In my opinion there isn’t anything that celebrates the glory of summer fruit like a peach pie. Sweet, luscious peaches, the kind that are so full of juice it runs down your arm when you are eating one, have always been my favorite, and I’ve been known to have a big slice, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, for breakfast. For the next few weeks the farmers’ market will have an abundance of fruit and if I want to make several peach pies I better get started now.
I always make the same peach pie recipe that you can find HERE, but I wanted to try something a little different and found this wonderful recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum on her blog, Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum. If you love to bake from scratch this is a site you don’t want to miss. Wonderful things happen when I start to make peach pie ~ making a rich, flaky crust is a challenge and the feel of the dough in my hands reminds me of helping my grandmother make pies many years ago. There is something so basic about making a pie ~ rolling out crust, peeling fruit, assembling and baking, and the heavenly smells that have your mouth watering even before it comes out of the oven. It’s good for the soul.
I thought that Rose’s Peach Galette would be a nice change from my usual pie – I like her ratio of filling to crust – and I was eager to try her FAVORITE FLAKY AND TENDER PIE CRUST recipe because of the addition of cream cheese and the fact that it can be successfully rolled out into a thin sheet. My standby crust calls for vinegar and an egg and can be a little difficult to handle when rolled out too thin.
Rose’s recipe calls for 3 pounds of peaches (about 9), peeled and sliced. If you like to snack on them while you are peeling and slicing add another peach or two. The peaches I bought at the market on Saturday (Sweet Sue’s) were cling peaches (fruit stuck to the pit) and they were difficult to peel so I dropped them into a pot of simmering water for a few minutes and the skins slid right off. The slices aren’t pretty when you have to cut them off the pit, but it doesn’t matter because they cook down anyway.
After the peaches are mixed with sugar and allowed to rest the resulting juices are mixed with butter and boiled down to a syrupy consistency. I was so tempted to spoon a little on a scoop of ice cream but didn’t want the pie to be dry so I resisted. Next time I’ll plan ahead.
Rose’s pie dough went together in a minute in the food processor and was so easy to handle. For this galette I made 1.5 times the original pie crust recipe and it was just the right amount for an 18-inch galette. And I substituted King Arthur Pastry Flour in the dough because I just bought some and have never tried it. Excellent…I recommend it.
I was surprised that I could roll out this rich dough into such a thin crust. I ran out of room on my butcher block island and next time will use my extra wide peninsula as a rolling surface. This crust measured 22-inches and I would have liked to make it a little thinner, say around 24-inches.
I folded the rolled out dough into fourths and put it on a pizza pan. The peaches were added and then the dough was folded back over the fruit. Next time I will dot the top of the fruit with a few bits of butter for a little added richness. The result was thin, flaky layers of pastry over a perfectly sweetened and thickened fruit filling. In the past I have put a galette directly onto my heated pizza stone as Rose suggests, but the fruit was extra juicy and it ran out onto the stone and all over the bottom of my oven so I don’t recommend that technique unless you want to take the chance of a big, messy cleanup.
- Flaky cream cheese pie crust for a 2 crust 9-inch pie
- 3 pounds ripe peaches (about 9 medium to equal 6-1/2 cups) peeled, pitted and sliced about ¼-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch (I used 1 tablespoon King Arthur’s instant clearjel powder)
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter.
- Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar and pinch of salt and toss them gently to mix evenly. Allow them to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1½ hours. Transfer the peaches to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will release at least 1 cup up to 1⅓ cups of juice.
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, boil down this liquid together with the butter to about ⅔ cup or until syrupy and lightly caramelized. The exact amount will depend on how much juice the peaches release which you will be reducing by about half. Swirl but do not stir it. (Alternatively, spray a 4-cup heatproof measure with nonstick vegetable spray, add the liquid and butter and boil it in the microwave, about 12 to 18 minutes on high—watch carefully as microwaves vary). Transfer the peaches to a bowl, pour the syrup over them, and toss gently. (Do not be concerned if the liquid hardens on contact with the peaches; it will dissolve during baking.) Add the cornstarch and almond extract and toss gently until all traces of it have disappeared.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes until it is soft enough to roll. On a well-floured pastry cloth roll the crust into a 24-inch diameter circle. Fold it in quarters and transfer it to a 14 to 16 inch pizza pan, allowing the border to overlap the pan. Scrape the peach mixture into the pastry and carefully drape the border over the fruit, allowing it to pleat as evenly as possible. It will leave a small area in the center exposed.
- Cover the galette loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for one hour before baking to chill. This will maintain flakiness.
- Preheat the oven to 400° at least 20 minutes before baking time. Set the oven rack at lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating. Place a large piece of greased foil on top to catch any juices.
- For a delightfully crunchy crust, spritz or brush the pastry all over with water and sprinkle with superfine sugar. Set the pan directly on the foil topped baking stone and bake 40-45 minutes the juices bubble thickly in the center opening and the peaches feel tender but not mushy when a cake tester or small sharp knife is inserted. Rotate the pan half way through the baking time. If it starts to over-brown, cover loosely with foil.
- Cool the galette on a rack for about 3 hours until warm or room temperature before cutting.
- Rose’s Pointers for Success:
- The peaches should be ripe and yield slightly to pressure but firm enough to maintain their texture when baked. If squishy, they lose their character.
- To peel peaches, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the peaches and turn off the heat. Allow them to sit for 1 minute. Drain at once and rinse with cold water or place in a bowl of ice water. If the peaches are ripe, the peels will slip off easily.
- As you slice the peaches, toss them occasionally to coat with sugar mixture.
- Be sure to put a sheet of foil under the pie pan as there is always a little spill over with this much fruit.
- For a truly crisp bottom crust, this juicy galette works well baked directly on the floor of the oven for the first 30 minutes. Then raise it to a rack in the lower part of the oven.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a little sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I like mine for breakfast. Fruit and dairy are appropriate breakfast foods so I’ve been told.
This post is linked to SEASONAL SUNDAY at The Tablescaper
and ON THE MENU MONDAY at StoneGable
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