of butter in the food processor. I wanted this crust to be super flaky so I didn't whirl until the butter was the size of peas but stopped sooner so even after mixing in the ice cold water (3 TB) I could see chunks of butter in my dough. After kneading a couple times on the counter I wrapped the dough and popped it in the fridge to rest over night.
When the dough was good and cold I rolled it out to about a 12" circle. and popped it back into the fridge while I sliced about 8 of our delicious plums and preheated the oven to 400ยบ.
Elephant heart plums, developed by plantsman Luther Burbank are juicy and heavy and deep ruby red. Though they are not often sold in stores due to a fragile nature and short shelf life the flavor is unparalleled. Sweet and tart, juicy and tender -- in short, the perfect plum.
Leaving about a 2" border I sprinkled 3 TBs of flour and 1 TB of sugar over the rolled dough and then laid the plums slices in concentric circles and then showered another 4 TB of sugar over the plums before folding up the dough -- rustically -- around the fruit. One caution in the world of free-form tarts. Use the dough to patch holes if you must, but try to not have cracks in the dough that let the juice (our plums are super juicy) leak out while baking. Oh it's all fine and super rustic but your dough will stay a little crisper and your tart a little prettier if the juice stays in.
Before popping the galette in the oven, brush a little butter on the crust and sprinkle nice coarse sugar over top. After 40 minutes in the oven (rotate half way through) we had an easy elegant dessert -- sweet, tart, and (make sure to cool your galette on a each to ensure that it's) flaky.

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