This recipe has been a constant companion since my time at Chez Panisse, and you couldn’t find a more simple, yet complex-tasting dish! Whether it’s made with apples, apricots, peaches or damsons, it can be topped with whatever the heart desires. Instead of pistachios in the filling, almonds or chestnuts also taste great.
250 g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
pinch of salt
150 g (5½ oz) cold butter
90 ml (3 fl oz) iced water
100 g (3½ oz) shelled pistachios
70 g (2½ oz) butter
scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
8 poached peaches
100 g (3½ oz) butter
15 g (½ oz) shelled pistachios
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar, for sprinkling
For the base, mix the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour, making sure there are still visible pieces of butter in the dough – this is the secret to a crisp base. Add the cold water and quickly form the dough into a rough ball. Don’t knead – the butter pieces should remain visible and not melt. Flatten the dough slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the filling, very finely grind the pistachios in a food processor. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. In a bowl, mix the ground pistachios, butter, vanilla seeds and sugar to form a paste.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (conventional). For the topping, halve the peaches, remove the stones and very thinly slice the flesh. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry out to a 3 mm (⅛ in) thick circle. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and spread the pistachio filling over the pastry, leaving a 2–3 cm (¾–1¼ in) border. Arrange the peach slices on top like roof tiles, or however you like. Fold up the edge of the pastry, then brush the peach liberally and the pastry edges only lightly with the melted butter. Roughly chop the pistachios and scatter around the edge. Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
Bake the galette for 30–40 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate the baking sheet once or twice, to ensure that the galette is evenly baked.
4 teaspoons Earl Grey tea leaves
180 g (6 ½ oz) honey
Score the underside of the peaches with a cross. Bring 300 ml (10 fl oz) water to the boil in a saucepan, then immerse the peaches in the water for 30 seconds. Remove and refresh in iced water, then remove the skin. Return the water to the boil, place the tea in a tea egg or infuser and infuse in the water for 3–5 minutes. Remove the infuser and add the honey to sweeten the tea. Remove from the heat and immerse the peaches in the tea and leave for at least 30 minutes, or overnight to absorb the flavour.
Edited extract from Fruit by Bernadette Worndl, published by Smith Street Books, $55. Photography © Gunda Dittrich. Out November 2018
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