Thursday, November 30, 2017

Persimmon and blackberry frangipane gallete with rye pastry + 8 years

Persimmon season is here and without exaggerating in the slightest, there must be at least three kilos of persimmons right now overflowing from my fruit basket. They are my favorite autumn/winter fruits bar none, and I invariably eat them as they are. I let them ripen at room temperature —putting them next to apples speeds up the process, or so they say— and I love eating them in all their full ripeness, juicy and jammy and so so sweet that I neglect to use them in desserts.

I use them in salads, especially the firm variety of persimmons (the flat ones), but I have never used them in any dessert. When I suddenly realized it, I thought I should rectify it, immediately, and what came to mind was a galette.

I made a rye pastry for my galette as I enjoy immensely the earthy and slightly nutty quality of rye flour as well as its depth of flavor, and it paired beautifully with the sweetness of the frangipane and the juiciness of the fruits.

The flavors and textures of this free-form tart are wonderful. The pastry is crumbly, tender, melt-in-the-mouth and slightly crispy, with a unique savory flavor that rye brings to baked goods that also manages to balance the sweetness of the galette. The frangipane is buttery and sweet with an unmistakably creamy, almond flavor and it is pleasantly grainy from the nuts. The persimmons are sweet and juicy, half-sunken into the frangipane, lending their beautiful aroma and bright color to the galette, whereas the blackberries are bursting with juices and add a somewhat tart note. The demerara sugar lends a caramely sweetness and a pleasing crunch, and the apricot glaze that finishes off both crust and fruits, adds tartness and sweetness at the same time.

There’s a brilliant balance of sweet, savory and sharp notes in this gallete, and a great balance of pastry to filling ratio. Hope you enjoy it!

P.S. I just realized that my blog turned 8 a few days ago! Eight!! Here’s to 8 more and thank you for sticking around!

Persimmon and blackberry frangipane gallete with rye pastry

You can use frozen blackberries in case you can’t find fresh. Alternatively, you can skip the blackberries altogether and make it all about the persimmons.

The persimmons I used were ripe but not overripe. If they are overripe they will disintegrate in the oven.

Frangipane is a cream or paste made with almonds that can be used as a filling for tarts or cakes. It pairs beautifully with all sorts of fruits as well as with crème pâtissière and crème légère. I have used it in the past in this tart with spiced, red-wine poached pears.

Yield: 10 small-ish pieces


for the pastry dough
125 g rye flour
125 g all purpose flour
140 g unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
Pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
1-2 Tbsp cold water

for the frangipane
65 g unsalted butter, softened
65 g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
65 g ground blanched almonds* (see below)
¾ tsp cornflour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Amaretto liqueur (optional yet preferable)

for the galette
2 persimmons (the elongated kind) (200 g in total), skin on, cut into 5mm slices crosswise
120 g fresh blackberries

1 small egg + 1 tsp water (eggwash), beaten together with a fork, for glazing the dough
1 Tbsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling

Apricot jam, for glazing the galette

Crème fraîche or unsweetened whipped cream, to serve

* You can use already ground almonds or you can grind your own. I always grind my own almonds because they’re fresher and cheaper. Use a food processor to grind the almonds finely but be careful not to grind them to the point where they start to release their oils.

Special equipment: large food processor, plastic wrap, rolling pin, baking paper, rimmed baking sheet, small food processor, pastry brush, small fine sieve


for the pastry dough
• with a food processor
In a large food processor, add the flour, cold cubed butter and salt and process for a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add the egg yolk and 1-2 Tbsp cold water and process in order to bring together the mixture into a dough that holds together in large chunks and that when you press in your hand, it becomes dough. Don’t over mix. Add 1 Tbsp of water to start, and see from there whether it needs more. You don’t want the dough to be wet.

• by hand
In a large bowl, add the flour, cold cubed butter and salt and, using two knives, a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut it into the flour, until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add the egg yolk and 1-2 Tbsp cold water and mix with your hands, working quickly, until the dough holds together in large chunks and when you press in your hand, it becomes dough. Add 1 Tbsp of water to start, and see from there whether it needs more. You don’t want the dough to be wet.

Empty the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, form a rectangle, cover it and place it in the refrigerator to chill, for 1½ hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap and discard the plastic wrap and place dough between two large sheets of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into an oval shape with the dough having approximately 5mm thickness. The dough should be somewhat pliable yet it will be a little stiff. If it tends to break apart when you roll it out, let it warm a bit before you try again. Place the rolled out dough, along with the baking papers, onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

for the frangipane
In the meantime, prepare the frangipane.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl and using an electric hand-held mixer), add the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, for 7-8 minutes. Then add the egg and beat well until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the ground almonds, cornflour and salt and add them to the butter mixture. Fold them in using a spatula until fully incorporated and finally add the Amaretto and mix it in with the spatula.

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 360°F.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator, remove the top baking paper and spread and smooth the frangipane evenly on the chilled, rolled-out dough using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, leaving a 5cm rim around the edges of the dough. Arrange the persimmon slices on top of the frangipane and add the blackberries in between.
Fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling, making sure to seal any cracks. You can use the baking paper to pull and fold the dough over the filing.

Note: Make sure that the dough doesn’t have any cracks and that you have folded it well over the fruits, because the frangipane will expand and puff up during baking and push out the dough, so you don't want the dough to unfold or the filling to run out of it. I have had that happen to me and it’s not pleasant!

Using a pastry brush, glaze the dough with the eggwash and sprinkle with demerara sugar, both the fruits and the dough.

Place the baking sheet on the lower rack of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then transfer to the middle rack and bake for a further 25 minutes or until the pastry has taken on a golden brown color.
When ready, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
While the galette is cooling, heat the apricot jam in small saucepan and pass it through a fine sieve. Using a pastry brush, and while the galette is still warm, glaze gently the dough and the fruits with the warm jam.

Serve while still warm or when it has cooled, with some whipped cream or, my personal favorite, crème fraîche.

You can keep the galette for a day or two, covered, at room temperature but it is best eaten on the same day.