When we moved into our house last December we had to remove a few dying trees from our new front yard. They were old and neglected and looking very sad. We left the healthiest looking tree in hopes to try and revive it. We didn’t know what kind of tree it was, but over the last few months we’ve been learning all about it. First with beautiful blush pink buds and blooms, then long, pointy leaves, and now after watching the fruit appear and having a taste we know it’s a plum tree (but don’t ask me what kind of plum tree).
As with the lemon tree at our old house, I’ve been inspired to make summery plum creations. My first: a plum galette. I’ve always seen images of galettes and wanted to try my hand at one. They’re so rustic and imperfect. I figured if it didn’t taste good, it would at least make a nice photo. Well it tastes great, even with a few sour plums mixed in (I’m learning when the right time to pick is). And it’s even better served warm with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream. Our favorite is McConnell’s French Vanilla.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons ground almonds
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 pounds large plums—halved, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1/2 cup good-quality plum, apricot or raspberry preserves, strained if chunky or seedy (I used a friend’s homemade Lemon Curd)
1. MAKE THE PATE BRISEE Put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and process for 5 seconds; the butter should still be in pieces. Add the ice water and process for 5 seconds longer, just until the dough comes together; the butter should still be visible.
Remove the dough from the processor and gather it into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 16-by-18-inch oval 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to a large, heavy baking sheet. Chill the dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°.
2. MAKE THE FILLING In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the ground almonds and flour. Spread this mixture evenly over the dough to within 2 inches of the edge. Arrange the plum wedges on top and dot with the butter. Sprinkle all but 1 teaspoon of the remaining 1/3 cup sugar over the fruit. Fold the edge of the dough up over the plums to create a 2-inch border. (If the dough feels cold and firm, wait for a few minutes until it softens to prevent it from cracking.) Sprinkle the border with the reserved 1 teaspoon of sugar.
3. Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour, until the fruit is very soft and the crust is richly browned. If any juices have leaked onto the baking sheet, slide a knife under the galette to release it from the sheet. Evenly brush the preserves over the hot fruit; brush some up onto the crust, too, if desired. Let the galette cool to room temperature before serving