Have you seen the peaches in the market? They’re beautiful this season. As we skid into the official end of summer I’m happy we can still find them. One of my favorite summer desserts is a rustic tart, or galette, because it’s just so easy to put together. As I have an almost unreasonable love of homemade crusts, I make several batches of dough in advance, and just wrap them in plastic wrap and keep them in the freezer until needed. This is a simple peach galette, with fresh yellow peaches tossed with a little sugar, flour, and vanilla. You can play around with it a bit. Before laying down the peaches I dotted the bottom of the crust with a little almond paste. You could add blueberries, or toss in a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Sprinkle with lemon juice if the peaches are too sweet. Speaking of sweetness, it’s best to use yellow peaches for this baked dessert. The flavor of sweet white peaches is delicate and doesn’t hold up well to cooking.
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 oz (1/2 cup, 1 stick, 8 Tbsp) butter, cut into small (1/2-inch) cubes, chilled in freezer at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour
- 4 to 6 Tbsp ice water
- 2 large, not-overly-ripe yellow peaches (about 3/4 pound total), pitted, sliced into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp almond paste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 egg
- A sprinkling of coarse sugar (optional)
1 Make the crust dough. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt, until well mixed. Add the cubed butter, and pulse 8 times. The butter should still be the size of peas in the mixture. Slowly add the ice water, a tablespoon or two at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough just begins to clump. Turn out onto a clean surface. Use your clean hands to form into a disc. Do not over-knead. Work the dough only enough to bring it barely together into a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour on all sides, wrap with plastic, and place into the refrigerator to chill for an hour. (See our pate brisee recipe for more detailed instruction if you are new to making crusts.)
2 Preheat the oven with the rack in the middle position to 425°F (220°C). Place the peach slices in a bowl and sprinkle with the flour and sugar. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle vanilla extract over the peaches.
3 In a small bowl, whisk the egg until smooth and set aside.
4 On a lightly floured, clean, smooth surface, roll out the dough to about a 12-inch diameter. Gently lift up the rolled out dough and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.
5 If you are using almond paste (not necessary, but a nice addition if you have it), dot the middle 6-inch circle of the dough with the almond paste. (If you can spread it, great. Otherwise, just dot with little bits.) Arrange the peach slices in an overlapping pattern in a single layer in the center of the dough, forming about a 7 or 8-inch circle. Dot with a little butter.
6 Fold the outer edges of the dough round over the filling, by about 2-inches all the way around, in an accordion fashion. Use a pastry brush to coat the exposed dough with an egg wash (you can cook up the leftover egg as a little scrambled egg, by the way), and sprinkle with coarse sugar if using.
7 Place in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet, over a rack, about 15 minutes.
Great served with a little vanilla ice cream.