Apricot Almond Galette

Summer is fruit season.  It seems hard to remember a time when we didn’t have peaches, plums and berries aplenty!  This leads to an overwhelming desire to make pies.  Lots and lots of pies.  The problem is that making pies is a pain in the you-know-what.  You’ve got to make the crust, bake the crust (which means locating your pie weights and praying the crust doesn’t shrink), make the filling, bake it again (this time, praying that it doesn’t overflow and ruin itself).  This rustic galette (aka. A Country Pie) is endlessly adaptable and cuts out at least two of those annoying pie-making steps.

Ripe apricots partner up with homemade almond paste to make this light, crumbly galette.  Tangy, sweet apricots laying over a bed of homemade almond paste wrapped up in a light whole wheat crust.  Served warm, the oozey fruit and nutty crust are just begging to be topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.  A perfect way to put all that summer fruit to use without all the fuss of a pie!

I used to be afraid of making pie crusts.  It seemed complicated, something that required a level of precision I couldn’t promise to live up to.  Last Thanksgiving, I {insanely} insisted on an entirely homemade meal, which mandated that I finally dive into the world of pie crust making.  Turns out, pie crusts are far more manageable than you would think.  Here are a couple tips to keep you sane: (1) Cut your butter into small cubes and then freeze until you are ready to mix them into the batter, (2)  Add ice water in tablespoon increments until the dough comes together, (3) Don’t freak out when your dough is still crumbly.  That is a good thing. Wrap it in plastic, throw it in the fridge and let it come together on it’s own.

Another trick for rolling out pie crusts without losing your mind: Place the chilled dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll the dough though the paper.  This prevents the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. This crust is made with whole wheat pastry flour but you could easily substitute white whole wheat (or all-purpose) flour if you were so inclined.  If you want to swap out the fruit in the galette and use a plain crust, just leave out the almond meal and increase the flour by 1/4 cup.

Most recipes for homemade almond paste (also known as marzipan) require a tremendous amount of powdered sugar.  Now why would I want to take a perfectly good recipe relying on the sweetness of summer fruit and whole grains and ruin it with pounds of powdered sugar?  I came up with a version of almond paste which is sweetened entirely with agave nectar or honey.  (I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been kinda into that lately.)  The texture is a bit different from traditional almond paste, but the flavor is spot on.  Now that you have a simple base recipe, feel free to experiment with peaches, nectarines, plums or berries!

    Apricot Almond Galette

    1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
    1/4 cup almond meal
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 tablespoon sugar (optional)
    9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) butter, cut into small pieces and frozen
    3 tablespoons ice water

    Almond Paste:
    1/2 cup almond meal
    2 tablespoons agave nectar or light flavored honey
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    1 egg white


    3-4 ripe apricots, pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick
    1/4 cup apricot preserves (thinned with 1 tablespoon water)
    1 tablespoon butter, melted
    Sugar, for sprinkling (optional)


    - Using a food processor (or a pastry blender), combine the flour, almond meal, salt and sugar. Add frozen butter. Pulse a few times until butter is about the size of a pea. Drizzle in ice water and pulse until dough comes together. Alternatively, combine in a large bowl with a pastry blender.
    - Divide dough into four balls (just make one ball if you are making one large galette). Wrap in plastic wrap and form small disks, touching the dough as little as possible. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
    - In the meantime, to make the almond paste, combine the almond meal, agave nectar, almond extract and salt in a small bowl. Combine with a fork until it forms a paste. Stir in egg white. Set aside.
    - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out each pie crust between two sheets of wax paper to the desired size, roughly 6-8 inches in diameter for mini galettes. Place each crust in the refrigerator until needed.
    - Spread 1/4 of the almond paste on the center of each pie crust. Arrange sliced apricots with about an inch of crust left exposed.  Brush apricots with thinned apricot preserves. Fold up the excess crust around the fruit. Repeat with each crust, if making minis.
    - Place galettes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush edges with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar (if using).  Bake 25-30 minutes or until crust begins to brown and fruit is golden.
    - Let cool slightly. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream!

    Makes 1 large galette or 4 mini galettes.


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