Although the term 'galette' is used broadly, to me it is a pie with folded crust on top, leaving most of the filling exposed. It is easier to compose a natural, rustic look of a galette than, say, a nice looking pie. That suits my style - in making and eating - just fine. While the filling changes with the season, the basic method stays the same with slight tweaks every time. I usually make the dough, and sometimes the filling, a day ahead to save time on the day that I make the galette.
I first learned to make this simple pie dough when I worked on a project for The Jewels of New York, but I also saw it on Martha Stewart and Simply Recipes (with step-by-step pictures) sites. I've tried a few other pie crust variations over time, but I always come back to an adaptation of this version. It is simple, easy-to-handle, and it results in a buttery, flaky crust, which is all I ask for from a galette crust recipe. I also mix the dough with hands since setting up and cleaning the food processor seem to take more time than simply mixing it by hands in a bowl.
As for the filling, I used Fuyu persimmons this time. For the persimmon filling, the Fuyu variety should be used as supposed to Hachiya, which can be too soft and mushy when ripe. Fuyu can be eaten at any ripe condition, which can be hard (like apple) at first then slowly turns soft (like pear). Fuyu is also good for cooking when it's still hard as it will soften slightly but hold its shape well.
With any fruit filling, peel and cut the fruits to slices, mix in sugar and a pinch of salt. In case of apples and persimmons, I place the filling briefly over high heat to cook off the fruit juice naturally drawn out from touching sugar and salt. Depending on how much juice is still left after the filling cools to room temperature, mix in a spoonful or two of flour to get the fruit filling mix thicker. This step will help keep the filling together without losing much fruit juice while baking.
Crushed almonds, sanding sugar, dried cranberries soaked in plum wine are tweaks of the day. As much as I try to incorporate alcohol varieties in cooking (as someone who likes to drink but can't handle much), I'm disappointed to report that soaking fruits in alcohol hasn't resulted in any noticeable difference in galettes - yet.
I hope you go find your own fruit filling of the season - be it persimmons or apples or something different - and make your galette soon.
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 tablespoon Unsalted butter
1/4 cup Cold water
1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
5~6 Fuyu persimmons
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Pinch cinnamon powder
1 egg, whisked
2 tablespoons Plum wine
2 tablespoons Dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon Sanding sugar
1 tablespoon Crushed, toasted almond
1. Prepared to make the pie dough by cutting butter into small pieces and storing in the freezer. Also, put cold water in the freezer.
2. When you make the dough, work fast to prevent butter from melting too much. Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Incorporate cold butter chunks into the flour mix. Break down butter chunks with fingers while mixing in with flour. When the flour mix looks like corn meal with butter chunks in the size of peas, add ice-cold water and bring the dough together. It's okay to have some crumbly parts.
3. Line a clean surface with plastic wrap. Dust the plastic wrap with flour and transfer the dough on top. Transfer the dough, including crumbs onto the dusted plastic wrap. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 9"x9". Cover the dough with another plastic wrap and seal the edges all around. Transfer the dough onto a flat plate (I use a quarter-size sheet pan) and refrigerate for an hour to overnight.
4. Peel and slice persimmons (I quartered a persimmon, then cut each quarter piece into 3~4 slices). Mix in sugar, salt and cinnamon powder.
5. If persimmons are soft, then skip this step. You can also cook persimmons in sugar and salt over low heat without additional liquid. If using, soak dried cranberries in plum wine for 10 minutes. Heat persimmon slices, soaked cranberries and plum wine over medium heat and cook off the liquid from the persimmon mix. When there is almost no liquid left and persimmon slices are softer, turn off heat and cool to room temperature.
6. When the persimmon filling is cooled off, mix in 1 tablespoon of flour. If the filling is too loose, mix in another tablespoon of flour.
7. Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees.
8. Take out the pie crust dough from the refrigerator and let it rest for 5 minutes. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Dust the top of the crust round and place it on a parchment-lined sheet pan, dusted side down. Peel off the plastic wrap and dust with flour. Make 1-inch slits around the crust round which serves as a mark for the filling boundary and later becomes folding flaps.
9. Fill the middle part with the filling - you can pour the whole thing and spread the filling mound out up to the slit marks. Or you can arrange the filling nicely. For this post, I arranged the persimmon slices nicely from the slit-marked boundary all the way to the middle. Fold the crust dough over the filling and pleat to make sure the folded dough is glued together.
10. Brush the whisked egg on the folded crust generously. If using, sprinkle sanding sugar and chopped almond on the crust. Dot the top of the filling with small pieces of butter (from the remaining 1 tablespoon).
11. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Then lower the oven to 375 F degrees and bake for 20~30 minutes until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and cool to warm. Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You can also make individual galettes with the recipe above. I get about 6~8 big cookie-sized individual galettes by using a round cookie cutter from the same pie crust dough recipe above.
단감 (dahn gahm) Fuyu (sharon) persimmon
홍시 (hong shi) Hachiya persimmon