I found some plums at Henry's on Saturday. Disclosure: they're from Chile. Of course they're not in season right now. The only fruit besides citrus in season right now is apples. So forgive me, local and seasonal ones, but I needed a plum pick me up since it was a rainy day and these were practically shouting at me from the produce section..."Yooooo hooo. Over here."
I got them home and decided on a simple, rustic galette. Because we're halfway through our "no refined sugar" abstention, I wanted to use the mascobado sugar I bought a couple of weeks ago. I was really impressed with the taste and quality. It was my first time using it and I highly recommend it. The recipe I modified was Martha's, and it called for very little sugar (which I reduced even further). The only thing I am feeling remorse over is the butter. Now I normally don't have much butter guilt, but this was a little obscene. Maybe it's because I'm not really a baker, so I don't come into contact with recipes that call for 2 sticks of butter often. But I couldn't believe that I had made the pate brisee correctly when it was all said and done. My hands looked like I had taken a stick of butter to every square inch of them. Dan's the turner and roller, and he kept assuring me that it was fine. I insisted it couldn't possibly be, however he was right. It was perfect. And I'm so impressed with what a simple egg wash over the pastry will do...
I made a few other changes based on what I had on hand. I didn't have hazelnuts, so I substituted almonds, and after a bit of research online, I learned that in place of cornstarch, you can double the amount and use flour. This was revolutionary for me. Also, the recipe called for plum or red currant jam. I used one from Trader Joe's (nope - you didn't catch me...it's fruit juice sweetened) called Superfruit. It's a blend of Morello cherry, red grape, blueberry and pomegranate and it worked beautifully. I can't wait to make this again with whatever is in season - pears, peaches, apricots.
For the pate brisee:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces chilled unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 seconds. With the machine running, add the water in a slow, steady stream; process until the dough just holds together. Turn it out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and flatten into a disk; wrap well. Chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
For the galette:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 cup finely ground toasted almonds
3 tablespoons mascobado sugar
2 tablespoons flour (to replace 1 tablespoon cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds (about 5) plums, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup jam (preferably red)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack positioned in the lower third. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pate brisee to 1/8 inch thick. Trim the edges to form a rectangle, and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the flour, almonds, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, flour, and salt; spread to cover the middle of the dough, leaving enough of a border all around (depending on the size of your rectangle) so that you can fold the dough back over on to the plums.
Arrange the plums in rows on top, slightly overlapping the slices and alternating the direction of each row. Sprinkle the plums with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Fold the dough to enclose the edges; then brush it with the egg wash. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake until the pastry is golden brown and plums are softened, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool to room temperature. Heat the jam in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until melted. Let cool for a few minutes, then brush evenly over the plum slices. Serve.
Adapted from Martha Stewart.