plums are back in season and, having just received a couple of bags of them from food4, i’m a happy girl. my usual choice for cooking with them is nigel slater’s moist plum cake but when i saw deb’s nectarine galette i decided to try something different.
the resulting galette (a french word which can be used to describe this sort of free-form tart) was delicious, especially the edges of the plum pieces which caramelised as it cooked.
i loosely followed deb’s recipe, which is in turn based on an alice waters recipe, but doubled the pastry quantities as i had over a dozen plums which i wanted use up. as suggested, i cooked the tart on a pizza stone. however, assembling the tart on a board and then shimmying it onto the hot stone was definitely a two-man job so, if you’re home-alone when you try this out, think about assembling and cooking it on a baking sheet.
i ate mine with double cream and david had his with vanilla and blackberry ice-cream. yum!
plum galette* (serves 8-10)
250g plain flour
2 tablespoons sugar
a pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, chilled
3 tablespoons ground almonds
2 tablespoon flour
50g sugar – i mixed a mix of demerara and dark muscovado
12-15 plums, destoned and cut into quarters/sixths
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
a handful of sliced almonds
to make the pastry, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. grate in the butter and rub with your fingertips until the mix has a texture like breadcrumbs. dribble 8 tablespoons cold water over the mixture and use a rubber spatula to pull the mixture together (this is a great tip as it keeps the pastry mix cool) – most of the mix should now be incorporated, if not add a bit more water, a tablespoon at time. gather the dough into a mound (either in the bowl or on a counter) and gently knead it together, for just a few seconds. if it doesn’t come together, add a bit more cold water. form the pastry into a flat disc, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
when you are ready to roll out the pastry take it out the fridge and let it soften slightly so that it is malleable but still cold. on a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry so it is c3mm thick and a good size for your tray (remember that the edges will be folded over the centre of the tart so you can make it bigger than the tray itself if necessary). transfer the dough to a lined baking sheet or large plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
to make the galette, preheat the oven to 200c. place a pizza stone, if you are using one, on a lower rack. mix the ground almonds, flour and sugar together.
remove the pre-rolled pastry from the fridge and sprinkle the almond mixture evenly over the pastry, leaving a border of 3-5cm uncoated. arrange the fruit, skin-side-down, in concentric circles on top of the almond mix, making a single layer of snugly touching pieces, leaving the border bare.
fold the border of bare pastry up over the edges of the fruit to create a crust, crimping and pushing it up against the fruit – you want everything to be quite snugly packed within the pastry case but sure there are no breaks in the pastry that will let juices leak. tidy up the pastry edges if you want (i didn’t but deb’s tart looks very neat!) and brush the exposed pastry with the melted butter.
put your tart onto the preheated pizza stone and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is well browned and its edges are slightly caramelized. 15 minutes before the galette is ready sprinkle the sliced almonds over the fruit.
as soon as the galette is out of the oven, use a large metal spatula to slide it onto a cooling rack, to prevent it getting soggy. let cool for 20 minutes and serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, plain yogurt or double cream.
the galette will keep at room temperature for at least two days, and even longer in the fridge. the unbaked dough, wrapped in plastic, will keep in the freezer for a few weeks, the fridge for a day or more. rolled-out dough may be frozen and used the next day.
* adapted, loosely, from alice water’s apricot tart via smitten kitchen