Recipe: Peach and Strawberry Galettes

There's nothing sweeter than a fruit in season.

One day, my coworker was talking about peaches. The way he spoke of Ontario peaches sounded like a love song. He was actually getting lost, detaching from reality in bits and pieces every time he'd describe how much he loved summer in Toronto because they brought out the best in our produce, especially our peaches. So I started day dreaming with him - of course, we were in our separate dimensions of reality. It was only when I had to catch my train home that was I reminded of where we were before drifting off into Narnia. We were at the corner of an intersection, deciding whether or not we should grab some poutine and then we started dreaming. Soooo random. Anyways, needless to say, I went home with a craving for peaches. Thank God that was a Friday afternoon. I had all weekend to plan my latest crave attack. 

I can honestly say that I've never had fresh peaches until I started living overseas. Peaches were always canned in the Philippines, swimming in syrup. The first time I had a peach was in Australia. It was yummy and juicy and just a whole new experience for me. It was fresh! The next time I had it was here in Toronto. And I thank all the fresh farmers markets I've visited to open me up to new fresh versions of so many wonderful fruits! Obviously, my favourite market was, is, and will forever be St. Lawrence Market. And what a bonus that I work really near it! My after lunch walks would most often mean I'm lost AGAIN in some aisle AGAIN at this market.
Since peaches are in season during summer months in Canada, this was the best time to make a delectable treat. I cannot stress this enough but always use produce that are in season. They are in their best of everything (taste, texture, smell, presence!). Even if you get the recipe wrong won't do them much harm because you're not trying to compensate for a certain flavour. And eating them fresh and straight out of buckets, punnets, or bunches are truly the best ways to savour every bit of flavour they can offer.

So I started looking for other ways to prepare peaches. I was so used to having them as cobblers or layered in shortcakes so I wanted to make something new. Galettes. These delectable creations can take different forms like a buckwheat savoury crepe or thin pancake, or in a flaky freeform (usually circular) pastry crust holding together a sweet filling. It's simple to make, rustic, great for photos because they just look dreamy, they present well, and they taste even more awesome.

Peach and Strawberry Galettes
The galette dough will make 1 serving, about 11-12 inches in diameter. So I just doubled the recipe to make a peach and another strawberry galette. Because... why not?! 😉 If you want smaller galettes, you can half 1 recipe and put in all sorts of filling variations.

You're going to need some mixing bowls, a food processor (I used my Ninja and it worked well), a rolling pin, some plastic/saran wrap, a dough or plastic scraper, 2 baking sheets, parchment paper or silicon baking mats, a pastry brush, and an offset spatula.

Galette Dough Ingredients
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp ice cold water

extra flour for dusting
1 egg yolk
melted butter from brushing
sugar for sprinkling

Peach Filling
6-8 plump and sweet fresh peaches, cored and sliced
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Strawberry Filling
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp honey

1 cup mascarpone cheese (you can replace this with ricotta or light and whipped cream cheese)

apricot jam (about 2 tbsp, and another 1 tbsp diluted in 2 tsp water)
strawberry jam (about 2 tbsp, and another 1 tbsp diluted in 2 tsp water)

1. To make the galette dough, blitz the dry ingredients first in the food processor. Add the butter cubes and pulse until crumbled. Add the vanilla and the cold water (1 tbsp at a time) and pulse only until the dough forms.
2. Transfer the dough on the counter lined with saran wrap and ball it up to make a dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 60-90 mins. (You can even leave it overnight.)
3. For the peach filling, toss the peach slices, sugar, cinnamon, and honey in a bowl and mix well. Do not break the peach slices since you want to layer them later on. In a separate bowl, do the same for the strawberry filling.
4. Preheat your oven to 380℉. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or with the silicon mats.
5. Dust some flour on your counter or a surface and roll the dough into a circle, about 12 inches in diameter. Trim the edges to make a perfect circle, if you want it neat and tidy. If you want the more rustic look, don't bother trimming.
6. To assemble and using an offset spatula, smear a dollop of apricot jam on the centre of the dough and spread outward leaving space, around 2 inches of dough to the edge. Smear some mascarpone cheese on top of the apricot jam. Proceed to layering the peach slices on top of each other, making rows from one side to another. Fold the dough inwards, working in a clockwise fashion. If it sticks on the countertop surface, use a dough scraper.
7. Do the same for the strawberry galette. Smear a dollop of strawberry jam, top with mascarpone, and from the edges, line and layer the strawberry slices until you get to the centre.
8. Once the edges form a crust, brush with the whisked egg yolk, melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar. Brush the diluted jams (apricot for the peach galette and strawberry for the strawberry galette) on top of the sliced and layered fruit.
9. Pop in the oven for about 33-35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let these cool on the baking sheets for about 20 minutes. You don't want to disturb the bubbling goodness inside. If you slice it too early, it will just ooze out and all you've worked for will be lost.
10. Enjoy!!! Have a cup of tea with it or serve it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream!
*If you prefer to use ready-made pastry dough (the ones that come in a canister), totally fine with me. You do you. Just a head's up that it might not be as flaky and yummy as a dough you make on your own. 

**Use your imagination. There are so many fruits out there that can make beautiful galettes. There are blueberries, blackberries, mangoes, even make a peach mango variation to make you fancy Jolibee dreams come true! I bet you can even make a buko (young coconut meat) galette with a custard filling instead of using mascarpone! Hmmm... ideas. 

***Because you cannot blind bake the pastry, there's always the risk of the bottom being soggier than everything else. There are a few ways to remedy this. You can brush a jam or preserve before layering the toppings. The jams are higher in sugar and should caramelize quicker creating a barrier from the crust to the dairy or custard. Another way is brushing egg whites, this creates another barrier. If you're feeling extra extra, you can brush dulce de leche or a caramel sauce. For extra insurance, leave the jam or any selected barrier to air dry for about 10 minutes before layering.

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