I really like galettes, savoury or sweet, they are really easy to put together and like pizzas are a good base for many combinations of seasonal ingredients. Last week I made a pâte brisée (savoury dough) to use up some courgette we had picked up from the orchard. I used the ingredients I had at hand: some wholemeal flour along with AP flour and I though of using up some rolled oats that have been sitting in the pantry for a while. As a filling I made a base with an “unorthodox” ricotta I’d made following Smitten kitchen’s recipe (in between a ricotta and a mascarpone really), the finely sliced courgettes scattered with some bacon that was close to it’s deadline! We absolutely loved the results! The dough was crispy and buttery, also you could really taste the toasted oats. The touch of ricotta made it really soft inside, which contrasted beautifully with the light crunch of the bacon bits and parmesan shreds put over the whole thing. But…I didn’t get to take pictures of any of it!
So, I gave a try to the sweet version of the dough, just incorporating some sugar and grated lemon rind (you could use orange instead…and I might even prefer it, but didn’t have any!) and as a topping some summer peaches and nectarines…over a bit of sweetened citrus ricotta as well. Here’s the result…I wouldn’t change anything other than perhaps the orange rind for the lemon one! I must say that I love summer fruit sooo much that I am always reluctant to alter it in any way to make desserts (other than the juices of citrus fruits for curds and such) except if transformed into shakes (frozen pulp sorbets), lassis (iced yoghurt drinks) or sorbets. But, this is one of the few exceptions…
I used the ricotta, because it’s what I had at hand, but an overnight drained greek yoghurt, crème fraîche or mascarpone are great alternatives…or you can just skip it altogether as the fruit on it’s own is good enough plus you can season it with spiced or rinds to taste!I also topped it with some blueberries I have frozen, if you like the looks or contrast, you can add any berry before or even after baking. Dust with icing sugar if you have a sweet tooth and you like how it looks at the end…and enjoy the contrast of the crisp toasted oat dough with the creamy citrus ricotta and luscious baked fruit!
Peach, nectarine and ricotta galette on wholemeal & oat pastry
(for 1x25cm diameter galette)
For the pâte sucrée:
60g wholewheat flour
60g AP or cake flour
20g rolled oats + extra for sprinkling
70g ice cold butter
35-40g sugar (or more to taste)
1 cold yolk plus some of the white or ice-cold water to make 30g
pinch of salt
some finely grated lemon or orange rind to taste
For the ricotta:
grated rind of about half a lemon or some orange
aprox 5g of icing sugar or to taste
drizzle of lemon juice, to taste
For the peach/nectarine filling:
1 medium nectarine+ 1 peach (or 2 of either)
10g sugar, to season or to taste depending on how ripe the fruit is
aprox 5g of cornflour
drizzle of lemon juice to taste
If you are willing to make your ricotta/mascarpone yourself refer to the smitten kitchen recipe. I used 750g of pasteurised whole milk (not UHT)+ 250g of whipping cream (35% fat) with a bit of salt. Warmed up both to about 85ºC and added 2 tbsp of lemon juice.
The first time I prepared it, I expected it to curdle much more, so thinking it wasn’t enough, I kept adding lemon juice. The result was nice but on the soury side, so the times after that, I’ve just added enough juice to see the curds forming and tasting to make sure it didn’t feel sour. If you want some more info on this, I found this link on Serious Eats quite enlightening, though the drainage times vary considerable depending on what type of cheesecloth you are using!Still, I find it quite cool to make and it can find various uses, like these zucchini flowers&ricotta pizzas!
Ah, and here is the courgette galette phone shot before being devoured!
As you can see, it’s the same idea.
Anyway, back to making the ricotta…Once enough lemon juice (or any acid, for that matter) is added, let it sit a few minutes and strain over cheese or butter cloth. I have this cool really fine mesh coffee filter that cost me…about 0.50€, well worth the investment ;) I always use it to strain stocks leaving almost no impurities! It works like a charm! And just strain it for as long as needed to get the consistency you like. As simple as that!
Then, just whip the amount in the recipe (or more if you want a thicker layer) with the sugar, lemon or orange rind and lemon juice and set aside.
Prepare the pâte sucrée, which is the sweet counterpart of a pâte brisée. The sablée is usually sweeter but always has more fat, in the form of butter and egg yolks rather than ice-cold liquid, be it water or milk or…I always use the following mnemotecnic proportion and adjust according to the results I want: 4:2:1, that is 1 part flour, half of that of butter (or more for a sablée) and half of that of sugar. Then, I decide if I want it crumblier (with water or milk) or that holds better together (with some egg, as the proteins aid binding it. And always, be it sweet or savoury, a pinch of salt. Of course you can add any flavourings to taste or play around with the flours, like in this case. Does it help?
Anyway, I just put together the flours (I sifted the plain white one), and pounded lightly to leave some texture the oats (you could also increase the amount and reduce that of white or wholewheat flour).
Now, the other key to making pastries…the mixing technique. You can use either of the two methods: “sablage” or “cremage”. The first, my preferred one most of the time, means mixing the flour and butter into crumbs resembling sand “sable” in french, thereby the descriptive name. Then, you add the liquids and if sweet, the sugar. The “cremage” as the name implies, which is used for sweet dough, means creaming the sugar and the butter until pale and that the sugar is dissolved, then adding slowly the eggs or liquid and finally adding the flour in 1 “coup” all together at once.
I prefer the sablage method, 1) because I find it quicker and easier and 2) because I like to leave the butter in pea-size bits not completely integrated resulting in a more puff-pastry texture. So, for this method, it is key that all ingredients or at least the butter and liquid ingredients are very cold. This is for two main reasons, namely so that the butter doesn’t melt and so that the gluten does not develop at all, resulting in that crumbly pastry. Also, this is why it’s in any case important with these sort of pastries to NEVER overmix once wet and dry ingredients are mixed independent of the method, for the more you work the dough, the drier and less crumbly it gets!
So, a quick trick I use is to place the whole piece of butter in the freezer (in this case it was a can, so I had to scoop out pieces), dip it into the flour and grate it with a coarse grater, that way it wont stick and you will already get small pieces, so you will save time and barely any mixing is required. Or you can go the food processor route by chopping the cold butter in small squares and blend them to get the crumbs. Add the flavourings then, or rub them into the sugar that will be mixed with the liquids and mixed all at once barely kneading, just bringing the whole lot together into a ball. Then, just wrap in film and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge (a bit more is better).
Cut the nectarine and peach by half to remove the stone and then cut each one into thin slices, depending on the size it will be about 16 slices. Season with the sugar, the bit of lemon juice and some cornflour to soak up the juices as it bakes and avoid making the pastry soggy. I usuall just sprinkle a bit to coat lightly, so if you feel you need more or less according to how juicy your fruit is, trust your instincts!
After the the dough has rested, roll out over some parchment paper (as you can tell I reuse mine a few times!:) ) flouring as needed (removing excess, so you don’t get lumps of flour that will taste ackward when cooked) on both sides until you get a very fine (about 3mm thick) circle, it will be about 30-35 cm, which once the sides are folded over leave you a 25cm galette.
I like to rest the stretched out dough a few minutes in the fridge or freezer before filling it and baking it, but it’s not really necessary. Smear the seasoned ricotta over the surface, leaving about 3 cm borders free to fold in later. Then arrange the peach & nectarine slices in a decorative pattern or without taking too much care for a more rustic look (you can also trim the borders of the galette to make a clean circle or leave them…which I prefer unless you are making lots of small ones, which is more convenient to stretch and cut with a pastry ring cutter). Fold the borders in by segments, one after the other.
And if you like a shinier effect brush the borders with egg wash. Also, you can sprinkle some granulated sugar over and some extra oats for decoration.
Bake at 180ºC for about 25 minutes, if the pastry is still not golden enough, you can lower the temperature to 160ºC and continue baking 5 more minutes or as needed.
You can drizzle with some agave syrup or brush some peach jam as it comes out of the oven for a little shine. Let cool down slightly and enjoy!!