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Easy as pie?  No – easier.  Easy as galette.  This dish tastes like summer’s very essence encased in a crisp, sugary shell.  This is the second recipe that I’ve made out of Rustic Fruit Desserts, and so far we are two-for-two, although I like this even better than the Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit I made a few weeks ago.  The plums are sweet and tart; leaving their skin on imparts fantastic color and wonderful flavor.  The vanilla bean seeds spread across the fruit and the crust, giving the entire dessert a delectably speckled appearance.  I don’t know about you, but when I see those little black dots, I just know I’m in for something good.  This galette is no exception…

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Vanilla Spiked Plum Galette

Galette Dough
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, in 1/2 inch cubes
3-5 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Filling
3/4 cup sugar
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 plums, cut into eighths

  • To make the dough, whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl, then chill the whole thing in the freezer for 10 minutes.  After chilling, add the cubed butter, then toss quickly to combine.  Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir 3 tablespoonse of ice water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice together, then drizzle through the feed tube of the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  The pastry should hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand; if it doesn’t, add more ice water as needed.  (I ended up with about 5 tablespoons of ice water.)  Dump the pastry onto a floured work surface and quickly shape into a disc.  Chill for 1 hour, until ready to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roll out dough into 1/8-1/4 inch round.
  • Rub vanilla seeds into 3/4 cup sugar until well combined.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar over the center of the pastry round, leaving about a 2-inch border.
  • Stir cornstarch into remaining sugar.  Add plum slices and toss to coat.  Arrange the plum slices in a spiral in the center of the pastry round (over the same area as you previously sprinkled with sugar).  Stir together the plum juice and sugar mixture remaining in the bowl, until goopy.  (That’s a technical term.)  Pour the goopy sugar mixture over the plum slices.  Fold the outer edge of the pastry over the plums, pleating the dough periodically to seal it.
  • Make an egg wash (use your preferred recipe) and brush over the outer crust.  Sprinkle crust with vanilla sugar (either reserve some or use some from your pantry – I like Penzey’s brand).
  • Bake on a rack in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, lower the oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake another 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the kitchen smells so good that you have to beat people back with a wooden spoon.  Let the galette cool for 5 minutes or so – or as long as you can keep your family away – then slice and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Source: Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts, by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Note: The recipe actually only calls for the seeds of half the vanilla pod.  I used the whole thing because I really love vanilla, and I thought the plums could take it.  They could.  But go ahead and omit half if you want – especially if you have something else in mind for the other half of the seeds!  Oh, and don’t waste the vanilla pod, either.  Tuck it into a sugar bowl for homemade vanilla sugar.  Yum!

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