When I get obsessed with a recipe, it pervades my waking and sleeping hours.
Of late, it’s been peach galette, how much ground almonds to use in the layer below the peaches, what oven temperature, how long to bake – the list goes on. Then comes the testing and re-testing until Ross and I are eating the dessert daily and the freezer is full of various renditions, all clearly labelled.
It all started last summer when I made this delectable, rustic-looking free-form pie for my daughters while I was still living in Stratford. It was a first attempt and delicious, baked at the height of peach season.
This time, happy to be living in Toronto again, I’m working on a cookbook with the non-profit group FoodShare to be published next spring and my Peach Galette has to be in there.
This version, much of it refined in the middle of the night when I wake up dreaming of peaches, is fantastic. It’s easier to make than the traditional two-crust pie and looks as good as it tastes. You’re welcome!
For dough, use all butter and omit lard, if desired. You can use any tender fruit for this: plums, apricots, nectarines or cherries. Local fruit in season is best. If using plums or apricots, double amount of sugar in filling. You can peel peaches by the old-fashioned method – plunging them in boiling water for a minute or two – or buy one of the excellent serrated peelers now available including the One-Touch battery-operated device I found at Canadian Tire. The latter method is easier and prevents the peaches from leaking juice. This makes a large pie – enough for a crowd and ideal for a summer gathering.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 cup diced cold butter
1/4 cup cold lard
6 to 8 tbsp iced water
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp light brown or organic cane sugar
About 6 cups sliced, pitted, peeled ripe peaches (about eight)
3 tbsp light brown or organic cane sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
Glaze and garnish:
1 egg, beaten with a little milk
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup peach, apricot or apple jelly, melted
About ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted *
For dough, combine flour and sugar in food processor. Add butter; pulse 5 to 6 times to break up butter roughly. Add lard; pulse a few times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add water through feeder tube until mixture begins to clump. Form dough into ball; wrap in plastic wrap and chill about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400F.
For Almond Layer, combine all ingredients in small bowl.
For Peach Filling, combine all ingredients in large bowl.
Roll out dough on floured surface to about 15 inches in diameter. Place on large round pizza or other baking pan. Spread almond mixture evenly over dough. Mound peach mixture in middle of dough leaving about 2 inches of dough around it. Fold edges of dough, pleating at intervals, on top of peaches. Brush edges of dough with egg mixture, then sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in oven about 40 to 50 minutes or until pie is golden brown. Cool. Spread melted jelly over peaches with pastry brush. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serve with ice cream, thickened yogurt or creme fraiche.
Makes about 8 to 12 servings.
* To toast almonds, cook in dry skillet over low heat about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
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