September 20, 2014

Cherry-Almond Galette

I have been on a bit of a Smitten Kitchen kick since I got The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook as a birthday gift from my dad. I've liked every recipe I've tried from the book, but I can tell you that it now opens naturally to the sweet cherry and almond galette. It is amazing. We were planning to have a picnic on our town green the summer evening I first made this, and the galette made it even more scrumptious to look forward to.

There's something about being outdoors that makes food taste even better. For this picnic we had: BLTs, mixed olives, really ripe sweet-smelling melon, some sliced prosciutto to go both with the melon and with Cambezola, a delicious cheese we can always find. My mom says that Cambezola is so good she wants to roll in it. We did not roll in the cheese but we did enjoy it very much with prosciutto wrapped around it (or, in Willem's case, in chunks all by itself until we stopped him). And the cherry galette...I'm so glad I have the cookbook for this recipe alone. I used my own favorite pie pastry, so I can't speak for that aspect of her recipe, but the quick easy almond paste smeared on the bottom was amazing with the cherries and the sugared crust. And the bites of cherry between two layers of crust near the edge, so good. You can pick it up by the slice and eat it with your hands-- the perfect picnic treat. The galette did not last long in our house afterward. (I made this galette this fall as well with New Hampshire peaches in place of the cherries I just stopped being able to find at the store, and that was delicious too-- the peaches almost as great with the almond as were the cherries.)

We had such a nice summer evening, letting Willem stay up past his bed time riding his bike on the nice path in town, including straight through whatever puddles he could find.
Cherry-Almond Galette
from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

1/2 recipe pie pastry, chilled

1/3 C sliced, slivered, or chopped almonds
1 1/2 t flour
3 T sugar
1 T butter
1/4 t almond extract
1 large egg white (save yolk to brush crust)
1 lb. sweet cherries*

To finish
1 large egg yolk
1 t water
coarse sugar to sprinkle
confectioner's sugar, to dust for serving

*Recently, Gordie and Willem were delighted to have bought a cherry pitter at a kitchen store. It pushes out the pit, leaving a whole cherry. I haven't made the galette since getting the pitter, but it would definitely look cool and even more rustic with whole cherries. It also works fine to halve the cherries and pluck out the pits with your thumb.

Make pastry and chill.

Make filling: Finely grind almonds and flour in a food processor. Mix in sugar, butter, and extract, then egg white. Blend until smooth. Cover, and chill until needed. 

Assemble: Preheat oven to 400. On floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch round. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the almond filling evenly over the bottom of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Scatter the cherries on top. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. Whisk egg yolk with water, and brush crust with mixture. Sprinkle crust with coarse sugar. 

Bake the galette until the filling is puffed and the crust is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the galette halfway through. Cool, and serve dusted with confectioner's sugar.   

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