How do I love thee, summer fruit? Let me count the ways. Week 26: Brown Sugar Nectarine Galette
Nectarines have hit the farmers market, hooray! I went to the SF Ferry Building farmers’ market during my lunch break and perused the colorful piles of stone fruit. I love how friendly people are at farmers’ markets! The woman at the stone fruit stand gave me a few tips on how to tell if nectarines are ripe: look for a dull, “russet” color for a riper fruit (shinier = less ripe) and always test the softness by holding the fruit in the palm of your hand – never pinch or poke at it with your fingers.
My trusty Tartine cookbook made another appearance this week. It’s really nicely laid out and occasionally has pictures for the more difficult steps. I’m all about pictures in cookbooks. I’ve found that being a visual learner can make longer recipes stressful, since I have to read and re-read every step multiple times.
Chopped up my chilled butter. Ready to be cut into the flour!
(Ignore my fingertip shadow in this pic; I had to use my phone camera since my larger camera’s battery died. Sigh.) I wanted to show the very beginning of the cutting process. It looks like the hunks of butter will never mix with the flour! But just you wait. They become best friends very soon.
This dough was simple and super fun to make. You basically fold and cut, fold and cut, until you get a shaggy dough. Then you add chilled salt water and keep folding and cutting until you get a cohesive and smooth rectangle of dough. It’s magic!
The left is the shaggy dough pre-water, and the right is the finished dough, post-water. Amazing, huh? Plus using a pastry cutter makes you feel like a boss, no matter how good of a baker you are. I highly recommend it.
I had Nate act as my lovely sous chef for this bake. He prepped my nectarines like a pro – look at those slices! They sat patiently in a cute little pile while I finished my dough and chilled it for the millionth time. The key to this recipe truly seems to be sticking in the fridge after EVERY step. Especially since it’s summer and AC is really not a thing in the foggy Bay Area.
You were supposed to roll the dough out into perfect circles, but perfection is overrated. my oblong, pointy ovals did the trick. I made sure to wait to sweeten the fruit until it was in it’s pastry shell. I didn’t want the leave a puddle of sugary fruit juice at the bottom a bowl – nothing wasted in this kitchen!
The recipe called for sugar to be sprinkled on the fruit and on top of the egg wash on the dough. I chose to use brown sugar for that yummy molasses flavor. I also just had the perfect amount of brown sugar left in the bag. I just had to use it! I’ll pretend that it was a sign from the baking gods that I should choose brown sugar.
Ta-daa! Post-sauna close up photo shoot.
The bottom was a crispy texture and golden brown, so it trapped in the fruit juice perfectly. (Hopefully Mary Berry would declare it a good bake – no soggy bottoms here!) I threw some large crystals of white sugar on top at the last second for looks, but they turned out resembling sesame seeds. Ah well.
Pairs well with French vanilla ice cream (or any ice cream, really!) Happy munching!
Recipe from Tartine, by Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt
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