Tag: Fruit

Italian Plum Galette

Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust
Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust
Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust
Italian Plum Galette | Serious Crust

There is a tree outside of our house. Technically it’s in our neighbor’s yard, but much of it hangs over the winding pathway that leads to our front door. It’s a plum tree. Or a prune tree. You see, I’m not totally sure what the difference is. I think all prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes. So maybe they’re prune plums. Right?

It’s funny actually, because when I was growing up outside of Seattle, my neighbors had a plum tree. And they told us we could pick as many plums as we wanted, I think mostly because they felt bad that the plums would fall and rot in our driveway. But my sisters and I used to go out in the driveway and fill up bowls and bowls of plums. We’d snack on them, bake with them, and make plum chutney. So I think I have a soft spot for plum trees in neighbors’ yards.

Either way, there’s a plum tree, and the plums are small and oblong, and when you cut them open, they still look kind of green even when they’re ripe. And all summer, I waited. I waited until their skins turned from green to purple, for their flesh to soften. And then I waited for Jonah to be home so that he (and his 6’6″ self) could pick them for me. I don’t do ladders.

I planned a plum galette. Simple, rustic, pretty even. I made a whole wheat crust, I ground almonds to spread in the bottom, and I even spread the plum slices in those lovely concentric circles. It was nice. It was summery. And it tasted pretty darn good.

Italian Plum Galette

Ingredients

Galette Dough

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
4 tbsp vegetable shortening, preferably cold, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup ice water (plus more if needed)

Plum Filling

1/4 cup almonds (or 1/4 cup ground almonds)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp AP flour
14-18 Italian plums OR 6-7 regular plums cut into 1/2 inch slices
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

Galette Dough

To make the dough, mix the AP flour, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and shortening, and mix until the biggest pieces of butter are no larger than a pea. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of ice water. Drizzle this mixture over the flour and butter mixture by the tablespoon. Mix until combined and the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry and doesn’t come together, add more ice water by the tablespoon. Collect the dough, form it into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to two days.

Plum Filling

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet, preferably rimmed, with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the almonds, granulated sugar, and AP flour and process until you’ve got a coarse meal. If you’re using ground almonds, simply combine it with the granulated sugar and flour in a bowl. Set almond mixture aside.

In a bowl, combine the sliced plums, lemon zest, and brown sugar, tossing to coat evenly. Set aside.

Remove your dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to a 14-16 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the rolled out dough to the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread almond mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch edge all the way around. Pile your plums and their juices on top of the almond mixture (or gently arrange them in concentric circles), and then gently fold up the edge of the dough over the plums. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the plum filling is bubbling and the edges of the galette crust are golden brown.

Allow to cool for at least an hour before digging in. I recommend topping with ice cream (I think cardamom would be good if you can get your hands on it) or fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!

Apricot Foldover Pie

Apricot Foldover Pie // Serious Crust
Apricot Foldover Pie // Serious Crust
Apricot Foldover Pie // Serious Crust
Apricot Foldover Pie // Serious Crust

I’ve been wanting to make this apricot foldover pie for a few weeks now. I’ve been dreaming about how soft the apricots will get, and how homey and rustic the crust will taste with whole wheat pastry flour. And yesterday was the perfect excuse, as it was Jonah’s last night before he left for 2 weeks in Europe for work. Hard life he leads, that guy.

So he heads to work, I whip up the dough and throw it in the fridge to chill before running to the store to pick up fruit. I found the most tender apricots and the juiciest raspberries to use for this pie. In fact, I couldn’t help myself and ate a couple raspberries on the approximately 2 minute drive back to my house.

I cut up the fruit and mix up the filling. All is going well until I try to start rolling out the dough. I was working up a sweat, I kid you not. It’s so tough, and it’s starting to get huge – way bigger than needed to fill the pie dish with some overhang. But no matter, I drape it into the pie dish, pour in the filling, and then start folding up the edges. As I’m folding it all up, I realize how thick the crust is despite having rolled it out to be far bigger than necessary. I knew something must be wrong. I go back to check the recipe, and there is my glaring mistake. I misread 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for 1 1/2 cups. So, you know, I basically doubled the flour.

At this point, I have to leave for work in about 40 minutes. What else could I do? I dump the filling back into the mixing bowl, toss the original crust, and start from square 1. Instead of chilling the dough for the prescribed 30 minutes, I stuck mine in the freezer for about 5. Rolled it out, filled it up, and threw it in the oven, asking my roommate Sophie to take it out when the timer beeped.

And it came out beautifully. Rustic, perfectly golden, all that. I can only imagine what a disaster it would’ve been trying to eat that crust if I hadn’t discovered my mistake and started over. But there you have it. It all works out in the end. And everyone makes mistakes.

Apricot Foldover Pie

Note: I like cardamom. A lot. So I used 1/2 tsp of it. However, it is a strong flavor. I suggest smelling it, and seeing if it’s something you would like lots of or a little of, and then add either 1/4 or 1/2 tsp based on your whiff.

Ingredients

Pie Dough

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbl sugar
12 Tbl (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup ice water, plus a few Tbl if needed

Apricot Filling

7-8 cups apricots, pitted and quartered (a little over 2 lbs)
1-2 cups raspberries (optional, though if you aren’t using raspberries, you’ll want to use more apricots)
1/3-2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 Tbl
3 Tbl AP flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4-1/2 tsp cardamom
2 Tbl unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Pie Dough

To make the dough, mix the flours, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the chunks of butter, and cut them in with a pastry knife. You can also use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment (that’s what I did) or a food processor. Blend until the butter is roughly the size of uncooked chickpeas. In a separate small bowl, mix the egg yolk, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of ice water. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture 2 Tbl at a time, until the dough starts to come together. If you need to add extra ice water, do so 1 Tbl at a time. Make the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to two days.

Apricot Filling

When the dough is fully chilled, start to preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Taste a slice of your apricots – if they are sweet, use 1/3 cup sugar, if they’re less sweet add a little more. In a large bowl, toss the quartered apricots, raspberries, sugar, flour, and spices together. Set aside.

Roll the chilled dough out into a circle about 1/8 of an inch thick. Transfer it into a 9-inch pie plate, leaving the edges of dough hanging over the plate (you’ll have lots of excess dough, don’t trim it unless you are just aiming for a more even appearance). Pour the fruit into the pie crust, and gently fold the excess dough over the top of the fruit. Brush the dough with the melted butter, pouring any extra into the fruit. Sprinkle the dough with about 1 Tbl of sugar.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and set the pie plate on the sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 450, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown at the edges and the fruit is bubbling. Allow to cool before serving with some fresh whipped cream.

Peach Shortbread and changes

Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerPeach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

It has been a week since I last posted, and oh what a week it has been. The past month has been a time of change for me. We moved into a new house in NE Portland, which has been really great. While at first I was not happy to be leaving SE, our new location has surprised me.

Also, I have changed jobs. They company where I worked is undergoing some big changes, and while I am still going to be doing some contracting work creating Prezis for them, I am an account manager no more! At first, this was scary, and I wasn’t sure what to do next. I applied to some administrative and management jobs, but what I kept coming back to was food. I knew I was not easily going to get a job in a restaurant, as I have no experience whatsoever. But I sure as hell was gonna try. Within about a week and a half, I had a new job, hostessing at a restaurant in NE Portland. I won’t tell you which one yet, as I’m still kind of in my training period, but so far, I am really enjoying it. The people are great, the food is awesome, and it’s a completely different kind of job. I needed that change in my life.

Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Anyway, in the midst of all this, I went to what will probably be one of my last commune dinners for a while. Sadly, my new schedule has me working on Monday nights. I’m hoping to make it to dinner whenever I can, because I’ll miss all that craziness, all that good food, and all that company.

For my last dinner, I was asked to make something with the peaches I had recently picked. North of Portland, there’s a small island in the middle of the river called Sauvie Island. To make sure the island doesn’t get all developed and covered with mansions, in order to live there, a certain amount of your income has to come from the land you own. This means lots of farms, cattle, sheep, etc. One of Portland’s most popular summer activities is going to pick berries, peaches, veggies, and flowers on the island. While our friend Emilie was in town, Jonah, Carmelle, and I took her to Sauvie Island Farms to go picking! We picked 6 ears of corn, 2 tubs of blueberries, a tub of raspberries, and 14 or so peaches, and got them all for $30. It was so fun! Anyway, I had posted photos of our fruit picking adventures, so a fruity dessert was requested. I found this recipe for peach shortbread on Smitten Kitchen, and did a little adjusting (mostly, we didn’t have nutmeg, so I used cloves and did half the amount). It was a big hit, and they were so dang easy to make.

Peach Shortbread

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a generous pinch of ground clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 egg
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter (or somehow otherwise grease) a 9×13 pan or baking dish. In an electric mixer, or a good sized bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Using the paddle attachment, a pastry knife, a fork, or those finger things at the ends of your hands, cut and blend the butter and egg into the dry ingredients. It’s going to be dry and very crumbly, but that’s ok! Take 3/4 of the dough and pour them into the baking dish, pressing down so they’re firmly and evenly packing into the dish. Now, lay the peach slices on top. You want them to be evenly distributed, so make sure every edge and corner is covered. spread the remaining dough crumbs over the top of the peaches and bake for 30 minutes. The top should be slightly browned, and the edges should be golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing up and serving. Enjoy!