RECIPE: Galettes are easier than pie

Lightly toasted pistachios elevate a simple summer dessert into a dinner party stunner.
(Courtesy of Ashley Thacker)

Combined ShapeCaption
Lightly toasted pistachios elevate a simple summer dessert into a dinner party stunner. (Courtesy of Ashley Thacker)

As much as I love pies, I have long thought galettes are better in every way.

Endlessly customizable in both flavor and scale, a well-made galette is a rustic expression of whatever produce happens to be on hand, with just enough flaky pastry to highlight the sweet or savory notes of the season.

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Perhaps more importantly, a galette is much faster to throw together. No pie-tin lining or blind baking here, as the free-form pleat is the galette’s defining trait.

The dough can be made up to three days in advance, and once assembled, the galette freezes beautifully. If baking the galette the same day it is assembled, freeze for 1 hour to help the galette retain its shape when baking. If frozen overnight, the galette does not need to thaw, and the bake time remains the same (45-50 minutes).

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Chris Wilkins has been a professional baker for 12 years. He is a two-time James Beard Award nominee and the founder and co-owner of Root Baking Co. and Pizza Jeans. Submit your baking questions to bakebetterajc@gmail.com.

Peach Galette
  • For the crust:
  • 1 ¾ cups (219 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 2 teaspoons (11 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) very cold butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup (66 grams) very cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 2 pounds (roughly 8 medium) peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (50 grams) pistachios, toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • To prepare the crust, in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter. Using your fingers, briefly mix together to coat dry ingredients with the butter. Turn out the mixture into a mound on a clean cutting board. Use a rolling pin, roll butter into dry ingredients until butter is very thin, flour is coated with fat and no powdery bits remain, about 4-5 minutes. This technique is called shingling, because as you roll butter into flour, the thin pieces of butter will break, overlap each other, and resemble small shingles in the flour.
  • Gather the flour-butter mixture into a mound and create a small well in the middle. Add water to well, and mix the dough by hand 2-3 minutes, just until it comes together. The dough should stay together with minimal crumbling when you squeeze it. Gather dough into a ball, place in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate at least 20 minutes to allow flour to fully hydrate.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, combine peaches with granulated sugar, pistachios, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place dough on a very lightly floured surface and roll into a 16-inch round about ¼-inch thick. Transfer crust to the baking sheet.
  • For a very pretty tart, arrange peach slices in concentric circles, starting in the center of the dough and working toward the outside, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. For a more rustic tart, mound fruit in the middle of the dough, and spread it out in an even layer, leaving the same 2-inch border.
  • Fold the 2-inch border over the fruit, overlapping the edges as needed. This should create a beautiful, pleated look. Cover galette with plastic and freeze 1 hour.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, make the egg wash by whisking together the egg, milk and salt. Brush beaten egg around the crust and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  • Bake tart 45-50 minutes, rotating it halfway through. The tart is done when the crust is a deeply rich brown color. Makes 1 10-inch round galette.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 818 calories (percent of calories from fat, 44), 13 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 41 grams total fat (21 grams saturated), 130 milligrams cholesterol, 922 milligrams sodium.
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