Lavender Plum Galettes with Frangipane

I just got to Maine to visit my family for a while, and in Maine, August is a month to celebrate the ephemeral. Everything seems to be at its brightest. The flowers are in bloom, the fruit has ripened, and we have long days of cloudless sun. It’s time to take advantage of what’s on offer before it passes you by and the snow starts falling.

When fruit is at its freshest, you don’t need to mask its flavor. It’s okay to complement it, but whatever you do, don’t muddle it. I tend to turn to the unassuming galette. A galette is a rustic tart, made from pâte brisée, or pie dough. It’s a free-form tart, that to shape you simply fold up the edges over the filling. It couldn’t be easier.

To take full advantage of the ripe plums and blooming flowers, I decided to make a plum galette with almond frangipane and lavender. Lavender pairs really well with fruit, especially stone-fruits and berries. The almond frangipane adds a creamy texture on top of the crisp crust and the soft fruit, and a mild almond flavor that’s a natural companion to stone-fruits.

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Tips for Making Lavender Plum Galettes with Frangipane

  • Handling the dough will be exponentially easier if it is kept cold. I recommend starting the dough the day before or early enough to let the dough chill for at least an hour before assembling the tart.

  • It can help to dice the butter ahead of time, and then chill or freeze it before cutting it into the flour. This prevents the butter from melting into the flour while mixing, ensuring a flaky crust.

  • Pie dough gets its flakiness from the pea-sized pieces of butter that create pockets of fat in the dough. The water in the butter steams during baking which expands the pockets in the dough, leading to thin, crisp flakes in the buttery dough.

  • In addition to preventing the butter from melting, chilling the dough before rolling allows the flour enough time to hydrate properly. It also gives the gluten a chance to rest, which will make rolling the dough easier.

  • The frangipane not only adds flavor and texture, but it’s there to act as a buffer between the fruit and the dough. Almonds absorb the most water of any nut because of their slightly lower fat content. This means the frangipane will help absorb some of the liquid from the fruit filling and prevent the crust from getting soggy.

  • With fruit filling for any pie or tart, I like to mix together all of the dry ingredients before adding them to the fruit. This way, the filling is evenly distributed and you don’t get large pockets of any one particular ingredient, which can be unpleasant.
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Ingredients:

Yields two 9-inch (23cm) galettes.

Galette Dough:

MetricCups
300g plain flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt


225g unsalted cold butter, diced


6 Tablespoons cold water
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt


1 cup unsalted cold butter, diced


6 Tablespoons cold water
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

Frangipane:

MetricCups
50g almond flour
50g icing sugar


50g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 egg white
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup icing sugar


1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 egg white

Plum Filling:

MetricCups
500g plums

1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon


25g granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried lavender, ground into a powder
1 lb. plums

1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon


2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried lavender, ground into a powder

Galette Dough

Sift together the dry ingredients:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.

Cut in the cold butter:

Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or with the tips of your fingers), until the mixture resembles crumbs and the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces.

Pour in the water and vinegar:

Pour in the cold water and vinegar, stirring with a fork until the dough comes together into a ball.

Chill and rest the dough:

Divide the dough in two and shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour before rolling it out. I prefer to make the dough the day before and let it rest overnight.

Meanwhile, prepare the frangipane.

Frangipane

Combine the dry ingredients:

In a small bowl, sift together the almond flour and icing sugar.

Beat the butter:

In a medium bowl with a rubber spatula, combine the butter and vanilla extract.

Add the almond mixture:

Add the almond mixture to the butter mixture and stir until it is just combined.

Add the egg:

Gradually add the egg white and continue to mix until it is incorporated. Save the egg yolk for the egg wash later.

Chill:

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Roll out the dough:

Working with one piece of dough at a time, retrieve the dough from the fridge, remove the plastic, and dust both sides of the dough with flour.

Dust a work surface lightly with flour and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 15-inch (40cm) circle, working from the center outwards.

Repeat with the other disk of dough, then return the dough to the refrigerator while preparing the plum filling.

Plum Filling

Pit and slice the plums:

Pit and slice the plums thinly. I don’t usually bother to peel them. Place the plum slices in a large bowl.

Add the lemon juice and zest:

Stir in the lemon juice and zest to evenly coat the plum slices.

Combine the dry ingredients:

In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and lavender.

Mix the dry ingredients into the plum mixture:

Add the dry ingredients to the plums and stir until evenly distributed.

Assemble the Galette

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Preheat the oven:

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).

Spread the frangipane on the dough:

Divide the frangipane evenly between the two pieces of dough. Spread into a thin layer, leaving about an inch and a half (4cm) border around the edges.

Top with the plum filling:

Spread half of the plum filling evenly over the frangipane in each galette.

Fold up the edges:

Gently fold up the edges of the crust over the plums, overlapping every couple inches to create a decorative border.

Brush with egg wash:

In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk with a couple teaspoons of milk. Brush the dough with the egg wash using a pastry brush, and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake the galette:

Bake the galettes for about 45 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown.

If your oven is small, you can bake the galettes one at a time. Be sure to put the second one in the refrigerator until it’s ready for the oven.

Let them cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

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