Rustic fruit tarts

Last weekend I was looking for an easy dessert that I could bring to a picnic. When I realized that I had a lot of fruit from my CSA, I decided to make a tart. Usually I go for a classic French presentation where I use a tart pan and carefully arrange uniform fruit slices. It is pretty for sure, but it’s also time-consuming and difficult when using fruit of various sizes together.

One of my usual tarte aux pommes (apple tart)
Apple tart, apples from Julian

After an inspiring long weekend in San Francisco a few weeks ago where I visited the Frog Hollow Farm bakery at the Ferry Building market for a daily fruit tart breakfast, I decided to try something similar at home. In their version they use a type of puff pastry with seasonal fruit from their orchards. I always try to make my own pastry crust from scratch but puff was out of the question (again, way too labor-intensive) and also I prefer something with a little more crunch.

My inspiration: the tartlets from Frog Hollow
Peach Friday

Peach tart from Frog Hollow Farm with Blue Bottle affogato and New Orleans-style iced coffee.

Peach & cherry Saturday
Peach and cherry tart, Blue Bottle New Orleans style iced coffee

Cherry Sunday
Cherry tart at Frog Hollow Farm in San Francisco

In the end, I adapted a “galette” recipe from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert, a cookbook I’ve been baking from for a while now. Galette is somewhat of a misnomer by the way – in French a galette designates a round flat cake, with galette des rois being a typical example, as well as galettes bretonnes, the buttery cookies from Brittany. In the US however this term is use to designate rustic tarts. Terminology aside, what it is is a fruit tart made without a tart pan with a free-form pastry dough and folded sides.

I made the dough* with a stand mixer, let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge and used half to make my first tart. When you don’t need to make a perfect circle the process very fast. I rolled the dough directly on a piece of parchment paper so it would not stick and would be easily transferrable to the half sheet pan that I use in the oven.

Peach "galette"

Then I arranged the fruit slices into a single layer before folding the edges and sprinkling with a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Peach "galette"

Peach galette

This was a peach tart and I also made a nectarineapricot tart with the other half of the dough. I find that apricots, even imperfect ones, are especially delicious when baked.

Nectarine & apricot galette
Nectarine & apricot galette

The tart is baked for about an hour in a 375F oven until the top starts to brown. My daughter was convinced that I had used jam for the topping and she was almost right – with the sugar and fruit mixture you create jam in situ. At the end you get a nice crispy crust with the caramelized fruit.

Peach galette

(*) Here are the ingredients  for the pastry dough (1 tart): 210 g flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 115 g unsalted butter, 6 tablespoons water.

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2 thoughts on “Rustic fruit tarts

  1. That’s a gorgeous tart, Elise! I love summer fruit desserts like this, or crumbles, that you can sort of “throw together” without having to follow exact proportions. Except for the pastry, of course.

    • Thanks for the nice comment, Prabha.
      It’s great to see you here! I hope that you had a great summer.
      I keep going back to this recipe. It’s such a great use of stone fruit. I made the latest version with gorgeous pluots. It may have been my favorite so far.

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