I’ve recently experimented with how to bake galettes. Galettes are a sort of rustic looking, free-form pie. If you’ve never made one, I highly recommend trying your hand at it. As far as the baking techniques go, it is pretty straightforward. A key to a great galette crust is to keep the dough cold. The recipes I followed recommended freezing the butter before mixing it in and using ice water to moisten the dough. Chilling the dough after it has been formed is also crucial. You may also want to bake during a cooler part of the day. I found my butter melted quickly while baking mid-afternoon, even after chilling it.
The first galette I baked was a peach galette based off of this recipe by Elise Bauer on SimplyRecipes.com. I had several large juicy peaches bought at the Davis Farmers Market from Mount Moriah Farms a couple of days previous. I had already snacked on some of the peaches, so I knew for sure they were going to be delicious in this galette. The recipe only calls for two peaches, and there is no need to skin the peaches unless you have a strong preference for that. I simply halved the peaches, removed the pit, and sliced them into large chunks.
I made the dough in a food processor following the recipe. Galettes are open faced with just the edges of the crust folded in, so you only need to worry about having a bottom crust. I chilled the dough for one hour in the refrigerator. I think it could have used at least half an hour longer. I had a little trouble rolling out the dough because the butter in the dough started to melt causing the dough to become sticky and difficult to work with. Pausing here and chilling the dough longer would probably have been a good move, however, I was impatient to get the galette into the oven, so I continued.
I arranged the peach slices in an informal spiral in the center of the dough. I skipped the almond paste recommended in Bauer’s recipe (although I bet that would have been amazing), and I dotted the peaches with some room temperature butter. Then, I folded up the sides. I’ll admit, as you will see from my picture, the sides of my crust were not pleated very neatly. Actually, considering the melt-y nature of my crust, I felt relieved that I was able to fold up the sides at all. The egg wash was the last step before baking. Then, I shimmied my galette onto a baking sheet using a spatula, and I popped it in the oven.
Despite some of its aesthetic pitfalls, the peach galette was delicious. I definitely recommend doing this recipe with ripe in-season peaches (or your preference of stone fruit). This beautiful summer fruit was just begging to grace the center of this flaky pastry. Great first galette experience, and it left me hungry for another one.
Fig, Honey and Goat Cheese Galette
This Fig, Honey, and Goat Cheese Galette by Liren Baker on Kitchen Confidante is amazing! This dish is a decadent blend of sweet, creamy and tangy flavors and textures. It is also a great way to feature figs. Figs often get overshadowed by stone fruit in the summer. I’ve looked forward to them every summer since a rental home I lived in several years ago had a Black Mission Fig Tree in the front yard. My roommates were less inclined to pick fruit than I was, so I got to enjoy the lion’s share of the figs. Disclaimer- the figs I used for this galette were from Trader Joe’s.
For the goat cheese, I visited Corti Brothers, a specialty grocer in Sacramento, and I picked up Laura Chenel’s Honey Goat Cheese. I am pretty sure many local grocers carry this brand in their specialty cheese sections. I added additional honey to the Honey Goat Cheese for some extra decadence. If you are in the Davis-Sacramento area, I recommend using PURE Orange Blossom Honey. They are a local family-owned apiary and raw honey seller from Winters, CA. They sell at several farmers markets, Nugget Market, and on their website.
I had prepared the dough for the crust ahead of time, and I kept it in the freezer for a few days until I was ready to use it. The dough was actually based off of the recipe from the peach galette. I made a second dough and froze it just in case. The frozen dough needed to defrost overnight in the refrigerator, so I had to plan ahead for the galette the night before baking it. The defrosted dough was actually much nicer to work with than the dough that had only chilled for one hour in the refrigerator. The previously frozen dough kept its shape better when rolled out, and it did not get as sticky as the first one. This also meant it pleated more neatly when the sides were folded up into the center.
The Fig, Honey and Goat Cheese galette was delicious! We topped it with thyme leaves from out herb garden and drizzled the individual pieces with more PURE Orange Blossom Honey. Bon appetit!
Hopefully this has inspired you to try making your own galette! I would love to hear about your baking adventures. Please share recipes, thoughts, and pictures in the comments below!