Executive Vice President, the James Beard Foundation; Author, Kitchen Sense (Clarkson Potter, 2006)
"This free-form tart is a good recipe for someone who likes pie but doesn't like to fuss too much with pie crust." –Mitchell Davis
- 2/3 batch pie dough
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons blanched almonds or hazelnuts
- 8 firm, ripe peaches (2 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to a circle of about 15 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a large baking sheet and set in the refrigerator to rest.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade, combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the flour and blanched almonds. Pulse on/off six or seven times to grind the nuts finely.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the nut mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border, Arrange the sliced peaches attractively ina single layer on top of the nut mixture. Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining sugar. Carefully fold up the edges of the dough (1 1/2 to 2 inches worth), overlapping the dough where necessary to make an attractive free-form tart. Be careful to patch any holes or tears in the dough or the juice will run out of the crust. Dot the top of the fruit with the butter. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the peaches are soft and the crust is deep, golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 30 minutes or so.
If desired, to make a nice decoration, heat apricot jam in the microwave or a small saucepan until it is liquid. Brush the jam on the dough ring and decorate with the slice almonds, gluing them on with the jam in an attractive manner.
Follow the same recipe, substituting 2 1/2 pounds fresh rhubarb cut into 2-inch pieces, for the peaches. Increase sugar to 2/3 cup.
Summer Berry Galette:
Follow the same recipe, substituting 1 quart summer berries, such as raspberries, black berries, or gooseberries, for the peaches. Increase the sugar to 2/3 cup.
One 12-inch galette, enough for 8 to 10 servings