A galette is a flat pastry cake that is baked on a tray in free-form unlike a tart which is defined by the distinctive border of the tart mould. A galette is supposed to look a bit rustic in appearance and is often made with whole grain flours, which adds some nuttiness to the taste but the base is really a vehicle for showcasing the ripeness of seasonal stone fruit. Having said that, galettes also work well with blueberries and even strawberries and raspberries, but I think plums really make the nicest sweet galette; when cooked this way plums not only look luscious, they really are. If you have a garden with a fruit tree dripping with juicy plums (there are still a lot of plum trees around suburban Melbourne) you would definitely want one of these plum galettes cooling on your kitchen table. You can of course buy small, sweet Angelina plums but I like the idea of putting garden plums to good use, so if you have some give this ago. The pastry for this galette is really a rough puff pastry made by rolling chilled diced butter into the flour and then folding the dough over into thirds and rolling it, a bit like you would when making a puff pastry but with way less butter and way less time. The pastry should have tiny lumps of butter still visible in the dough as these will give the pastry the desired flakiness. By taking the time to roll then fold the dough and chill it at each stage of preparation you will be rewarded with a really lovely texture but if you can’t be bothered you can just pulse it in a food processor until it just comes together and then chill it. If pastry is just not your thing then maybe try Careme spelt short crust pastry.
(Backyard) Plum Galette
makes one 20 cm diameter free-form galatte, enough for 4 people
- 175 g spelt flour
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp chilled water
- 10 small ripe plums
- 2 tbs caster sugar
- 1 sachet Hoyt’s vanilla sugar
- pinch cinnamon
- 3 tbs ground almonds
- 1 egg for brushing pastry plus extra sugar for sprinkling on rim
To make the pastry: cut the butter into dice and chill it in the freezer while while you weigh out the ingredients. Place the flour and butter on a clean bench and using a rolling pin, roll the butter into the flour, drawing it together. Mix the quark with the water to loosen it and pour over the dough. Fold the dough over and roll it again, forming a rectangle. Fold it into thirds and roll it out again. Repeat this process twice more. Fold and roll the pastry as best you can into a thick flat disc and wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for an hour. Halve the plums by running a small paring knife around the middle right to the stone (at right angles to the stem) and then twist the plum in half. Remove the stone. Keep about 10 halves intact and quarter the rest. In a bowl mix the sugars and spice together and gently mix in the plums and set aside.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll the pastry between two pieces of baking paper to form a circle of about 4 mm thickness. Return to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. Remove the pastry disc and sprinkle the with ground almonds leaving a 4 cm border. Arrange the plum halves in the centre and fill in the gaps and perimeter with the quartered plums. Cut the pastry with short 4 cm cuts to form a broad fridge and fold over the flaps to create the rim of the galette. Briefly chill the galette again for 10 minutes before baking. In the meantime heat the oven to 170°C fan forced. Brush the rim of the galette with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve as is, the juice from the plums is luscious enough!