That’s what today is. One word pretty much sums it all up. We’re currently in the middle of a California heat wave. It was 104 degrees at the peak of hotness, and the AC is still going strong.
Of course, I’m sure this is nothing compared to the weather in other regions. You’re probably laughing at me right now. I know, we’re so spoiled here!
The dry hotness is an interesting contrast to the tropical weather we had last week: balmy, drizzly, and oddly humid. Yep, it was basically Hawaii outside. As a result, outdoor activities, such as tennis, were a no-go that afternoon. So, it was either baking and picture-taking or practicing the violin for four hours. Seeing that I struggle to practice for more than thirty minutes without having a mini-meltdown, the choice was obvious.
Last weekend, our neighbor let us pick plums from her plum tree in her front yard. We literally came back with fifty clementine-sized ripe plums. They were delicious, but we couldn’t eat all fifty fast enough, so I baked some of them into a galette. By “some”, I mean six; I really made a dent in our plum supply, obviously.
That brings me to my next point: the techniques and how-tos of plum-pitting. How the heck am I supposed to pit six tiny plums, by hand, in a timely manner? I still don’t know the answer to that, since it took me a good half-hour to pit and slice. It was kind of an ordeal. I highly suggest using plums that are on the heftier side or investing in a plum pitter, just to save time and prevent excessive frustration.
Despite my troubles with the pitting process, I am really pleased with the finished product. This was my first time baking a galette, so I really didn’t know what to expect. The crust is flaky and pleasantly crunchy thanks to the sugar, which contrasts nicely with the tart plums. I’m not the biggest fan of cooked fruit, but this passed the test! A scoop of vanilla ice cream served on the side is diviiiine. So elegant and classy.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp. butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 tbsp. cold water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg beaten with one tbsp. water
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
For the Plum Filling:
- 5 plums, pitted and sliced into small wedges (the number varies depending on the size of the fruit)
- 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Start with the dough. Combine the butter chunks, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until it has the texture of coarse meal. Add the vanilla extract, and pulse briefly until combined. Transfer the loose mixture to a medium bowl. Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time, and stir with your hands until the dough holds together; you may not need all three tablespoons of water. Pat the dough into a small disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for thirty minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Toss together the sliced plums with the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and spices in a medium bowl. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the parchment with flour and a generous amount of turbinado sugar.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to soften enough so that it doesn’t crack when you roll it out. Then, roll it out into a circle on a lightly floured surface. Trim the edges to create a nice, clean round circle. Transfer the dough circle to the parchment-covered pan. Arrange the fruit in the middle of the circle, leaving a two-inch border of dough. Carefully fold the edges over the fruit, lightly pinching the folds so that they hold together. It doesn’t have to be perfect (unless you’re a perfectionist like me)! Brush the dough with the egg/water mixture and sprinkle it with turbinado sugar.
- Bake the galette for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.