British Summer fruits will always have my heart; I am forever extolling the virtues of locally grown, seasonal fare – and for good reason! During the sunny months however, I have to make an exception for European flat peaches, or doughnut peaches, and offset my food miles in other ways. When we visited Venice a few Summers ago my highlight was visiting the historic Rialto market where I tasted the juiciest, most intensely flavoured sun-ripened peaches. They are so much sweeter than your average peach and their thin skin makes them really easy to eat – like sweeties. While no peaches have since quite lived up to those eaten in the Italian sunshine, I have learned a few tricks to bring out the best of their flavour. Roasting any stone fruit (or any fruit really) intensifies its sweetness, and here the caramelised peaches complement the vanilla and almond notes of the frangipane. The rustic nature of a galette is a gift if you’re new to pastry, and since the whole thing is made in the food processor the hands-on time is minimal. I urge you to give it a go! To make the flat peach and frangipane galette, you will need:
For the pastry:
160g plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
112g unsalted butter
2 tbsp cold water.
For the filling:
1/4 cup ground almonds (sorry, the original frangipane recipe was American – I converted the rest but for the almonds it’s about volume)
One tbsp sugar
One tbsp butter
One beaten egg (half for the frangipane, half for glazing the pastry)
One tsp vanilla extract
One large flat peach
One tbsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling.
Preheat the oven to 200C Fan. Pulse the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the butter is in small, pea-sized chunks.
Add the water a little at a time, pulsing between each addition. When the mixture starts to just hold together, it’s ready (be careful not to add too much water). Work briefly on a floured surface until the dough comes together, then roll out to around 5 mm thick in a roughly circular shape and place on a baking tray lined with parchment.
In the food processor (no need to wash the bowl!) blitz the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla and half the beaten egg to make the frangipane. Spoon the frangipane onto the surface of the dough, spreading it out evenly until about 3 cm from the edge of the pastry.
Fold the edge of the plain dough towards the centre to form a crust that is a couple of centimetres wide – as it’s a galette, you don’t have to be too precious about it. In fact, the more rustic the better! Arrange the flat peach over the top of the frangipane, trying to cover as much of it as possible, and sprinkle with the demerara. Brush the crust with the remaining beaten egg (you probably won’t use all of it).
Bake the tart in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the peaches caramelised. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
Delicious still warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (See my latest recipe for no-churn ice cream here – leave out the flavourings and add vanilla extract to taste instead!).
Recipe adapted from Alexandra Cooks’ apple frangipane galette, itself adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz. Can’t wait to try the apple version for Autumn!