Lemon & Lavender Plum Galette
I barely hear the dull, flat tapping of my pencil against the near-pristine pad. White blank pages glow under a window reflecting the midday’s sun, scarring my right eye with a bright blur. I try to conjure up a thought. My mind attempts to focus, to pull a coherent string of thoughts together. Nothing. Clinched around the black wooden stick, my hand guides the graphite it commands to mirror my nonsensical thoughts. Doodles begin to clutter the page, a sheet originally intended for a to do list. I blink before shifting my gaze down to the graffitied pad, my eyes stopped mid trek by a wiggling, glowing tall strand of grass hiding just through the white, dusty blinds. It’s such a mundane, uninspiring view and yet I find myself staring.
I just keep staring.
Then I come to. I rub my eyes just slightly and correct my slouch. I quickly avert my eyes from the nothingness that caught my attention, the nothingness that managed to trick me into a trance. I suppose this means I’m tired - not the bedtime sort of tired but the exhausted, overworked tired. It takes me a while to figured it out, to notice this warning light of sorts for the safety mode my mind likes to enter. I start to wander off, my mind that is, into a daydream void of any important ideas. And not just once and not just twice but over and over. My eyes lock on to some inane object and then suddenly I find myself coming to some time later. I never know how much time has passed – probably mere seconds – or what my mind was doing in that time, if it was doing anything at all. As these moments add up I am left with a day littered with the incessant protests of my brain striking against work, thought, productivity.
And yet, despite my over-churned mind’s plea to stop, the solution, my remedy, is a desire for more work – after twenty-six years of living in this body and with my mind I’ve learned that nothing, no matter how comfy or relaxing it may be, is rarely ever an option. I just have to find the right kind of work. Inevitably I find myself in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove, kneading a finicky dough, or whipping together some delicious concoction. The tactile tasks, attention to detail, and the precise, delicate approach to execution thrills my exhausted mind. It’s work but it’s work with an immediate purpose. It reaps instant rewards. And it’s all something that can be done while daydreaming.
Most of all it’s the tastes. The quick bite of a lip-puckering tart plum. A tiny pinch of raw sweet dough. Pressing my finger to the cutting board to snatch up a few lavender leaves and scrapes of lemon zest. These little tastes, the sneak peeks into a dish in progress, tantalize and excite me. No matter how rigid a recipe may be, the variances allowed, those delicate changes one can make in an otherwise precise recipe that can yield great flavor differences and at times an entirely new dish, are worth every small taste and bite.
That’s how I ended up with this lemon and lavender plum galette.
Galettes: Galettes are essentially freestanding pies – delicious fruit fillings wrapped up in a cookie-like crumbly pastry, all without the aid of a pie or tart dish. They are quite easy to make though you should take care not to roll the dough too thin, or to create a filling that is very moist and heavy with liquids as both can cause the galette to break, leaving you a big mess in your oven.
I like the mix of sweet and tart plums in this galette. If you prefer one over the other, you can use all of that variety instead of both – though beware a tart with all tart plums will be very tart as there is little sugar in this recipe. Be sure you have at least 1 pound 12 ounces plums in total though. You can also use whatever short dough or galette dough you prefer though I definitely suggest trying the sweet vanilla oat dough below as it pairs wonderful with the tartness and sweetness of the plums. The lemon and lavender add wonderful floral notes that work perfectly with the strong plums and the earthy dough.
Lemon & Lavender Plum Galette a
y 1, 12″ galette
t 3 hours
Dough: 1 hour
Prep: 20 minutes
Chilling: 30 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Insulated flat baking sheet, lined with parchment paper
1 1/2 pounds Sweet Vanilla Oat Dough (recipe below)
1 pound sugar plums (or another sweet plum)
12 ounces black plums (or another tart plum)
1/4 ounce oat flour
1/4 ounce flour
1/2 ounce sugar
1/2 teaspoon lavender leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
egg wash (1 egg, lightly beaten)
1. Cut the plums in half and remove the pits. Slice each half into 1/8″ slices, keeping the plum halves intact. Set the sliced plums aside.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a large circle with a diameter of about 16 inches and about 1/4 an inch thick. Place the dough disk on a parchment-lined insulated baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle the oat flour, flour and sugar on top of the dough, leaving two inches around the edge bare.
4. Arrange the sliced plums on to the dusted dough, again leaving two inches of dough around the outside bare. When arranging the plums on the dough, fan the slices so each are overlapping each other. Arrange the fanned out plums in any pattern you wish.
5. Sprinkle the lavender, lemon zest and salt over the arranged plum slices.
6. Fold the excess dough up and over the plums, overlapping and folding the dough over itself every few inches to keep the dough form breaking, and to allow it to make a circle. Be sure the dough hasn’t cracked or pulled away form the dough on the bottom.
7. Refrigerate the prepared galette for 30 minutes to let the dough harden. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
8. Remove from the refrigerator and brush the dough with the egg wash.
9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
10. Remove from the oven and let cool.
r Serve warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
a Feel free to mix and match your favorite firm short doughs and fruits.
Galette Dough: This galette dough is a cross between a pie dough and a short dough (a cookie-like dough used in tarts and baked goods that are freestanding) with a slightly higher flour content and lower sugar content to allow it to bake freestanding without the aid of a mould. This dough uses oat flour to give it an earthy, oaty flavor and texture, balancing the intensely tart and sweet plums.
Sweet Vanilla Oat Dough nst
y 1 1/2 pounds dough
t 1 hour
Prep: 10 minutes
Chilling: 1 hour
6 ounces oat flour
6 ounces all-purpose flour
1 ounce sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, cold and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup ice water
1. Place the flours, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix thoroughly.
2. Add the cold, chopped butter to the food processor. Pulse a few times until the butter is about the size of grape nuts and the mixture resembles cornmeal.
3. Add the vanilla and water. Pulse until the mixture comes together and a dough is just formed. Be careful not to over mix the dough.
4. Pour the dough out onto parchment paper. Knead together lightly if needed. Form the dough into a disk and wrap completely in parchment paper.
5. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour to give the dough time to rest and to make it easier to work with and roll out.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator just before rolling out.
r Store in a refrigerator up to a day, or in the freezer up to a month.
n Avoid adjusting the recipe.
s This recipe calls for a food processor though the dough can be made by hand as well.
t Pay attention to the temperature while assembling this recipe. It is best to keep the butter and dough as cold as possible while working with it.