Half way through March already, and not a single cooking post on my blog this year, unless you count the cupcakes I made for International Megan Day.
Time to fix that gap in my blogging!
A colleague of Mr Strange Land’s, who is also a personal friend of ours, came to dinner on Saturday night, and because he is a friend, I thought he might be an ideal subject for experimentation. Long time readers may recall my recipe for lamb galette, which I make regularly, most recently when my mother was here a few weeks ago. As we ate it, Mum and I talked about how successful galettes were in general, and how the concept might be used for a fruit dessert. So on Friday, as I planned the menu for Saturday night, I thought that it might be time to try out a fruit galette. Peaches were cheap(ish) in our local supermarket, so that’s what I got.*
I quartered, cored and peeled five peaches (but I should have used four), and sliced each quarter into three. I sprinkled them with about a tablespoon of caster sugar, and squeezed the juice of a lemon over them, and left them on the bench to macerate for the afternoon. Then I made a round of pastry, per my original lamb galette recipe, and left it to chill in the fridge. My round was about 32cm (about 13 inches) across. I also made about 10 pastry leaves and put them in the fridge to chill too.
I got the main course served, and turned the oven up to about 200 degrees celsius (about 400 Fahrenheit). While Mr Strange Land did the carving, I assembled the galette, and got it into the oven. I greased a baking slide with butter (use an oil spray if you like, but I find it makes the pastry a bit damp), and put the round of pastry onto it. The lamb galette recipe calls for a layer of grated cheese on the pastry, to provide a bit of a protective layer between the filling and the pastry, but clearly, cheese would not do at all for a fruit pie. So I spread some jam on it instead. Mum has a recipe that suggests marmalade, but I had none on hand, so I used apricot and ginger jam instead. I suspect that any jam would do, provided that you think a little about the flavour combination. If in doubt, use apricot. I spread about 2 tablespoons of apricot jam in the middle of the pastry round, leaving a margin of about 5cm (2 inches) at the edge.
I layered the peach slices onto the jam, going round and round in a spiral pattern. I thought that the peaches would probably exude some juice as they cooked, so I made a mix of two tablespoons of cornflour, and one tablespoon of caster sugar, and sprinkled it over the peaches as I went (one dusting about half way through, and one at the end).
Once all the peach slices were on the pastry, I pleated the edges of the pastry up (per the instructions in the lamb galette recipe). I found that I had a few too many peaches, so the galette was not as well shaped as I would have liked; four peaches would probably have been enough. Then I put the leaves on top in a star pattern. I was concerned that the exposed fruit in the galette would burn, but the leaves helped to reduce that, while still allowing the fruit to show through.
I baked the galette for about 35 minutes. Once it was done I left it to cool on a rack for a short time, and then I slipped it onto a serving dish, and dusted it with icing sugar. I served wedges of it with cream and yoghurt on the side. The peach slices were cooked through, hot, but not soft and mushy, and the pastry was crisp, a lovely contrast to the peaches.
We ate it all.
* Yes, I know a truly virtuous cook would buy her fruit at a farmers market, or at the Adelaide Central Markets, or at the very least at the greengrocers, but our local supermarket prides itself on stocking local products, and the fruit and vege is usually very fresh. It’s a South Australian chain, not one of the big two.