plum delicious!

August 7, 2012 § 14 Comments

Here’s last night’s dessert ~ backyard plum galette, vanilla ice cream (store bought) and plum sauce. Since our Baking with Julia recipe made a double batch of dough and I had enough plums, I went ahead and made two, and delivered the second one (still warm) to our good friends, Mo and Peter. It got a big thumbs up from everyone!

I started on this dessert in April; my hair just starting to sprout post-chemo, along with our fruit trees leafing out! I’m munching a yummy cookie from Lynn at Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat, one of a box she sent me when I supported her in “The Big Climb” for leukemia/lymphoma research and support for survivors. Back to plums, doesn’t everyone grow their own? Actually, this is the first year we had enough from our backyard to do more than just taste. Colorado’s Front Range climate is not kind to fruit trees, so most of ours comes from the slightly milder Western Slope, which grows the most delicious peaches (I have not tasted the famous Georgia peach, however). And since our local abundance is stone fruit and not berries, this is what went into Flo Braker’s Berry Galette recipe.

We had to pick plums (and some small peaches) a little under ripe. By late July, the robins and squirrels have figured out there is a daily buffet of fruit in my yard. While I think there is plenty to go around, they eat or damage so much fruit, that we have to pick it under ripe and barely get our share. Luckily the plums ripened up nicely off the tree, the peaches not so much so I ended up composting those. :(

This was a small batch of a simply made dough, so I thought it best to do by hand rather than in the food processor. The food processor is so fast, that it’s more difficult to control cutting in the butter and avoid over mixing and/or warming the small amount of ingredients. Dry ingredients, including a beautiful multicolored cornmeal went into the bowl which I mixed to blend.

Remove the ice cubes from now well-chilled water and add the yogurt or sour cream. What a great idea! I often use a little lemon juice or even vinegar to pie dough (helps keep it tender), but this adds a little richness and flavor too. Now you have to work fast, especially in the summer, to avoid letting the butter get too soft which can lead to a greasy, too soft dough and then a tough crust after baking.

I went ahead and used the whole stick of butter (what’s the point of leaving 1 tablespoon out?), quickly cut it into small pieces with the bench knife and tossed it into the flour mixture. If the weather’s warm and you don’t have air conditioning, chilling the dry mix in the refrigerator first will help.

Use a pastry cutter, a pair of table knives or your fingers (only if they’re cool enough though), cut and toss the butter pieces until the largest pieces are pea-sized. Add the chilled liquid, and gently toss and mix to evenly distribute the moisture. Keep a little iced water on hand if you need a little more just to moisten most of the dry mix; you don’t want a too wet dough which tends towards a tough cracker-like crust (remember, water + mixing = gluten).

My dough was a little dry (better than too wet), so I just pressed and folded it on itself a couple of times to bring it together; again you don’t want to overwork here either. The hour or so rest in the refrigerator allows the moisture to distribute more evenly, re-chill the butter and relax the gluten; all of this will make rolling a lot easier. See the butter bits and the colorful flecks of the cornmeal?

I prepped the plums while the dough chilled. These plums were easy to split and pit with my fingers (a lot faster than with a paring knife) and they were small enough to leave halved. I tossed them with the sugar, and then drained, hoping they would give up some of their juice before baking.

If you roll out two portions of dough, place them on a chilled parchment-lined sheet pan. Put the first one back in the refrigerator if your kitchen is warm, or it’s taking a long time to roll out the dough. The oven should be hot by now, and let any calls go to voicemail. Place the fruit onto the dough leaving a 2″ border, gently fold up and pleat; pressing the edge slightly at the bottom of each pleat helps keep the galette from opening during baking.

I did not glaze or sugar the crust before baking, but the small amount of sugar in the dough gave the crust a nice golden brown color after a full 40 minutes at 400°F. Wow, those were juicy plums! After a short 5 minutes of cooling, I c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y moved them using two pancake turners directly to platters; I didn’t want to serve galettes-with-parchment later. That sticky goo was a bit tricky to recover from the parchment and pan, but it made a yummy sauce!

Oh, and I drizzled the honey over the fruit after baking, instead of before. The tart plums definitely needed more sweetness, but I wanted to avoid more oven goo.

Here’s my breakfast next morning, and here’s the squirrel’s. That red plum was gone by the time I got this posted.

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§ 14 Responses to plum delicious!

  • I just love your multicolores cornmeal Marilyn, it gives the dough such a different look! Plums are definitely perfect fruits for a galette. I remember the plum trees when I was growing up, the mess the birds did with the fallen fruit!

  • Teresa says:

    I love your detailed posts, Marilyn and the multicoloured corn meal was a pretty touch for this crust.

    Our plum tree doesn’t get raided too much by birds, but it does get Surreptitiously harvested by the senior citizen landlord of the house next door. We’ve found him a few times with his ladder set up against the tree!

  • We also chose plums with the addition of apples for our version of the galette. Seeing your beautiful photos, makes us wish we had a plum tree in our garden.

  • Beautiful galette! I used plums for the first time this summer in a crisp & loved it so this sounds very tasty to me!

  • Cindy Harris says:

    Thanks for a very informative post, great photos. Nothing better than fresh picked backyard fruit. We have an apricot tree–yummy.
    I baked with plums for the first time last year, a TWD recipe. I love the plums so I’m sure your plum galette is delicious.

  • Ckay says:

    What a delicious rainbow-plums galette.
    I love baked plums and always add cinnamon to them.
    Adding the honey after baking may also have saved the healthy properties of honey: win-win situation!

  • Cher says:

    Your galettes look beautiful – I really like the butter layers in the dough.

  • Your plums look beautiful! I had to miss this week with our move, but now I can’t wait to try this recipe. Hope you are having a lovely August!

  • cookingjulia says:

    Nice Galette! My grandfather used to grow his own plums and we devoured them each year. There is nothing like fruit from your own backyard.

  • Yum! I have just recently discovered baked plums, so I may have to try this variation. Can’t wait to make them tomorrow! (Yes, I am a bit late).

  • Nice that you could use fruit from your own yard! :)

  • Cathleen says:

    I am so envious of you all that have the fruit needed for recipes right in your own backyard! Beautiful galette.

  • Mary Hirsch says:

    Your Posts are always so clear, Marilyn, and I do appreciate the little tips you give me. Your Plum Galettes look fabulous and obviously were delicious. I had a heck of a time with the dough. It probably was this Nevada weather, 111 degrees and 30% humidity as well as my using 1/2 whole wheat and not accomodating less moisture. My dough was dry and hard to roll. (Too warm.) Thanks for your tips about that. My galette (only one, I threw some too-dry and disgusting dough in the trash) was delicious and the dough tasted good but I won’t try that pastry again. Too much of a fail. I head back to the Rockies Thursday and will be there for three weeks. For the first time and because now I am less hurried, I am driving the trip in 2 days. I will spend Thursday night at the Wine Country Inn in Palisade. I am so interested in that area now – so much fruit farming and vineyards. The Inn looks darling. And, I will pick up a basket of those peaches you were talking about. I will let you know about the sights, restaurants, etc., maybe a get-away for the two of you. FYI, I am making the Popovers tomorrow before I head for High Altitude!!!

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