The Mixing Bowl: Fruit and pistachio galette


If you are lucky enough to have a bountiful supply of fruit this season, try using some in this galette. It looks like a giant French or Danish pastry with a rich crust surrounding cooked fruit that sits on top of frangipane, a sugar, egg and ground nut mixture.

The first time, I used peaches given to me by Maria Quintero from her tree off of Green Valley. The second time I used Pajaro Valley strawberries brought home by my husband from work. It makes an impressive dessert and a wonderful breakfast pastry the next morning.

I had never baked with frangipane before. Once I tasted it, I realized it’s a common pastry base. It is basically an egg custard made traditionally with ground almonds, although other nuts could be used, like pistachios in this recipe. According to the website Genius Kitchen, Marquis Muzio Frangipani in the 16th century invented an almond perfumed glove that became so popular that pastry chefs decided to take the flavor and add it to their cakes and pies. 

I was very enthusiastic about making a pie outside a pie tin. However, I never escaped the problem of the filling leaking out of the crust onto the baking sheet. The second time I made it, I made sure to secure the folds by firmly pinching the dough closed before brushing with the egg wash. I still had frangipane and fruit leaks. Using parchment paper kept the leaks from burning onto the pan. I just cut off the burning ooze from the edge of the crust. 

This recipe is adapted from Melissa Clark’s May 25, 2018 New York Times column, A Good Appetite.

Crust:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, very cold, and cut into 1-inch square pieces

4 ounces cream cheese, very cold, and cut into 1-inch square pieces

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3-4 tablespoon ice water

Frangipane:

3/4 cup raw shelled pistachios

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon brandy

1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

Compote:

1 pound peaches, peeled and cut into slices (or other fruit)

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar to taste

Topping:

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Demerara, Turbinado or brown sugar

Confectioners sugar

1 egg, beaten

Rest of the fruit

Make the crust. In a bowl or food processor, whisk or pulse flour, salt and sugar. Cut in butter or pulse with pastry blade until bean sized pieces form. Sprinkle in lemon juice and then ice water just until dough comes together. Form into a disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to the next day.

Make the compote by putting 2/3 of the fruit in a small saucepan with lemon juice and as much sugar as you need to sweeten the fruit, about 2-4 tablespoons. Bring to a simmer and cook about 12 minutes until juices are thick and fruit has just begun to break down. Let cook. Set aside and can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Make the frangipane in a food processor or blender. Grind nuts and sugar until finely ground. Add butter and blend until smooth. Add 2 eggs, salt, brandy, lemon zest and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to make the galette.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a 16-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer dough to a baking pan covered with parchment paper.

Leaving a 3-inch border around the edge of the crust, spread the frangipane evenly over the inside. Using a spoon, drop the peach compote over the frangipane keeping the layers separate. Fold the 3-inch border over onto the compote, folding the dough and leaving about a 6-inch hole in the middle. Pinch the dough to try and make sure the compote and frangipane stays in the dough. 

Whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Brush the dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped pistachios. Bake until edges are brown, about 40-50 minutes. Cool. Top with remaining peach slices and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

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