August is National Peach Month, celebrating that sweet and juicy stone fruit known for its velvety and fuzzy skin.
Peaches are the third most popular fruit grown in America, with China being the top producer and where they originated.
Showcasing them in recipes is a pretty simple task, as they are absolutely delicious on their own. Especially during their peak season, which is right about now.
After gathering a good haul from the farmers market, I went on a peachy baking rampage. Peach scones, cobbler, muffins, bellinis, salsa and this confection that’s literally easier than pie: peach galette.
Galette (pronounced “guh-let”) is a French term to describe a flat cake or free-form pie or tart. They can be sweet or savory and have a rustic look.
This galette starts with a slab of homemade pie crust that’s rolled out and wrapped around a mound of sugar-kissed peaches lightly seasoned with cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice. The 2-inch border is folded over the edge of the filling, leaving the center exposed, and then baked to golden and bubbly perfection.
With a flakey, buttery crust and tender, caramelized peaches, it’s a simple but stunning dessert and tastes like heaven when served with ice cream.
To make this even easier, store-bought pie crust can be used, and the peaches don’t have to be arranged in a spiral. You can just add them.
This recipe also can be adapted to use whatever fruit you have on hand or that is in season. Try it with nectarines, berries, plums, cherries or a combination of fruits.
Adapted from livforcake.com.
For the crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, chilled and diced
¼ cup ice water, as needed
For the filling:
3 cups (about 3-4 medium) peaches, sliced
⅓ cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk beaten with a splash of water
Demerara sugar, or other coarse sugar, for sprinkling
1 tablespoon apricot or peach preserves/jelly
Optional for serving: ice cream or whipped topping
In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse to mix. Add in the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs the size of peas. Slowly add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time as needed, and pulse just until the mixture comes together (it should be crumbly but hold together when pinched between two fingers).
Turn out onto a clean surface and form into a disc. Wrap with plastic and place into a refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge and wait about 10 minutes for the dough to warm slightly and become pliable. Meanwhile, place the peach slices in a large bowl and add in the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt and toss to combine.
Place the dough in the center of a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and roll out to a 10- to 12-inch diameter circle. Transfer parchment (and rolled dough) onto a rimmed baking sheet.
Spoon the peach filling onto the center of the pie pastry, in an even layer or a decorative spiral pattern, leaving about 2 inches around the edge. Fold the pastry over the peaches, overlapping the dough, accordion-style, when needed.
Use a pastry brush to coat the dough with the egg wash and then sprinkle with the Demerara sugar.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the pastry is golden and juices bubble.
Remove from the oven and cool on a sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool until set. Brush the top of the peaches with the apricot/peach jelly to lightly glaze.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping, if desired.
Audrey Alfaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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