If you suffer from pie anxiety–getting the dough into the pie plate in one piece, crimping it neatly, keeping it from shrinking–a fruit galette is a great starter pie. You skip the pie plate and crimping entirely, in favor of a more casual free-form shape that bakes right on a baking sheet. In this episode, you’ll learn a Peach-Ginger Galette that’s so easy to handle you’ll be inspired to move on to traditional pies in no time.
|Peach-Ginger Galette with Hazelnuts||Blueberry-Lemon Galette||Rustic Apple-Cinnamon Tart||Streusel-Topped Double Cherry Slab Pie|
Part I: The Dough
The dough for a galette is very similar to your basic all-butter pie dough. You start by combining your dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, and table salt. Then add your butter. As with pie dough, you want the fat very cold, and pulse the fat with the flour until it looks like you have coarse crumbs, and the butter is in chunks the size of peas. Next drizzle in your ice water, and process just until the dough comes together-it only takes about 5 seconds. Press the dough into a disk, wrap the disk in plastic wrap, and chill it for at least 1 hour.
When the dough’s ready to work with, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (you want a rim so that it catches any juices that may drip out from the crust). Take your dough out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, so it has a chance to get a little more pliable.
Begin rolling out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. To keep the dough round as circular as possible, roll out from the center, rotating the dough frequently–keep the surface and the dough floured as needed.
Once you have a rough circle that’s 15 inches in diameter, trim it down to make a neater 14-inch round. Then it’s time to transfer the dough to your baking sheet. To move the dough without tearing it, wrap it loosely around the rolling pin, and then unfurl it in place. It’s fine if the dough overhangs the baking sheet rim-just cover it loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it while you make the filling.
Part II: The Filling
Just about any fruit that’s good in a pie works beautifully in a galette. The basic formula is your fruit, plus sugar to sweeten, something to thicken the juices, and any additional flavor accents you like.
For this recipe, we’re using brown sugar to sweeten, and cornstarch as the thickener. Abby prefers cornstarch for this galette because it gives a cleaner flavor and the juices are clear. You can also use flour to thicken the juices in a fruit galette. Whisk together the cornstarch and sugar with a little salt until all the lumps are gone.
Now toss your sliced peaches with the cornstarch mixture, and add any additional flavorings: a little minced fresh ginger, and some lemon juice to balance the sweetness.
Part III: Assemble and Bake the Galette
Let your dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes to get pliable, then pile the filling into the center, leaving 3 inches all around the edge. If you want your galette to have a dressier look, you can spend a little more time arranging the fruit on top in a symmetrical pattern, but it also looks wonderful piled on casually.
Now fold over the dough you left bare around the border, pleating it as you go. For a more casual look, you can fold large sections in, or you can make smaller, more precise pleats for a fancier tart.
Brush the border with a little cream, then sprinkle on any topping. This recipe has a hazelnut streusel topping here, but you can also use something as simple as crushed sugar cubes. The idea is to give the outer crust a little extra crunch and visual punch.
Bake the galette at 400°F until the crust is browned on the top and bottom. If the nut topping starts to get too brown before the crust is ready, you can tent it loosely with foil.
The finished galette is just as beautiful and delicious as a traditional pie: you’ve got a tender crust, crisp at the edges, with a juicy fruit filling.
Create Your Own Rustic Fruit Galette
Use our interactive recipe builder to design your own custom fruit galette with your favorite fruit filling, flavorings, and toppings.
Abigail Johnson Dodge is a contributing editor at Fine Cooking, and teaches cooking classes around the country. She studied at La Varenne in Paris, and worked with Michel Guerard and Guy Savoy, specializing in pastry. She has written six cookbooks, four of them about baking, including The Weekend Baker, winner of the IACP award. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.
|Episode 1: Press-in Cookie Crust Tarts
||Episode 2: Equipment Essentials for Pies||Episode 3: All About Pie Dough|
|Episode 4: Rustic Fruit Galettes||Episode 5: Double-Crust Apple Pie||Episode 6: Single-Crust Pecan and Pumpkin Pies|
|Episode 7: Pâte Sucrée and Lemon Tart||Episode 8: Lattice-Topped Mixed Berry Pie||Episode 9: Rough Puff Pastry Tarts|
|Episode 10: Classic Fresh Fruit Tart|