A Fruit Galette Sampler

I never plan to make a galette. I wake up and see that I’ve got some nice fruit, some interesting jam and a bit of time, and that’s when I decide. I don’t have a formal recipe, but I’ll share with you how I make them. I’m sure my technique is not perfect—as I’ve said before, I’m not a baker. But here I sit with a big mug of café au lait and a slice of my warm, free-form peach and apple cider jam galette and I think it is just about perfect. Maybe that’s because an hour ago I didn’t even know I was going to make it.

A fruit galette is a sort of tart or maybe we can stretch our imaginations just a bit and call it a type of shallow pie. Please refer back to the “The Rules for Pie” post. They are easy to make and you can put almost anything on a galette, so they frequent my weekend breakfast table. I just made one today using some local peaches from the farmers market. You can use whatever combination of fruit and jam you like and you really don’t need a recipe. They provide the perfect opportunity to experiment and be creative.

First you need a dough for the crust. Sure you can use a store bought, pre-made one, but honestly, pie dough is super easy to make. Below is my basic pie crust recipe for one galette.

Basic Pie Crust

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp. ice cold water
2 tbsp sugar (optional)

Mix together the flour and salt. Cut the chilled and cubed butter into the flour mixture, gently, until you have chickpea-sized pieces. It will be lumpy and bumpy, don’t be nervous, that’s totally fine. You can use a pastry cutter, or a fork. You can even use your hands (if your hands are not hot!). The dough will be better if you don’t over-work the mixing. The big idea with making pastry dough is that you want to keep it cool. You want that butter to stay together and not get melty. My mother even chilled the bowl she used and her crusts were fabulous. I roll mine out on a marble slab which seems to always stay cool. After the butter, add the vinegar and then the cold water, just a little at a time and toss lightly, until the dough comes together. You can add more water as needed, just a bit at a time if the dough feels dry. FYI, you may not need all of the water in the recipe. You want the dough to be firm, but not sticky. Gently form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. So easy!

Four Fruit and Jam Galettes
These are my four favorite fruit and jam combinations.

Peach and Plum with Apricot Jam
Blueberry with Lemon Curd
Pear with Fig Spread
Mixed Summer Berry (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, whatever!) and Raspberry Jam

For all of these galettes I preheat the over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. On a floured surface I gently roll my dough into a big circle about 1/4 inch thick. I lightly spray a baking sheet (you could also use parchment paper), and place the dough on the sheet unfilled.

The quantity of fruit you use is really flexible. Remember I said you don’t really need a recipe? The peach tart I made today had 4 peaches in it because I had only 4 peaches. You can sparsely load the tart for a more delicate galette, or you can pile it on. For the pear and the peach/plum tart, let’s say 4 pieces of fruit would work for starters. For the blueberry and summer berry tart, maybe 2 cups or so of berries would work. You be the judge on how much fruit you want to add. I wash and dry all of the fruit and thinly slice the fruit that needs slicing (pears, plums, peaches, strawberries). I don’t peel the fruit, but that’s up to you, I like my galettes rustic.

Toss the fruit with a tiny bit of lemon juice and maybe a couple of tablespoons of flour. You can add sugar and any spices you like. A tiny bit of cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, ginger, lime, vanilla—whatever you like and think would work with your fruit and your jam combination. I typically do not add any sugar or any seasoning because the jam I use adds so much flavor.

After you’ve prepared your fruit, place it in the center of the dough, being sure to leave a couple of inches of dough free of fruit all the way around. You can arrange the fruit however you like. For the sliced fruit I generally fan the slices and make a pattern with them. Then I take my jam of choice (maybe 1/4 cup, I’m sorry, I just never measure) and water it down very slightly (you don’t want it too liquidy because the fruit will generate a lot of liquid) to make a thick syrup. I brush this syrup over the fruit. Sometimes I even put some on the dough before I add the fruit. Then fold up the edges of the dough so that it holds the fruit in the center. Don’t worry about how it looks. Brush an egg wash over the dough and sprinkle with a coarse sugar. Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes until golden brown, longer if needed to get the fruit soft and the crust done.

Some other combinations I’ve tried are apricots with orange marmalade, apples with raisins and apple butter, and cherry and almond butter. There are savory ones too. If you want real recipes with exact measurements, Bon Appétit just added 15 recipes, link below. They even show you how to make a pie crust without a bowl I believe. After you’ve made some following a recipe, you’ll see how easy they are and maybe do what I do—just decide one morning, “I’ve got some nice fruit, I think I’ll make a galette”.