Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cherry-Apple-Rum Galette

This rustic tart is so easy to make, you'll never ever want to make a traditional cherry pie again. A pâte brisée is a versatile pastry dough with a high fat-to-flour ratio (read as: super flaky buttery awesome dough). You can easily double the dough recipe; after you remove it from the processor, just divide the dough in half, pat each into a 6-inch disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, put one in a freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to a month (just thaw on the counter before using).

Makes one 9-inch tart

2 C fresh pitted cherries (about 13 oz)
2 medium apples of choice, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
3-4 Tbsps sugar (taste your cherries and adjust for sweetness)
1/4 C dark rum
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I ground my own, but if you have the pre-ground stuff you might want to add a bit more)
1/4 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground nutmeg

1 recipe for pâte brisée (see below), chilled

1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
1 Tbsp sugar

Put a baking stone in the oven on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 400F.

In a large saucepan, add the cherries, apple slices, and rum. Sprinkle with the sugar, cornstarch, and all spices and gently toss to coat the fruit. Heat over medium heat until some liquids release from the fruit and it starts to bubble. Once the the sauce has thickened, stir it again and remove from the heat to cool while you roll out the dough.

Cover a rimless cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the pâte brisée from the refrigerator and rest on the counter 15-20 minutes before rolling. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick). Put the dough circle on the prepared cookie sheet (I roll it up on the rolling pin and unroll it over the paper). Spoon the cherry-apple filling in the center of the dough and carefully spread to form a 9-inch circle.

Lightly brush some egg wash around the perimeter of the dough. Carefully lift up the sides of the dough and place over fruit, pinching pieces of overlapping dough together about every 4 inches, forming a border. Brush the top of the border with egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar over it. Place the cookie sheet on the baking stone in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the pastry is nice and golden brown. Place pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then slide the pastry with the parchment from the pan and cool on the rack completely.

Pâte Brisée Recipe

1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
2 Tbsps vodka
2 Tbsps cold water
ice cubes

Put the vodka and cold water in a measuring cup or small bowl and add the ice cubes to keep it cold. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt to combine. Add the cold butter pieces and give the mixture ten 1-second pulses (the mixture should resemble a course cornmeal). To the flour mixture in the processor, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the iced vodka/water mixture. Pulse the mixture again, adding a tablespoon of liquid at a time (don't feel the need to use the entire 1/4 cup of liquid), until a dough forms. Remove from the food process and form into a ball. Place the ball of dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, press it into a 6-inch disk, wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight (or freeze it if you're not going to use it in a day).

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