I have been really into desserts lately, especially with all the delicious fruits coming into season! Nectarines only come around once a year for a few months so I jumped at the chance to create a simple, rustic, yet impressive dessert for my clients.
Fussy tarts and pies can be such a pain to form and of course as a chef I always want to create that perfect aesthetic, however I discovered that when time is of the essence, something comparable like a galette can impress just as much but with less of a hassle.
A galette is essentially a free form rustic, generally crusty pastry that can be topped with various sweet or savory toppings. I chose to pair fresh nectarines tossed with vanilla bean and citrus to accompany the delicate yet crisp crust made with cornmeal. The result was delicious and it couldn’t be easier….here’s what I did….
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter, cubed
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 egg (for egg wash..this creates that golden brown color)
In a food processor combine all the ingredients, except the egg. Pulse until the butter is small and pea sized, but not too small! (if the butter is fully incorporated it will not achieve the same flaky crispy texture you want)
Pull the dough out of the processor and knead by hand JUST until a ball is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For the Filling:
6-8 ripe nectarines, sliced
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 lemon, juiced & zest
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
In a large bowl toss all ingredients until combined and the nectarine slices are evenly coated.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. You may need a bit more flour to prevent sticking for this step…use your noggins people! Transfer the dough to a parchment paper lined sheet tray.
Arrange the nectarines in the center of the dough leaving about a two inch border of crust. This will allow us enough room to fold up the edges and prevent any of that yumminess from creeping out. Fold up the edges of the dough and brush only the crust with your left over egg.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. It may take a few minutes longer depending on your oven, but ultimately all you need is for the nectarines to be partially cooked and the dough to be crisp. Check this but CAREFULLY lifting the galette and checking for browning underneath.
I topped mine with a fresh raspberry whipped cream…It’s super easy….1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3 tbsp. powdered sugar and 1/4 cup fresh raspberry puree. Sub out the raspberries for any other berry that you have