10 August 2012
Homemade peach pie is my favorite summer dessert. But it serves eight, and most days I'm cooking for two. Leaving me with three choices: 1) Don't make a pie, 2) Make a pie and waste at least a fourth of it because it really doesn't keep for four days, or 3) Make a pie and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner "so it doesn't go to waste." Some of you--and you know who you are--know what I'm talking about; I'm not the only one who does that!
The solution? Just make a little rustic tart (galette, if you prefer the French name; crostata, if you prefer the Italian). The rustic tart is quicker and easier than a pie or tart, so you really won't mind making one that just makes three or four servings. And my method of rolling out the pastry right on the baking sheet makes it a real no-muss-no-fuss project. Of course, you need a rimless baking sheet like this one, Calphalon Classic Bakeware 14-by-16-Inch Nonstick Large Insulated Cookie Sheet, to do that.
What is your favorite summer fruit, and what do you like to do with it?
Peach Galette / Crostata / Rustic Tart
(Makes one 7.5- to 8-inch round tart, 3 or 4 servings)
1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, coarsely grated
3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon additional ice water, as needed
1 pound perfectly ripe peaches
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Place a piece of parchment paper on rimless baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with flour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. With fingers, work grated butter into flour mixture until it has the consistency of coarse meal with some pieces the size of small peas.
3 Mix the ice water and vinegar and sprinkle onto the mixture, tossing lightly with a fork. Use additional ice water if mixture is too dry. (If I were making a regular pie, I would at this point form the dough into a ball, flatten it into a 4-inch disk, double-wrap it and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. No need to do that for a rustic tart.)
4 Turn dough out onto lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet. Form it into a disk and roll out to a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Don't worry about ragged edges; they'll add character. Place in refrigerator while preparing the peaches.
5 Peel peaches or not--I don't--and slice into a medium bowl. I slice them like this: Quarter peach, cut each quarter into 4 wedges, cut wedges in half. If this were a fancy tart, I would not cut the wedges in half; would arrange the lovely wedges in a nice pattern. But this is a rustic tart, so no need to "arrange" anything!
6 In a tiny bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the sugar with the 1 tablespoon of flour; set aside. In another tiny bowl, combine remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar with the salt and spices; set aside.
7 Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Sprinkle sugar-flour mixture evenly over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border uncoated. Stir the sugar-spice mixture into the peaches and pour them into the center of the pastry, spreading them out, leaving a 2-inch border.
8 Bring that border up over the peaches a little at a time, sort of "pleating" as you go. Don't worry about making it look good. It will be rustic and beautiful. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and well browned and the fruit is bubbling.