A Rustic Fruit Tart
- Servings: 6 to 8.
A galette -- sometimes called a crostata -- is a rustic pastry that's easier to make than a pie because all you need to do is prepare a pie dough, roll it into a circle, spoon fresh-cut fruit on top, and fold up the edges.
Use any pie dough recipe that you already like to use. You may have one that includes corn meal or some ground nuts or one made only with butter. Most versions will work just fine. Just don't use a shortbread or cookie dough because these are too crumbly and won't fold with the flexibility that a normal pastry dough will have.
You could even buy a frozen pie crust and roll it out, using it as if you made the pastry yourself.
I've included a basic pie dough recipe that's made in a food processor. When rolling out the dough, aim for a 10 to 12-inch circle and then pile up the fruit in the center, leaving a 2-inch rim. This will let you easily fold up the dough around the fruit.
This recipe suggests using plums but any stone fruit -- peaches or nectarines -- will do very nicely. Choose pieces that are ripe and sweet. Even a combination of plums and peaches or peaches and nectarines will work beautifully.
Tip: Choosing plums? Select ones that are best in season, ripe and sweet. Choices may include Red plums, the red Santa Rosa, dark purple Black Amber plums, small Italian "prunes" (they're not prunes but when dried turn into them), a yellow Golden Nectar, or any others sold in your market. You can use all of one type or a mixture. Just cut the pieces to be around the same size so that they'll cook evenly. And taste for their natural sweetness before adding sugar.
Bake the galette on a large rimmed sheet pan that's been lined with parchment paper. It's 99% likely that the pastry will leak fruit juices while cooking and if you don't bake it on a lined and rimmed sheet pan, you may turn your oven into a burnt mess.
It will serve 6 to 8, depending how you fold the dough, and leftovers are miraculous for breakfast.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 to 6 tablespoons iced water (this is approximate; you may need more depending on the weather)
- 3 cups pitted and sliced plums. Rinse the plums but leave on the skins. Make sure there is no debris on the slices left over from removing the pits.
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind (only the yellow part)
- 1/4 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon to finish
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (this helps to thicken the juices; you can also use an equal amount of tapioca for the same purpose)
- Making the Dough:
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in the basket of a food processor. Pulse once to combine.
- Sprinkle the diced cold butter over the flour mixture. Plus 4 or 5 times, one second for each pulse, to combine until the butter and flour together resemble corn meal.
- Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, and with a fork combine until large clumps form and the dough starts to hold together. If you need more than 2 tablespoons, sprinkle additional ice water gradually, in tiny amounts so that you don't get it too wet (although if this happens, don't panic; just gather up the finished dough and pat it with small amounts of extra flour until it achieves a tender, workable consistency). Adding the ice water by hand and not all at once in the food processor gives you vastly more control and a better, flakier result.
- Gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about a half-hour. (You can make the dough up to a day in advance, keeping it in the refrigerator.)
- Prepare a rimmed sheet pan by lining it with a piece of parchment paper.
- Using a second, large piece of parchment paper, cut it in half, and place the disc of dough in between the two pieces of paper. Using a rolling pin on top of the paper, roll out the dough into a 10-to-12-inch disc, with the dough being about 1/8-inch thick. Rolling the dough between two pieces of parchment helps hold the dough together and also makes it possible to transfer the finished disc to the baking sheet without ripping it.
- When finished rolling out the dough, transfer the finished disc of dough to the baking sheet by first peeling back the top layer of parchment paper, then place dough-side down onto the clean parchment lined sheet pan. Once in position, remove the remaining half of the paper from the dough.
- Chill the finished and positioned dough until you are ready to assemble the galette.
- Making the Galette:
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.
- Cut the plums into thick slices, about 1/2-inch thick each, leaving on the skins.
- Place the slices in a mixing bowl. Add 1/4-cup sugar, grated lemon rind, and cornstarch. Before adding the sugar, taste the plums and if the fruit is particularly sweet, use less sugar. Stir to combine.
- Once the disc of dough has been made and placed on the prepared sheet pan, pile the cut pieces of fruit into the center of the disc, leaving about 2-inches around the entire rim. Pile up the fruit so that it slightly domes in the center.
- Fold up the edge of dough around the fruit, folding every 2 or so inches, creating a rim of dough around the edges of the fruit. A circle of fruit will remain exposed in the center.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush a little water on the finished crust. Sprinkle pinches of sugar on the crust. This will add a little surface texture after the galette is baked.
- Place the sheet pan and tart into the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes. It could take a bit longer to cook if your crust is thick and the pieces of fruit are less ripe or cut into large pieces. The tart is finished when the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
Let cool about 30 minutes before serving or else cool completely and serve at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Tip: If you already have a favorite pastry dough recipe, use that, making the equivalent for 1 crust.