Saffron-Scented Summer Fruit Galette
Sorry, I don’t have many words to share today. And I don’t believe in trying to craft them when they’re just not coming naturally. I am here for a reason, though, and it is simply to deliver a call for action. For a brief public service announcement, if you will:
Well, here we are. That inevitable point when I start whining and complaining about how summer was lost. How my skin’s so snowy white you can tell it didn’t carry my bones to very interesting places these past months. How I didn’t do X or Y. How I haven’t been able to just breath and be—whatever that really means. But I’ll spare you. Summer cannot be lost. If you lose summer, it is your own damn fault. And, yes. I fully acknowledge that it’s my own damn fault.
However, I shake my fist at those who mark summer’s end with this coming holiday weekend. Please. Give me until September 21st, kay? I’ve seen local apples and pears at my farmers’ market for weeks. I’ve bought them. They’re sweet-tart and crispy and shiny and vibrant and everything that makes this born-and-raised New England girl happy. But they are demon fruit. And they’re not going to trick me. They may have tricked Eve*, but they will not get me. There will be no apple anything coming out of this kitchen. I will partake in no apple or pear pies, crisps, muffins, slaws, compotes, sauces, or dumplings—no matter how cute the word “dumpling” is. Hear that? I AM NOT HAVING IT. OK, so I’m eating apples and pears, but I am eating them raw and cold and crisp. That’s IT.
So, you get the point by now that this is much less a public service announcement than it is a Sacha service announcement, because I’m weak, and I’m having a hard time with this concept. And I want to hold onto my summer fruit and veggies for as long as nature allows. And this tart is the remedy. This tart is my rebellion. This colorful round is my way of silencing those apples in the crisper, who just won’t stop talking to me. STFU. The peaches and nectarines help me. They’re both white- and yellow-fleshed, and they sit in a bowl and in a paper bag being all sunny and happy and shit. And they tell the apples who is boss.
And this tart is also answering another call for action. One inspired by this. I saw it a couple of months ago when raspberries hadn’t even begun to show up in my neck of the woods. Saffron Raspberries. They had to be mine. In her post, Heidi writes: “My sense is this would also be a nice flavor profile for a pie or tart.” When words like those are spoken, I must answer the call. And when the raspberries arrived, I would have that tart or pie.
This was going to be a saffron-raspberry galette. But that might come out too jammy for me. I thought of peaches. Their sweet honey flavor jives with saffron. And peaches and raspberries are a classic combination. It would be a saffron-scented peach-raspberry galette. But then I arrived at the farmer’s market, with the thought of fall threatening like the apocalypse, and there was still just so much color and light. And it was hot. It was (and is) summer, dammit. My I-just-walked-here-from-work-at-the-speed-of-light-to-get-good-produce-before-it-sells-out sweat was all the proof I needed, and I was seizing summer. The nectarines were next to the peaches. They’re a bit more tart, less floral, more audacious. They couldn’t be ignored. In they would go. Oh, blackberries! You were so sweet and juicy and intriguingly musty last week. You will be this week too, I’m sure. Apricots! My cherubs, I thought I had missed you. Your short season was gone in a blink. You’re so tiny and soft. I need you. Blueberries! We still have blueberries! Hot damn, I need you.
And that is when this tart became a Saffron-Scented “Summer Fruit” Galette…
It’s floral and heady but not-at-all aggressive in its saffron flavor. It’s not savory, but it’s not too sweet. These fruits needed little sugar. And though there are no cats in Sacha’s apartment and the floors are paved with saffron, I had no idea that vanilla bean went so nicely with saffron. A drizzle of olive oil, some golden raisins, a smattering of toasted almonds, and a dollop of yogurt later, and this was not you average galette.
Maybe I didn’t do things that made me happy this summer. But I ate things that did. And I answered one call. Heidi’s call. And I am happy I did. And I’ll be riding the fruit juice waves and the saffron highs all the way until September 22nd. There will be eggplant, and tomatoes, and corn, and plums, and summer squash, and more for a month or more. SUMMER squash. The word summer is in the damn name. It is summer.
*Yes, I realize there really was no apple involved.
Saffron-Scented Summer Fruit Galette
inspired by 101 Cookbooks
This recipe represents the “on a whim” cooking I’ve mostly done this summer. I have suggested ingredient amounts and fruits below but feel free to change it up to cater to your tastes, how “stuffed” you like your galettes (I like them stuffed, and what fruit is available. Cut large stone fruit into 1/2- to 5/8-inch wedges and small stone fruit (like plums or apricots that measure 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter) in half. Don’t get rid of your skins! They add great flavor and texture once cooked. Galettes are great because a lot of moisture gets evaporated, but if you like a very clean fruit tart you can add a smidgen of cornstarch.
1 recipe Tender-Flaky Single-Crust Pie Dough
2 tablespoons sugar (or more depending on your fruit; mine was very sweet)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) saffron threads, roughly broken
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
550 grams (just about 11/4 pounds) ripe but firm stone fruit, pitted and cut according to the above instructions (I used 1 white peach, 2 yellow peaches, 2 nectarines, and 3 small apricots)
35 grams golden raisins
145 grams berries (I used raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)
1 teaspoon water
Extra-virgin olive oil
Slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
Whole-milk greek yogurt stirred with a drop or two of honey (optional)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using your fingers, rub sugar, lemon, saffron, vanilla, and salt together in small bowl, breaking up saffron and releasing oils from lemon zest. Gently toss stone fruits and raisins together in large bowl. Gently toss berries together in medium bowl. Roll dough to 11 to 12-inch circle. Transfer to prepared sheet and refrigerate until ready to use. Sprinkle stone fruits with 1 tablespoon sugar mixture. Sprinkle berries with half of remaining sugar mixture and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle cornstarch, if using, over stone fruit and gently fold in berries to combine. Pile fruit into center of dough circle, leaving approximately 2 inches of edge exposed. Fold dough over fruit. Beat egg with water and brush edge of dough with mixture. Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture over dough edge. Lightly drizzle exposed fruit with oil. Bake until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbling and tender, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving with yogurt and almonds, if using.