Just put it all in a pie. All of it.
Emily Wight of well fed, flat broke is back with another instalment of her budget-inspired farmers market guest posts for Market News! This month, she visits Main St. Station Market to load up on stone fruit from Rai Produce – read on to find out all the ways she’s putting it up for winter…
Just put it all in a pie. All of it.
By: Emily Wight
I have been going a little crazy on stone fruit, and Rai Produce has been my go-to over the past few weeks. I also grabbed some amazing sweet yellow plums from Sapo Bravo Organics that I ended up overdoing it on during a Netflix binge but I have no regrets. Not one.
Having already made enough jam for the year, it’s worth considering other options for fruit preservation. Sure, we have a freezer full of enough fruit to get us through a year of smoothies and winter baking, and sure, we could just keep eating it by the bowlful and bagful and handful. But I’m already thinking about December, and how I’m going to take the edge off those first days of winter: did you know you can preserve fruit in alcohol? And that both the fruit and the alcohol are better for it?
All you need, really, is a few pounds of whatever fruit you bought too much of, a cup or so of sugar, a bottle of rum or brandy or whatever gets you through the festive season, two quart jars with lids that seal tightly. I quartered my peaches but left the skins on and stuffed them into one jar; I used a toothpick to poke some holes into some whole plums and filled the other jar. Divide the alcohol and the sugar evenly, if you’re making two jars. You want to make sure the booze covers the tops of the fruit, and then store it in a cool dark place for four weeks, then stick it in the back of the fridge until the holidays. Check the fruit; if it pops up above the top of the liquid try to weigh it down; if you don’t have a weight that’ll work, flip the jar over for a day, then flip it back, repeating this process as often as you need to.
But what do you want to do if you want to eat all those plums right now, and if you are maybe more responsible than those of us who would throw caution to the wind and eat a potentially uncomfortable amount of fibre in one sitting? Pie. You make pie. Galette, specifically.
Galette is pie for people who need pie right now, regardless of whether there is a pie plate within easy reach. It’s free form. It’s rustic. It’s semi-immediate pie.
Plum galette with thyme
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus a little more for rolling out your dough
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
- 8 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 ½ lbs. red or prune plums, halved and pitted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1 tbsp. milk
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
Pour the flour into a large bowl, and add the sugar. Using your fingers, break the butter apart into the flour and sugar, pressing it between your thumb and forefinger to form flakes. Gently work this mixture together with your hands until it has the texture of sand studded with pebbles. Adding a little at a time, work the water into the mixture until a shaggy dough forms. Press the dough into a patty, wrap it with plastic wrap, and chill for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine plums, brown sugar, cornstarch, thyme, salt and pepper. Let this rest while the dough chills.
Take the parchment paper off the baking sheet and set it on a flat surface. Sprinkle it lightly with the flour. Rub a little flour onto your rolling pin, then roll the dough out into a circle about 11 inches in diameter.
Gently move the parchment with pastry onto the baking sheet.
Spoon the plum mixture onto the centre of the pastry, reserving any liquid that has formed at the bottom of the bowl.
Fold the edges of the pastry over the plums, pinching the dough together where it overlaps. Pour the accumulated liquid over the plums.
Brush the pastry edges with the milk, then sprinkle the remaining sugar over top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the plums are bubbly.
Let the galette rest ten minutes on the baking sheet, then cool until the plums have set and the juices have thickened, 40 minutes to an hour. Serve with ice cream.