Here we are in the thick of summer, and the beautiful fruits of Michigan are in abundance (with more to come!)
The rustic galette is one of my favorite fruit offerings during these not-so-lazy days, for life has a way of taking us on a whirlwind whether we like it or not.
While we've been busy with some home remodeling, I continue teaching at Sur La Table and baking my shortbread cookies at Patricia's Chocolate in Grand Haven, a lovely Lake Michigan community that attracts many tourists during the summer.
Yet in spite of the busyness of our days there is something that gives me pause - the ever ongoing passing of the generations. Our Aunt Fran Van Halsema (wife to my mother's brother Gerard) died on July 14 - the same day as the birthday of my sister Mary and our maternal grandmother Nellie. In the past 15 months we have experienced the loss of now five aunts and uncles on both my mom's and dad's sides of the family tree.
Let's remember to make the most of our days and seek out those things that give us a sense of peace and accomplishment. It's important, oui?
Baking is one of those things. The feel of the dough, the aroma of a lovely tart as it comes to the end of the bake, the luscious fruit and browned, buttery crust as one takes a bite and the sense of a job well done. Yes.
A galette (crostata in Italian) is so easy to prepare. Simply use your favorite pâte brisée or pâte sucrée, roll it into a circle of about 10" (or choose what size you'd like - bigger, smaller, it's up to you) and place it on a parchment lined 1/2 sheet pan. Then, in the center of the dough, pile about 4.5 cups of fresh fruits (I used blueberries, sweet succulent yellow plums and sweet cherries) that have been tossed with sugar to taste and a bit of flour as thickener, along with some lemon zest and a grate or two of nutmeg. Give yourself a good 2" edge of dough and pleat it up around the of the fruit which should remain visible in the center.
Brush the dough edges with egg wash or a bit of cream, sprinkle with raw sugar and place in the freezer to firm up and stabilize the butter in the dough while you heat your oven to 425ºF.
Bake about 20-25 minutes (don't forget to watch what's going on in there!) until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly and juicy.
Let cool for a bit and serve still warm or cool all the way and eat later. It's best the day it's made but will reheat in the oven (no microwave please) pretty nicely the next day too. And don't forget the vanilla ice cream. Yeah boy.
A wonderfully delicious and straight forward summer dessert. And it's even good for breakfast.
Now my kitchen awaits, eager for the next baking adventure and blog post. In the meantime, as my husband Steve so often says, "life is short - go to Paris". Well said Steve.