Saturday, July 27, 2013

Aren't you a peach?

So apparently my co-workers have discovered my blog (Get back to work slackers!) and so at their request I decided to dedicate my Saturday to another entry.

Yes, one act of cooking consumes my entire day. Don't judge.

So when I lived in NYC, I lived near a bakery that made these awesome open tarts called "Galettes". Per Wikipedia: Galette is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat, round or freeform crusty cakes. Here in the states, we'd call them fruit tarts. But I like saying "galette", so I'm keeping it.

You can use any fruit really, but I choose peaches since I haven't had any this summer and I assumed they were cheap.  I figured I'd add blueberries too (see above example of perfection)

I recently moved, and my old roomie had 90% of the kitchen equipment, so I'm still in the fun "gradually realize the essential tools you're still missing after 20 trips to Target" phase. I knew I'd need a rolling pin for this, so I ventured to Walmart. Grabbed a whisk too, peaches, blueberries, and a few other baking essentials.

Consulted my mother and the internet before baking. Most recipes called for food processor, but as I have none, my mother assured me this was a "free form" dough and I could just use my hands.

First step, mix dry ingredients. It's at this point I realize I have no mixing bowls or scissors to open the new kitchen supplies I just bought. Give up? NEVA! I improvised.
It was awkward to stir this way....

Recipe said to cut up butter into little cubes and freeze them for 30 mins. Cutting the damn stuff made me feel like I was using a Ouiji board the way it kept sliding everywhere, but I did it.  Then it said to "pulse" with your food processor until butter was pea sized. I mangled it with my hands, but frozen butter does not want to "pea" itself through sheer handpower alone.  I decided little cubes had to be good enough.

At this point you were supposed to "pulse" in 4-6 TBS water. I did this with one hand while mashing it with the other. At 6 TBS it still looked dry as hell, so I did another 2 TBS. Still looked dry. Didn't want to overdo it, so I transferred it to a non-stick surface (read: a placemat) and tried to make it into a ball. Everything time I got it together, one side of it would spew out flour like a defective volcano.

MOM CALL #2: She said since I didn't have a food processor, the butter wasn't spread out enough so I"d have to really really mash it together until it blended and held. She said patiently and said 8 TBS was "MORE" than enough.

I followed her instructions, and sure enough it blended the point of being too wet :-/
Ah well. Chilled it for 30 mins. Rolled it out on the sheet/placemat.....but forgot to put flour down first, so when I tried to transfer it to the baking sheet, it stuck and botched the landing.

Nothing I could do to fix it at that point, so I tried to arrange the peaches in the beautiful spiral pattern of the picture.

Problem is, it's hard to cut peaches in perfect wedges due to the pit. Despite this, I'd say I nailed it.
Notice how I perfectly followed the instructions to make the crust look "accordion-like"

All that's left to do is coat the crust with some whisked egg. I have no brush, so I improvise with a paper towel.....which honestly did fine in a pinch (though it obviously absorbs a ton of egg, but you don't need the whole thing).  Last thing to do is add a few little butter cubes on top.  At this point I'm pretty tired and distracted, so I pour the rest of the egg on top, not processing in my brain that this yellow liquid is egg and not melted butter.  I realize it too late, and decide worst case scenario it will be a peach quiche. (Yay Rhymes!)

It took 10 minutes more in the oven than recommended (I think my oven is a little low, and there was lots of juice), but the result.......


The crust was light and flakey, but with patches of chewy-ness to make it moist and savory. The peaches were perfectly cooked and you couldn't taste the egg on top (if anything, maybe it made it better!) Very happy. So worth the effort, especially if I'd had a food processor. Next time, I'd add more fruit though (I rightly assumed half the peaches I bought at Walmart would be awful once I cut them open, so even buying double the recipe amount wasn't quite enough) .....

Speaking of which, now I have to figure out what the hell to do with all the blueberries I forgot to add........


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