Monday, September 21, 2015

Plum and Grape Galette

This is going to be a post that depends on a little bit of trust. Not because I’m asking you to enjoy weird foods or unusual flavor combinations. Not because I didn’t make or eat this delicious rustic pie made with tiny locally-grown plums and itsy-bitsy locally-grown grapes, myself. Not because I goofed it up but I’m going to confidently tell you how you should do it right. Well, maybe it is a little of that last one.

You see, this Plum and Grape Galette should be pretty much the same as this Berry and Rhubarb Galette, in theory and practice, anyway. I somehow failed to use that berry-rhubarb recipe as a template, however, and baked my plum-grape creation at too low a temperature. The result was delicious, since the fruit itself was the star, but it far too long to bake, and the crust never got as crisp and golden as I wanted.

Unfortunately, those wonderfully dark and sweet little home-grown plums and the lip-smacking, super fruity, candy-like local grapes (the cashier said they’re like kid wine) have a very limited season. I couldn’t get any more to try out the recipe again with a better baking procedure. I didn’t want to let it go until next year, though, since this sweet and tart late season combination was just so good.

I think you could make this simple pie with whatever other plums and grapes you can get. Since my grapes were so small, they went into my galette whole. Larger grapes can be cut in half. Also, you’ll want to add sugar to your fruit to taste. Mine was pretty sweet and we don’t mind our fruit a bit tart, so I put just a little sugar in.

I added sliced almonds to the bottom of the galette in hopes of buying some insurance against a soggy crust. While I can’t say my crust ever got crispy enough to definitively test this concept, I liked the almonds where they were since they added some welcome crunch and a good flavor.

And so, in the recipe below, I’m giving you some theoretically sound but untested baking instructions, not the ones I used. They’re based on the Berry and Rhubarb Galette in temperature and approximate time. You’ll just have to keep a close eye on your pie, making sure it doesn’t burn. It’ll all work out in the end. Trust me.

Plum and Grape Galette with Almonds
Use your favorite pie crust recipe (such as Easy Cream Cheese Pastry, Basic Pie Crust, or Whole Wheat Pastry) or a store-bought crust to save time (like I did).

The baking instructions in this recipe are adjusted to what I think will work better than what I did when I made the pie in the photos above. Keep an eye on the pie in the oven to avoid overbaking it.

Serve this warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream. Alas, I had neither on hand.

2 cups pitted plums, halved if small, quartered or coarsely chopped if larger
1 cup seedless grapes
¼ cup sugar or to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup sliced almonds
Pastry for a single crust pie (See heading above)
Egg wash (egg beaten with a small amount of water or milk)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil, or a silicone baking mat. Lay the rolled-out crust in the middle of the prepared baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, combine the plums, grapes, sugar and cornstarch. Toss well to combine.

3. Sprinkle the almonds over the bottom of the crust dough leaving a 2-inch border around the whole circle. Pour the plum mixture over the almonds, leaving the same border. Even out the fruit mixture, then fold up the edges of the crust over the fruit. Brush the crust with the egg wash.

4. Bake at 425 F until the fruit is tender and bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool on the pan on a wire rack. Carefully transfer the galette to a cutting surface to serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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