I wouldn't say that I follow seasonal eating rules very strictly. You will find me eating a pound of strawberries in December and buying tomatoes in bulk in March. However, I do pay attention to what each season has to offer, and I just make sure to incorporate that prime produce in my kitchen even more than usual. So is true with peaches.
My family and I have been going to Battleview Orchards for as long as I can remember. The first weekend of October you will find us in the pumpkin patch and apple orchards, the sugar from hot apple cider donuts clinging to our sweaters. And every first week of August, you will see me and my mother expertly evaluating every peach hanging from their trees. Every dish we make for the next week or so will usually involve peaches.
I make galettes (open-faced pies) all the time. They're so versatile: decrease the amount of sugar in the pastry dough and stuff it with tomatoes and basil for a savory side dish, or fill it with fresh or dried fruit for a dessert. I don't necessarily prefer them to pies, but their rustic beauty – their tanned crusts and window of caramelized fruit – is so much more aesthetically pleasing to me. Not only that, but they are exceptionally easier, and are much more forgiving. If your pie crust isn't even or a perfect circle, you'll end up with a pretty ugly pie (harsh, I know.) But when the dough for a galette is rolled out, it doesn't have to be a perfect circle, and rips and rough edges are warmly welcomed.
I love the combination of fresh peaches, almond extract, and a dash of lemon juice for my galette filling. I've made this dish with blueberries, apples, just about anything and everything! The dough has been adapted from King Arthur Flour, but changed just a bit (I refuse to use shortening in any of my cooking.)
Almond & Peach Galette
For the pie dough...
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup pastry flour
- 1 tbsp buttermilk powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 12 tbsp cold butter, cubed
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp ice water
For the filling...
- 8 medium to large-sized peaches, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp almond extract
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp clear gel
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the peaches)
For the topping...
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 3 tbsp demerara sugar (can be substituted with white, brown, sparkling, sanding, or pearl sugars)
For the dough... Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then add the diced butter. Using your hands or a food processor, cut the butter into the flour until pea-sized chunks form. Splash in the water and mix with your hands until just combined. Flip out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk about 2 inches thick, wrap, and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Dough can be made up to one day in advance. For the pie... Slice the peaches. They shouldn't be too thin to see through or tear, but not too thick, either. Put all of the slices into a bowl and pour the remaining filling ingredients over them. Combine with your hands, making sure all of the peaches are evenly coated. Preheat the oven to 425º and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and flour. When ready, roll out your pie crust onto a floured surface and roll out until about 13 inches long. Gently move onto the parchment paper. Place or arrange the peaches on the center of the dough, reaching the outside until about 1 to 3 inches of overhang remain. Fold the sides of the dough towards the center of galette. For the topping... Whisk the egg white and water in a small bowl and gently brush the edges of the galette with it until shiny. You won't need a thick coating. Sprinkle almonds over the edges, followed by the demerara sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, and then lower the oven to 350º (keep the galette in the oven!) and bake for 45 minutes. Check on the galette every so often to make sure the peaches are cooking evenly with the crust. If the crust is browning too quickly, then tent with aluminum foil.
My name is Alexandra Jade, but you can call me Alex, or Trin. I am a Food Studies major at New York University, and a freelance photographer, journalist, and social media pro on the side. I run the instagram account @twobrunchgirls.