24 July 2013

Ginger Peach Galette

Everybody loves peach pie.  Bright, juicy peaches baked to tender perfection in a sweet sugar syrup of their own making, all wrapped within a tender and flaky crust.  What's not to love?  For me, it's all that sugary syrup.  Call me names if you will, but I do not like the traditional peach pie.  For me, all of that sugar completely knocks out the delicious tartness that I so love about the fresh fruit.  Now the hubs happens to love peach pie, so I decided to come up with a recipe that satisfied both our appetites.

I've always preferred a little bite to my pie.  Rhubarb, marionberry, tart apple and cranberry pear all set me whirling like a dervish.  At our wedding shower, I flabbergasted all of my co-workers by devouring not one, not two but three very large pieces of pie (which may or may not have been after splitting a pizza with the hubs).  My papa always said that I had a hollow leg when it came to dessert, and this was always particularly true when it came to pie.  While other children pressed their noses against the glass of of the cake display, I was the lonely child drooling over the strawberry rhubarb.  Yeah, I really really like pie.

But peach pie?  Meh.  I always felt it was too much sugary syrup and not enough peach flavor.  It's like they baked out all of the sass and left you with a sweet obedient fruit filling.  And as my red hair might imply, obedience has never been my strong suite (just ask my parents).  I like a little spice and zip in life, and my life extends to into my desserts.  The peaches here are free to be sassy with an extra kick from one of my favorite ingredients - ginger.  This delicious root is absolutely amazing with fruit, giving a slight spiciness that really helps the sweet peaches pop and their natural flavor shine.  It's also great for your digestion, so it could be argued that piece of this pie is just what the doctor ordered after an overly indulgent meal.

I use two types of ginger in this recipe - dried and candied.  The peaches are tossed with a bit of sugar, flour and dried ginger, then topped with a sprinkling of delicious candied ginger.  Ahhh, candied ginger.  I consider it the natural version of Tums.  I'll nosh on little chunks of this all night long with a very contented digestive tract.  When chopped and sprinkled over the fruit, it adds a lovely little chewy element to the tender fruit and flakey crust, courtesy of Monsieur Jacques Pépin's.  Kudos to the man with an all-butter crust recipe that actually turns out flakey and delicious.

The hubs absolutely loved this crust.  Crumby, tender and light, its almost-fall-apart consistency requires a) parchment paper or b) mad cooking skills and a whole lot of luck to keep from falling apart (I will never accidentally run out of parchment paper again!)  Since it's so delicate, you need to let the dish cool completely before storing.  But once packed safely away, it will keep for up to two days....if you can make it last that long!

As a final note, this is kind of a mini-galette designed to serve two to four.  If you're looking to serve a larger number, you can absolutely double the recipe and just make a regular-sized pastry to share.  In fact, you may want to make two or three.  This is absolutely wonderful served with cardamom whipped cream or cinnamon ice cream.  But with all the delicious flavor of peaches and ginger, I think you'll find it is perfect flying solo on a dessert plate, too.

Ginger Peach Galette

For the crust:

  • 6 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c flour 
  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tbs ground nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbs ice water
For the filling:
  • 3 peaches
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger
  • 2-3 tbs candied ginger, chopped
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter, cold
  • turbano sugar, for sprinkling

To make the pâte brisée, combine the butter, flours and salt in a food processor.  Blend for 5 seconds until butter is broken into pea-sized chunks.  Add the ice water and process for another 5 seconds until the butter is in small flecks and the dough just starts to come together.  Remove the blade from the processor, then use your hands to form the dough into a ball.  

Lay a piece of parchment paper on a rolling mat or cutting board, generously flouring the surface.  Transfer the dough ball to the prepared parchment paper, press lightly with your hand, then sprinkle the top with flour.  Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 to 1/16th of an inch thick, about 8-9 inches in diameter.  Transfer the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and pace in the refrigerator and chill for 15-20 minutes.

While your crust is chilling, make your filling (poet and I know it.)  Peel and thinly slice the peaches, transferring to a medium bowl once sliced.  Add the sugar, whole wheat flour and dried ginger, then gently toss the peaches until evenly coated.  Roughly chop the candied ginger and leave on the cutting board.

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Leaving a two-inch boarder around the edge, lay the peach slices in a circular pattern, spiraling towards the center of the dessert.  Sprinkle the fruit with the candied ginger and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter.  Gently fold the edges of the crust over the fruit to create a two inch border.  (If the dough starts to crack, let it warm for a couple minutes more then try folding again.)  Sprinkle crust with sugar to decorate.

Bake for about 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices are starting to thicken.  Remove from the oven and brush the crust with the apricot jam.  Let the galette cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool for another 30 minutes.  Serve with cinnamon ice cream....yum.

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