My love affair with the Texas Hill Country and the region’s variety of fresh ingredients continues this week with peaches and the glorious blossoms that precede them. Peaches originated in Persia (modern-day Iran) and made their way to the United States via Europe. In ancient times, they were considered an auspicious source of vitality and longevity. The wood from the tree was even used to create figurines that would ward against evil spirits and promote a healthful household. Peaches are at a great point in the season, so grab some at a nearby farmer’s stand. The humble galette or “flat cake” is a free-form rustic tart or large cookie that is typically filled with either sweet fruits or ground meats. It makes an excellent vehicle for the prolific peach - however, be careful to not add too much fruit, which may result in the crust turning soggy. My favorite way to eat this galette is to have a slightly warmed-up slice for breakfast with a cup of masala chai.
makes one 8-9 inch galette
1 cup (8 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (4 ounces) ground almonds
1/4 cup (2 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) cold butter, cubed into 1/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup (3 ounces) heavy cream
8-9 medium-sized hard peaches (roughly 2 pounds)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg plus 1 tablespoon cream or milk (for egg wash)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees. Without peeling the peaches slice them into 1/2-inch pieces
To make the dough: In a large bowl, mix the flour, ground almonds, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add in the cold butter and press into the flour mixture until all pieces are pea size but not fully incorporated into the flour.
Mix in heavy cream and form a ball; use a tablespoon or so more if needed. Dough should come together easily and be firm yet malleable. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and preferably for 4-6 hours.
On a floured round metal baking sheet, roll out the dough into a 10-to 12- inch round. Spread the peaches evenly over the top, leaving the outer 2-3 inches bare. Sprinkle sugar, salt and cardamom on top of the peaches. Fold the galette edges over evenly.
Brush the melted butter on the peaches. Whisk together the milk with the egg and brush over the dough. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top and place the galette in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until deep golden brown. Let the galette rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.
ideas / variations
This recipe may be used with any other combinations of fruit, such as pears, apples and/or berries.
Toasting the almonds to a dark brown results in a deeply flavorful dough.
You may replace the toasted almonds with almonds flour, but the flavor will lose some depth