When plums are ripe they are a true flavor flash. Whether they are yellow, scarlet, or purple, look for ripeness by holding them in the palm of your hand. Plums should feel heavy and have a little give at one end. If your plums are hard you can soften them by placing them in a closed paper bag on your kitchen counter for a couple of days. To stop the ripening process put them in the refrigerator.
Here is a recipe to consider as plums come to market this summer. It is easy to make and can be made ahead of time to keep from heating the kitchen in the afternoon. It’s also super-tasty; both crust and filling. I like to use Santa Rosa or Satsuma plums for my Galette but this recipe will work well with just about any variety.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup ice water
5 to 6 unpeeled Santa Rosa plums (halved, pitted, and sliced)
zest from one small lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine flour, butter, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and salt. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle with ice water and pulse again until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. If necessary, add 1 or 2 tablespoons cold water – one tablespoon at a time – until dough holds together. Don’t overmix. Remove dough and shape into a disk. Place dough in a small mixing bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the filling, slice plums into ¼ inch thickness and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar and the lemon zest. Mix gently. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
On a floured surface, roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Transfer to baking sheet. Arrange plums in concentric circles on dough leaving a 2-inch border. Fold edge of dough over fruit leaving the center open. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and brush crust with cream. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until crust is golden. Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tip: If making on a hot summer day, make this early in the morning. Allow Galette to cool and then wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until ready to serve later that night. It’s great with a dollop of ice cream on top!