Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tartine’s Fruit Galettes with thanks to Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery, San Francisco

If ever there was a moment for making these free-form rustic pastries, it’s right now.  The markets are bursting at the seams with the most beautiful stone fruits and berries of every description.  The peaches, nectarines and cherries are irresistible and this recipe is a perfect way to use them paired with blueberries. Last weekend we had very special guests, our friend Julie and her 10-year old daughter and budding pastry chef, Lucy.

Andrew is an incredibly good and generous teacher.  His patience is matched only by his enthusiasm and he loves sharing his quite formidable baking skills. Knowing that Lucy was anxious to start baking with him the moment she arrived, he did ‘the hard part’ himself. He made all the pastry in advance.  When Lucy walked in the door, she could hardly wait to get started.  She very diligently rolled out the dough.  Then she and Andrew prepared the fruits and berries and made them into these delicious individual galettes which were then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and served.  And we all became grateful recipients of these delicious little pies that were made with another secret ingredient: fun!
Elisabeth and Chad at Tartine

First some background on “Tartine” which is both the name of a great baking cookbook and that of a neighborhood bakery and cafe right in the center of San Francisco (Tartine Bakery, 600 Guerrero St, San Francisco CA 94110 (Tel: 415-487-2600).  Its chef/owners are husband and wife Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt.  Starting their bakery careers in the tiny kitchen of their Victoran cottage in Marin County CA, these two have stayed true to their philosophy of using fresh, seasonal ingredients and giving great attention to detail. 
  The Tartine cookbook's only challenge is which recipe to make first.  It strikes me that right now you just can’t go wrong with these galettes.  And if you have children in the house, it’s a great way to introduce them to making pastry because these rustic fruit pies don’t have to look like a perfectly rolled crust neatly piped around the edges.  Instead they are a snap to put together and meant to look truly hand-made.  Andrew chose local peaches and cherries, some gorgeous nectarines and some particularly luscious blueberries for his and Lucy’s versions.  You can wait till later in the season and make these with sautéed sliced apples or pears.  But why wait when you can have these gorgeous treats right now?    
        I must admit, I was astonished as the crust came together. Elisabeth and Chad are expert at explaining a recipe in such detail that at first it looks quite intimidating.  But don’t be put off.  Just reading through the recipe will make you feel more confident, even if this is a technique you’ve never tried before.  A word about the flour: Pastry Flour will give you the best crust.  However, you can certainly go with all purpose flour completely and you will still achieve a lovely buttery, flaky crust .  And it will all be worth the effort especially when you fill each one with beautiful fresh fruit, coat it with granulated sugar and pull it out of the oven, serving it warm with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.  Here is the recipe:

Recipe for Fruit Galettes
From Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson (Chronicle Books 2006)
Makes 2 large or 12 small galettes

For the Dough:
• 2 cups (1 lb.) unsalted butter, very cold
• 1 cup water
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
   2 2/3 cups pastry flour
5 cups of all-purpose flour

For the Filling
• About 6 cups fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, berries, sautéed apples or pears – your choice), cut up if necessary
• Granulated sugar

For the Egg wash
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon cream
• Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

1. To make the dough, cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and put them in the freezer. Measure the water, dissolve the salt into it and put into the freezer as well. Chill both for about 10 minutes.

2. Measure the flour onto a large, flat work surface and spread into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and toss a little flour over the butter so that your rolling pin won’t stick, and begin rolling. When the butter starts flattening out into long, thin pieces, use a bench scraper to scoop up the sides of the rectangle so that it is the size that you started with. Repeat the rolling and scraping 3 or 4 times.

3. Make a well in the center and pour all of the water into it. Using the bench scraper, scoop the sides of the dough into the center, cutting the water through the dough. Keep scraping and cutting until the dough is a shaggy mass and shape into a rectangle.

4. Lightly dust the top with flour and roll out the rectangle until it is half as large again, then scrape the top, bottom and sides together to the original size and re-roll. Repeat 3 or 4 times until you have a smooth and cohesive dough. Transfer rectangle of dough to a large baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.

5. While the dough is chilling, prepare the fruit. Hull berries, pit the peaches and cut into eighths, etc depending on the fruit you are using.

6. When you are ready to roll the dough, divide it into 2 equal portions if making large galettes or 12 equal portions for small ones. Roll the dough into circle shapes by rolling from the center to each end, not flattening the end points. Turn the pastry so the flattened out corners are at the top and bottom. Again, roll from the center towards the points nearest and farthest to you, stopping short of the top and bottom. Roll the thicker areas and you will begin to see a circle forming. Transfer to baking sheets and chill for 10 minutes.

7. Fill the center of each dough circle with fruit, leaving a 5cm edge uncovered on the large galettes or a 2cm edge on the small ones. Taste the fruit for sweetness and determine how much sugar you want to use to sweeten it. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, typically using 2-4 tablespoons for large galettes and 1-2 teaspoons for each small. Fold in the sides of the circle to cover the fruit partially. Chill for another 10 minutes.

8. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375ºF. To make the egg wash, whisk egg yolk and cream in a small bowl. Crush the egg wash over the pastry edges and then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

9. Bake the galettes until the crust has visibly puffed and baked to dark brown and the juice from the fruit is bubbling inside – 45-60 minutes for large galettes and 40-50 minutes for small galettes. Rotate the baking sheets at the midway point to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature.


  1. Looks delicious and I am sure they are. Andrew is such a patient and giving person.

  2. I am so lucky I went and swam laps this a.m, so I can sooo do this.. Shame on you Monte, how am I ever gonna get out of my harem pants and into shorts if I don't stop?! I'll deal with it later.. C; Anyway, I actually am going to cheat as I have puffed pastry ready and I'm hungry NOW, however, this will be added to the must do list, K? Forward on Tartine by Alice Waters, nice! Beautiful book - Tartine. Thank you Monte!

  3. Another fab galette filling for you to try:

    ITALIAN PLUMS. Hopefully in my market sooooon!
    Sprinkle 1 - 2 tbsp ground almonds on crust before topping with plums (cut into quarters or sixths - depending on size of plums).

    Montreal Bubbles

  4. Montrealaise! Just wanted you to know that we went to the Farm stand today and bought enormous black plums which, combined with some blueberries are now in the oven. I will send you a picture when they come out. Many thanks for the suggestion. It sounds like a complete winner.

  5. Fresh peaches and blueberries.....this just vibrates summer.