I keep thinking there’s plenty of time to savor summer fruits—then I realized that cherries are at their prime, and they won’t last much longer. Strawberries are gone, except in supermarkets, but blueberries and stone fruits are still plentiful in the farmer’s markets. I’m determined to bake full speed ahead on all desserts with fruit.
I have mentioned that of all the desserts available, M’s favorite type consists of anything with a crisp crust and fruit. Whenever I make a fruit pie or a tart, M’s otherwise steadfast discipline for a balanced diet dissolves with the first seductive whiffs of baking aromas arising from the stove.
“I think we need a second helping of the pie before the crust gets soggy” says M, “Isn’t the weather suppose to be especially humid tomorrow?”
Between M’s fondness of these desserts and my endeavor to explore every species, it’s a time of fruit highs.
For the first fix, I baked this Ginger Cherry-Plum Galette . The complimentary union of cherries and plums is heightened by the warmth of cinnamon, ginger and rum/brandy. It’s a perfect summer dessert for casual dinners or outdoor gatherings—and simply satisfying as a weeknight dessert.
Ginger Cherry Plum Galette
yield: one 10-inch galette
1-1/4 cup (6-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, frozen
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3-6 tablespoons of ice water
1. In food processor, pulse both flour, salt, cinnamon and ginger to combine. Scatter butter and shortening pieces over flour, then pulse until texture resembles coarse bread crumbs and butter pieces about the size of small peas remain, ten to twelve 1-second pulses. Sprinkle 3 tablespoon water over mixture and pulse until dough begins to form small curds and holds together when pinched with fingers. If necessary, add remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve result.
2. Empty dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap; dough will be crumbly Gather dough into a 6-inch disc by pulling up sides of plastic wrap and press lightly with heel of your hand. Wrap dough with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold but malleable, about 45 minutes.
Ginger Cherry-Plum Filling
20 ounces fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
2 black or red plum, cut into chunks, about the size of cherries
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon dark rum or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
5 teaspoons instant tapioca, measure then grind to fine powder
1. Add 1/4 of the plum and 1/2 cup cherries in a small food processor and purée until smooth. Pour mixture into large bowl. Add remaining cherries and plum, ginger, vanilla, brandy and tapioca powder, toss to combine and let st for 10-15 minutes.
1/2 cup almond paste
Ginger Cherry-Plum Filling
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon cold water
1 tablespoon demerara or sprinkling sugar
1. Place almond paste between two plastic wrap and roll into a very thin disc, about 10 or 11-inch in diameter. Set aside.
2. Lightly dust the counter with flour and roll pastry dough into a 12-inch round disc. Transfer rolled out pastry dough onto a baking sheet, place almond disc on top of pastry round. Spread filling in the center, about 8-inch in diameter. Carefully fold 2-inch outer edge of the dough towards the center, overlapping the fig filling. Repeat around the circumference of the galette, gently press dough to secure.
3. Refrigerate galette for 20-30 minutes. In the mean time, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400℉.
4. Add egg white and water to a small bowl, whisk lightly to combine. Remove galette from refrigerator, and brush dough with egg white and sprinkle sugar evenly over dough. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 40-50 minutes. Rotate half way during baking for evenness. Cool on baking sheet over wire rack for 30 minutes or to room temperature. Cut into wedges and serve.