Plum Almond Galette

It's been a week since I've returned from my holiday in France. I'm still sorting through the photographs, setting aside a picture here or there to share with you. The jet lag has passed and the normalcy of life is returning, piece by piece. I adore travel and the ability to explore the intricacies of different cultures that it affords. For this reason, I am a bit sad to come home when a trip ends. Though my own bed feels wonderful, I have a hard time letting go of the idea that rocky beaches of the French Riviera and the pastries of Paris are half a world away.

During the summer months, I have a tendency to go a bit overboard when in-season fruits and vegetables show up at the market. After the Midwest's endless winters, my eagerness appears in the form of an abundance of stone fruits and melons. With more plums than I could eat in a week on my kitchen counter, I needed to find a way to use them before they were forgotten in favor of other fruits.

And thus, this galette was born.

I often prefer galettes to pie. Galettes feel simpler to me, a natural extension of a Sunday afternoon or a weeknight dessert. They use a single round of pie dough instead of two, but still hold a wealth of fruit within the pleated walls. A pie is more fussy to me, time consuming and brought down by a certain pressure to make them appear perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect galette, as their nature is to appear freeform and rustic. It is this truth that appeals to me most, this lack of an ideal, as well as the ease in which they can be thrown together.

There is a time and a place for pie, certainly, but the galette is my everyday version of this pastry and therefore the type I am most likely to prepare when the fruit is generous.

This Plum Almond Galette is a sweet, flaky pastry with a bold fruit flavor. Plums are layered over the top of an almond base, which not only absorbs any stray plum juices, but provides a flavor foil against the bright plum. A few sprigs of thyme are scattered over the top, which lends the tart a subtle, complimentary flavor without standing out too boldly. This galette can be dressed up with whipped cream or ice cream or left plain and simple. Served warm or chilled, this is a wonderful way to use up any excess fruit in your kitchen.

One Year Ago: Cookie Dough CakeNutella Espresso Rolls, and Brownie Cookies
Two Years Ago: Cherry Cream Cheese Muffins, Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa, and Vegan Brownies
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Almond Oat Bars, Tropical Vacation Cocktail, and Portrait of a Town
Four Years Ago: Roasted Cherry Coconut Ice Cream

Plum Almond Galette

1/3 cup (38 grams) whole almonds
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
Recipe for single crust pie dough 
3 large plums, pitted and sliced thinly
Milk or cream, for brushing
Fresh thyme (optional)

In a food processor, process the almonds, flour, and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar together until it resembles a coarse flour. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to roughly a 14-inch circle. Spread the almond flour out evenly over the pie dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the outside. Place the sliced plums over the almond filling, arranging them in overlapping patterns. Fold up the pie dough over the filling, pleating the dough every two or so inches. Brush the visible pie dough with milk and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the dough and the filling. Arrange a few sprigs of fresh thyme over the top. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up the crust.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the plums have visibly softened. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with a topping of whipped cream or side of vanilla ice cream.