I have an irrational phobia of pie crust.
Actually, it’s not entirely irrational. When I first started learning some basic cooking techniques, I watched an Alton Brown episode on pie crust. Inspired, I decided that that year, for Thanksgiving, I was going to make the best damn pie crust anyone had ever eaten. So that Wednesday night, I got home from work, and armed with Alton’s meticulously researched directions, set about on my pie crust adventure.
And two hours later, my kitchen was covered in a crumbly, buttery mess, and I was in the grocery store buying Pillsbury frozen crusts.
Ever since then, I have pretty much stayed away. I keep frozen ones in my freezer for quiches and other quick meals. I’ll do pies with cookie-type crusts to press into the pan, but I don’t think I’ve attempted a proper pie crust since then.
I’ve been seeing beautiful fruit tarts popping up in others’ blogs and I was getting the itch. When I went to the farmers market on Saturday and saw some gorgeous peaches and lovely organic lavender, I knew my time had come to conquer my pie crust fear.
And I am so glad I did. I used Martha Stewart’s pate sucree recipe, which wasn’t too difficult. And the nice thing about a galette is that its shape is free form and rustic looking so when the directions call for you to roll the dough out into a circle and your flattened dough looks more like the shape of Michigan, you don’t have to resort to Pillsbury.
For the Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons ice water
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
For the Filling
5 cups peaches, pitted and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (approximately 5 peaches)
2 teaspoons lavender blossoms (just tug the little bulbs off the stem, they should come off pretty easily)
1 Tablespoon flour, plus more for work surface
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar), plus more for sprinkling (Martha suggests turbinado, I used vanilla sugar again)
1 egg white
To make the crust
In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and process for approximately 10 seconds, or just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
With the machine running, add ice water, drop by drop and slowly add egg yolks, until the dough just holds together without being wet or sticky; about 30 seconds. Test the dough at this point by squeezing a small amount together. If it is too crumbly, add a bit more water.
Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Grasping the ends of the plastic wrap with your hands, press dough into a flat circle with your fists. Wrap dough in the plastic and chill for at least an hour.
To make the galette
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sprinkle a lightly floured work surface with flour. Roll out dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 hour.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon flour, sugar, and the lavender. Gently toss in peaches until evenly coated with the flour mixture.
Transfer to the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all the way around. Fold border over plum mixture, overlapping where necessary and gently pressing to adhere the folds.
Brush edges of dough with reserved egg white, and sprinkle with either turbinado sugar or vanilla sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
It was really good. The lavender works perfectly with the peaches, which are slightly floral themselves. And yes, I am posting two pictures of it because I am so pleased with my crust. You would never know that that dough was once shaped like Michigan.
We brought it over to some friends’ place, where it was a hit. The only bad thing about it was parting with the leftovers, but my friends gave me something very exciting in return. Something I’ve been wanting for a while. Stay tuned, as I’ll be cooking with it later this week…