Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rustic Apricot Galette

It's apricot season here in Israel and every time I walk through the shuk, I stare longingly at the containers of them lining each fruit stand. Sadly, they are still too expensive to justify buying. And so, I continue walking through, apricot-less. To my total surprise and excitement, our terrific cook B ordered PLENTY of apricots for our final Shabbat at SFW! Going through them and washing them to serve, there were of course some fruits that were blemished and too soft to be deemed edible. I happily set those aside to bake with. I headed back to my room, apricots (mishmish, in Hebrew) in tow to begin the research process. After flipping through a number of books (all of my pie books came up empty!) I was hit with inspiration and ran to pick up Regan Daly's In the Sweet Kitchen. There in the section for Pies and Tarts was a recipe for a Rustic Apricot Galette.  Ahhh, perfection. Rustic, simple and beautiful (I can hardly look at the pictures, the fruit is stunningly bright!), just the thing to highlight this perfect fruit. A couple of summers ago I made the plum variation but my pie skills were seriously lacking then and well, it wasn't entirely successful. This was the chance to redeem myself and it was quite nice to see how well my pie making skills have developed. This open faced pie came together so quickly. I chilled it in the fridge the night before and baked it the next morning although I wouldnt repeat that because although the chilling step is IMPERATIVE a lot of liquid somehow seeped out of the galette making a bit of a mess. Lesson learned. Anyway, the heat of the oven did wonders for this and the apricots tasted tart  and sweet and delicious, like the best apricot preserves in a simple filling. If there are apricots to be found near you, make this in celebration of the season's bounty.

Rustic Apricot Galette
adapted from In the Sweet Kitchen

1 round of your favorite pie pastry
2 pounds ripe apricots
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine

Have your pie crust chilled and ready to be rolled. Have a baking sheet nearby.
Halve the apricots and discard the pits. Halve each apricot halve so you have four quarters. Place in a bowl.
Add the sugar and cornstarch,
and toss well to combine.
Meanwhile, roll out your dough directly on a sheet of parchment.
Place the fruit as much in the center as you can.
Dot with the butter or margarine.
Fold up the dough onto the filling. This is meant to be rustic, so no worries if it's not perfect. Transfer the parchment to the baking sheet and refrigerate for an hour. Towards the end of your chill time, preheat the oven to 425. Bake 20 minutes and then reduce to 375 and then bake until golden and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. 

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