Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Call it "Rustic"

It used to be a Fall tradition with my family that as soon as there were apples to be picked at our faourite orchard, we would be there. Bundled up in sweaters and coats as kids, my sister and I would waste the afternoon running between saplings and tasting every new kind of fruit we came across. In late October, when the gigantic, rock hard Northern Spies finally made their appearance, we'd be back - and sure enough the first thing to come out when we came home would be our Fall baking bible - a tattered, splattered copy of Apples, Peaches and Pears by Elizabeth Baird. We still have that book, complete with a few torn pages, a binding that no longer is really doing it's job and about 20 years' worth of cinnamon, butter and sugar crusting the well-loved pages. I've even gotten mom to leave it to me in her will.

In the past couple years, mom and I haven't done much in the way of making apple recipes together. While I gladly put together apple pies, crisps and squares any chance I get, my mom is so busy between work at "work", work at "home" and conforming herself to everyone's vastly different and incompatible schedules that what used to be the highlight of our season is now up to me to keep alive.

I knew the perfect way to breathe the life back into those tattered pages when I spotted the first "new crop" Ontario apples at the market, alongside the huge local peaches and even a few early pears. I would re-create that book, as a pie, and take my own first step into tradition. Unfortunately, as fate (or Murphy's Law) would have it, I caught the first "wave" of the seasonal flu bug and all of a sudden the double-crust, super flaky dessert of my imagination felt more like running a marathon than a simple kitchen task. But darn it, I wanted to make that pie. And I sure was NOT going to waste the fruit by letting it waste away on the kitchen counter or in the fridge! So I did the next best thing: galette. Same dough, same filling, different assembly. I didn't have to mess around with centering pie dough in a pan, fluting edges or remembering to dock the top crust. Nope, just rolling out the whole wheat pastry dough, shoving the fruit in the middle, a little bit of folding and voila - dessert.

So while it may not be traditional, or heck... even pretty, it is exactly what it sets out to be. A humble, rustic reminder of what once was, blended with the promise of new tradition. Not to mention, it's pretty darn tasty too!

Apple, Peach And Pear Galette
Serves 8
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cold butter
4 tbsp cold water
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1 large pear, peeled and diced
1 large peach, peeled and diced
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp tapioca flour (not the granules)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. In a bowl, whisk together flours, salt and sugar.
  2. Cut the butter in until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. 1 tbsp at a time, gradually add water until a dough forms (you may not need it all).
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead 1-2 times to bring the mixture together, then wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the fruits in a medium bowl.
  6. In a small dish, mix sugar, tapioca flour and cinnamon.
  7. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the fruit and toss well, let stand 10 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400F, line a large cookie sheet with parchment or silicone.
  9. Roll out the dough into a rough circle, move to cookie sheet.
  10. Place the fruit mixture in the centre of the dough and smooth into an even layer, leaving at least 2" of plain pastry around the edges.
  11. Fold the edges up and over the sides of the filling, leaving the space in the middle open.
  12. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.
  13. Cool completely before slicing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 163.3
Total Fat: 7.3 g
Cholesterol: 18.3 mg
Sodium: 49.8 mg
Total Carbs: 24.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 2.2 g

2 comments :

kat said...

This is all I make these days its so quick & simple & I can make small ones for the two of us.

Diana H said...

I love galettes. Their simple no form look with stuff peeking out is one of my favorite ways to do it. Great fruit combination too.