Oven Temperature: 400°F/200°C
Baking Time: 40 to 45 minutes
This is my favorite peach pie transformed into a galette. I prefer it to a pie because the balance of fruit to pastry is truly perfection. It works for most fruit but especially well for peaches which, compared to nectarines and apples, are a little softer and don't hold up as well in a thicker layer. The thin, buttery, flaky, crisp crust encasing the luscious peach slices is truly heavenly.
Special Equipment One 10 to 12 inch pizza pan, preferably dark metal, or baking sheet; A baking stone or baking sheet
NOTE: For the pie crust, put Rose's Favorite Flaky & Tender Pie Crust in the Search Box (or got to the Recipe of the Month page, and click on its posting on the right sidebar).
Increase the recipe by 2 times to 624 grams. Rolling a crust this large and this thin can be tricky. This is a great dough--strong enough to roll thin but tender when baked. Be sure to roll the crust in a cool area--no higher than 75˚/24°C and work quickly. Move it on the cloth occasionally to ensure that it isn't sticking and add more flour if necessary.
* Have ready a colander suspended over a medium bowl.
* Have ready a 4 cup glass measure with a spout and lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.
1) Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar and pinch of salt and toss them gently to mix evenly. Allow them to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1 1/2 hours.
2) Transfer the peaches and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will release at least 1 cup/237 ml up to 1-1/3 cups/316 ml of juice.
3) Transfer this liquid to a the 2 cup microwavable measure with a spout. Add the butter and microwave it for about 6 to 9 minutes until reduced to about 2/3 cup/158 ml—a little more if you started with more than a 1/2 cup/118 ml of liquid. It will be syrupy and lightly caramelized. Watch carefully toward the end to avoid burning. (Alternatively, reduce the liquid in a saucepan, preferably with nonstick lining, over medium-high heat. Swirl but do not stir it.)
4) Transfer the peaches to a bowl, pour the syrup over them, and toss gently. (Do not be concerned if the liquid hardens on contact with the peaches; it will dissolve during baking.) Add the cornstarch and almond extract and toss gently until all traces of it have disappeared.
5) Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes until it is soft enough to roll. On a well-floured pastry cloth roll the crust into a 24-inch diameter circle. Fold it in quarters and transfer it to a 14 to 16 inch pizza pan, allowing the border to overlap the pan.
6) Scrape the peach mixture into the pastry and carefully drape the border over the fruit, allowing it to pleat as evenly as possible. It will leave a small area in the center exposed.
7) Cover the galette loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for one hour before baking to chill. This will maintain flakiness.
8) At least 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400°/200°.
Set the oven rack at lowest level and place the baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating. Place a large piece of greased foil on top to catch any juices.
9) For a delightfully crunchy crust, spritz or brush the pastry all over with water and sprinkle with superfine sugar.
10) Set the pan directly on the foil topped baking stone and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the juices bubble thickly in the center opening and the peaches feel tender but not mushy when a cake tester or small sharp knife is inserted. Rotate the pan half way through the baking time. If it starts to over-brown, cover loosely with foil with a slash cut in the middle.
11) Cool the galette on a rack for about 3 hours until warm or room temperature before cutting.
Store Room temperature, 2 days; refrigerated, 4 days
Pointers for Success:
· The peaches should be ripe and yield slightly to pressure but firm enough to maintain their texture when baked. If squishy, they lose their character.
· To peel peaches, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the peaches and turn off the heat. Allow them to sit for 1 minute. Drain at once and rinse with cold water or place in a bowl of ice water. If the peaches are ripe, the peels will slip off easily.
· As you slice the peaches, toss them occasionally to coat with sugar mixture.
· Be sure to put a sheet of foil under the pie pan as there is always a little spill over with this much fruit.
· For a truly crisp bottom crust, this juicy galette works well baked directly on the floor of the oven for the first 30 minutes. Then raise it to a rack in the lower part of the oven.
Understanding Concentrating the peach juices before baking keeps the filling juicy and requires only a small amount of starch to bind it.