Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I made pie - apricot galette

The other morning I was feeling a bit under the weatherish and consequently was doing what I often do when feeling so...lying on my sofa watching a cooking segment on TV. Regan Daley made apricot galette on CityLine. It looked easy and delicious which makes every recipe seem like it should be made and D is very fond of fruit galettes. And when I went to the fruit stand later in the day, they had apricots. So it seemed like it was a sign. A sign that I should make this galette.

Along the way I stopped at the library and they finally had Laura Calder's book - French Taste for me to take out and read. And she has a primer on pastry in it. Just the thing for a recovering pastry phobe like me. Pastry has always frightened me a bit. Well, ok - a lot. My mum made pastry that was, well, a bit tough. Not as tough as the brick walls she described it as but still, you had to put a lot of pressure on your fork to cut a piece. But that didn't deter her from making pastry. She made pies and tarts and never resorted to boxed or pre-made or frozen pastry. In fact, I might have been the one to introduce her to the wonders of frozen pastry shells (and frozen french fries but that's a whole nother story). My paternal grandmother, however, was the baker in the family - she made pies and cakes like no-one's business and her pastry was delicious. She was however, of the Crisco school of pastry and I have to say, as flaky as it made her pies, the thought of that tub o'lard in the vicinity of my food makes me a bit nauseous (maybe as I no longer have a gallbladder, but there you are). So, here is my confession. When pastry has been called for from my kitchen, until recently, I have relied on boxed or frozen or pre-made pastry. My first foray was pastry for a quiche lorraine and then a cauliflower tart - the pastry was easy to make in the food processor and the first time I made it I was so worried about overmixing that I turned off the processor when the dough was just crumbs and I ended up pressing it into the pie dish - but it worked. The second time I let the dough combine into a dough before turning off the processor and then rolling out the dough and it worked again. A miracle! And then I made the french tomato tart and the dough worked for that. And a few weeks ago when making another galette, I had been planning on using puff pastry but when I took it out of the fridge, it was hard and crusty in places (had obviously been refrozen after being defrosted) and instead of panicking (with people coming over for lunch), I whipped out my french tart recipe and quickly made the dough and it worked! I'm ever so proud of myself. So I have a filled tart dough recipe, a savory tart dough recipe and today I also have a sweet dough recipe. And all of them can be made in a food processor. Love it.

So my sweet dough recipe calls for flour, salt, sugar, butter, ice-cold water and vanilla and makes enough for two disks of pastry. It's in Laura Calder's book - French Taste. Knowing I wanted to make the apricot galette today, last night I made the pastry and put the 2 disks in the fridge.

And now I have another pie I can make! For the fruit I combined 1 1/2 lbs of apricots, quartered and stoned, 1/2 c sugar and 3 tbsp corn starch and refridgerated overnight.

Tonight I rolled out the pastry into a circle, piled the fruit in the middle, cut up ~  tbsp butter over the fruit and folded the pastry over the fruit, galette style. Then I sprinkled sugar over the folded over dough. And baked for 50 minutes at 375 deg F.

The pastry was flaky and tender but not gooey. The fruit was tart. Delicious.

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