A galette is a French style open-face freeform tart with the edges of the pastry folded casually up part way to contain the fruits. A crostata is an Italian version usually made with jam filling but also with fruits. This is one of my no-fuss go to desserts when there are nice fresh fruits that need a little pastry to become dessert. Because it’s free form you don’t need to worry too much about the shape, whichever way it rolls, it’s fine.
I usually use my regular pastry dough made with flour, butter, sugar and water but today I found this recipe in Bon Appetite for a dough made with the addition of cornmeal. I was intrigued and tried it and loved it. The cornmeal adds something to the flavour and texture that’s quite special and makes it a little Italian (cornmeal, think polenta?). Since I am immersed in all things Italian at the moment, in preparation for our upcoming stay in Italy for a few months, this one was a perfect dessert to make.
The Bon Appetite recipe called for nectarines which would be lovely in this dessert but I had plums so used them instead. I used prune plums cut into quarters, tossed them with sugar and a little cornstarch to thicken the juices, and piled them high in the middle of the dough. Edges folded up and lightly pinched together and a little rest in the cold refrigerator before sending the galette into the heat of a 375F oven.
Cut into wedges to serve and don’t forget the ice cream.
Makes 2 smaller or one larger galette.
1 2/3 cups flour
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 packed tablespoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 sticks cold butter cut in pieces (the original called for 1 3/4)
1/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoon cream to brush over pastry
Additional sugar for sprinkling
2 lb prune plums
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Make the pasta in a food processor. Place the flour and sugar in the processor and pulse a few times to blend.
Add the cold butter pieces and process with on/off just until the butter is distributed into the flour. Do not overmix.
With the machine running add the water in a slow stream and stop as soon as the dough begins to pull togehter.
Empty the dough onto a parchment sheet and gather it into a disk.
Divide dough in two for two galettes or keep it in once piece for one larger galette.
Wrap with plastic or parchment and refrigerate for about an hour until cold.
Cut the plums in quarters discarding pits and place in a bowl.
Add sugar and cornstarch and mix.
When the pastry id cold remove from fridge and roll into two 8 inch circles, working with dough one at a time.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the center of the dough and spoon the fruits over, leaving a border that can be folded up.
Fold up the edges of the pastry over the fruits letting it overlap as you turn. Lightly pinch the vertical seams together.
Brush the edges with the cream and sprinkle with additional sugar.
Bake the tarts in 375F oven for about 50-60 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the fruit juices are bubbling.
Remove and let cool.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.