Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Midweek Roundup: "Luscious and summery"

Photo by Mendy
Greenstein's Bakery

We're really on a roll here.  Everyone loved the peach galette, the kourambiethes, and the whole wheat walnut bread.  It's been a while--maybe the molasses cakelets--since we've had mixed reviews.  But this galette--if you can do the various transferring steps without mishap--is just plain wonderful.

Not only is it woonderful, but as Mendy says, it's just "so satisfying" to make.  "You don't have to worry about the shape," "the pie dough comes together easily," and "blanching is fun!"  With some "ice cream for full effect," it's just "delicious--what more is there to say?"

Vicki didn't have a lot more to say either--or a lot more to show, since in her zeal "to clean out photos," she eliminated all but one of her pictures of the galette.  Just that it was best on the first day, when the flavors were "amazing."  She found they "waned" a bit after Day 1, and she added a little cinnamon sugar to perk it up.  (Mine mostly disappeared immediately, so I didn't compare Day 1 to Day 2).

The mixture of flavors was great, but it was really all about the peaches.  As Kim said, "Beautiful peaches.  Juicy peaches.  Soft and warm peaches.  Summer sweet peaches laced with lemon and butter.  How lucky I am to have such easy access to this delicacy and how privileged too that I have the opportunity and skill to 'whip up' this Perfect Peach Galette, and then go dancing.  La vie est belle."  Indeed.  Even if you skip the dancing.

It looks like Jill hasn't posted on her blog yet (maybe the post will be there by the time you click on her name--hurry, Jill!), but she has a picture on Facebook and she said it was "fabulous!"

Also on Facebook, Michele and Patricia say that their galette posts are "late--but coming!"

Rachel introduced her post with a little essay about the difference between French galettes and Italian crostata (not much) and then concluded it didn't matter anyway because "it all tastes good."  She also noted that "it was the perfect time of year for peaches."  I've been off on calendaring so many fruit desserts that it's a pleasure to get one right.  And Rachel said the best thing about the galette/crostata is that you can make some mistakes in the shaping and it will still be "homely--in a good way."  As long as we're talking about words, I think that the word "homely" was initially positive, like "cozy" or "comfortable," and then in America, we changed it to mean, well, homely--plain and rather ugly.  I say we take back the word "homely" as a good thing!

Although some people noted that their galette was not exactly perfect, Catherine said hers was--"almost."  And I have to add that, of course, even though peaches are in season in the U.S., they are not in Australia, so some of our bakers had the additional challenge of working with expensive, out-of-season fruit or canned or frozen varieties.  Still, even though she's not a big fan of cooked peaches, and even though her peaches were less than perfect, she concluded  that "if you really have to cook it, one of the best ways is to sandwich it between two thin flaky bits of pastry.  It made a relatively light but luscious dessert (or a naughty breakfast if you want to take some early morning photos) served with cream.  It's a sad day when you realize that "naughty bits" just mean pieces of peach galette for breakfast.

And an even sadder day for Jeniffer!  Not only did she have to buy American peaches that might be in season in the U.S., but are probably the worse for wear after being shipped across the Pacific.  Not only that, (and maybe you should plant a peach tree, Jeniffer--apparently they do grow in Australia), but also, and worse, the "splat disaster."  "The galette flew off the cooling rack and hit the edge of the storage container on the way down.  It flipped.  It broke.  It went splat!!!!"  So sorry, but the pieces still look pretty.  

Kristina used gorgeous-looking Niagara peaches, also "perfectly in season," and, although her pie didn't splat, it "kind of exploded."  No mess was made during the exploding of these peaches, thanks to the wonders of parchment paper, and it still tasted good.  In fact, her husband liked it better than the standard pie because it was more crust than fruit, but Kristina admitted to a slight preference for a standard pie shape.  She got a nice compliment from her dinner guests, who figuratively waved away her attempt to explain what a galette was and just said, "I don't care.  Is it dessert?  Did Kristina make it?  I'll have some."  That's a nice reputation to have.

Are we sometimes hypercritical of our own work?  Joan made a galette that looked (from my vantage point anyway) perfectly beautiful, but she said it would never "make the cover of Larousse Gastronomique" and "of course it wasn't flaky," even though the crust looked lovely and flaky (and I'm pretty sure Joan doesn't do photoshop).  She did allow as how "it was so good we got some vanilla ice cream for it" and she didn't take any to work.  

Faithy had to make do with frozen peaches, but even frozen peaches turn into a very pretty galette, especially decorated with little hearts cut out from some leftover pie crust from the elderblueberry pie.  Next time she makes this pie, Faithy said she'd use 3 packages of peaches instead of two, so she must not have been put off by the frozen peaches.  Actually, peaches freeze really well--I remember my mother got a crate of Alberta peaches every summer and sliced and froze them.  I don't think I knew who/where/what Alberta was, but I loved those peaches.  But I digress.  I liked Faithy's description of wrapping the dough up around the peaches "like a big dumpling."  A big peach dumpling.  Yum.

Aimee has a picture of the sliced peaches ready to go, but is waiting for a break in the hot and humid weather to try the pastry dough.  It is "too darn hot."

Orin gave it a try, although she "could see how [she] could make it go wrong," so she almost passed up this week's adventure, but she hated to miss out on the fresh peaches.  But as it turned out, even thought she didn't make the pie crust ultra-thin, she and her friends decided it was even better than perfect:  it was the "Ultimate Peach Galette"!  She served hers with cardamom ice cream, something I've never seen in a store, but it sounds like a brilliant flavor match.

Next week:  We haven't done chocolate for a while, but coming up is a layered chocolate treat:  Woody's Black and White Brownies.  Michele wondered about the chemical properties of cream cheese, and how it interacted with the other ingredients.  I don't think I have a scientific explanation, Michele, but I can tell you that the cream cheese makes them good!


  1. Another fun roundup, but now I am looking forward to these brownies coming up! Thanks as always Marie for all that you do for us.

  2. ever since i was a child i loved the word homely! this is the first time i've ever seen someone else mention it that way--and of course it would be you Marie!

    i'm so glad you all loved the peach galette as i do. and Woody's black and white brownies are one of the best things i've ever tasted.

  3. Nice pic Mendy!! And I love reading your round up Marie. I forgot I wrote that it looked like a big dumpling since I wrote it a while! Frozen peaches are quite good too actually. Fresh peaches very expensive here..I finally saw some peaches but imported from expensive! Have to wait a little while more for the US ones to be in.

  4. It was 'just delicious', Mendy and your photo shows it perfectly. I first learnt the word homely when I read Anne of Green Gables or was it Pollyanna?

  5. Great roundup. In yiddesh there is a special word for it: "heimish" (or in the polish/Hungarian pronunciation: "high-mish")

  6. Great round up Marie, and great photo from Mendy :) Lots of lovely peach galettes this week. I did have a peach tree for a season or two… the possums and fruit bats loved it ;) ---- Jeniffer

  7. Mendy's photo captures the sweetness of this peach galette perfectly. Who would have thought summer would go by so quickly, but that's always the way it is after the summer fruits are gone. I'm so glad we made this; it's been something I wanted to make for years but thought it would involve some serious skills.