I’ve mentioned before how much I’ve been digging into nectarines and peaches the last month or so. Often they don’t get a chance to be anything more than eaten on their own, though they are great in salads and refreshing drinks amongst other things too. I’m not sure if it’s a pregnancy craving or not, but it seems a pretty good one to have, if it is, and convenient that I’ve moved on from the grapefruit and mango a few months back. I recently decided to buy a few more than usual, though, to make a bit more of a thing out of them for dessert with this tasty nectarine and cherry galette. Cherries are another favorite of mine that are all too tempting at the moment, so combining the two seemed a natural step, not just for flavor but for the beautiful colors. The result is a nectarine and cherry galette or tart that looks great, so is a great one to serve for a crowd, that’s also really tasty and not that difficult, either.
I’ll admit upfront that I am not totally happy with the pastry – I think while using part almond flour was a good move for the flavor (although that said it wasn’t all that strong), it did make it hard to get the proportions of everything else right and it ended up a bit too soft and buttery. It still tastes good, but was a little tricky to work with and I am not sure how well it would hold together if it hadn’t been cooked inside a dish, as I did (which is how I tend to cook all galettes, to be honest, partly to save losing anything that might break through the pastry and partly as I don’t have a baking sheet that’s big enough. I should probably fix that last one). So, I would suggest reducing down the butter or sticking with just all-purpose flour to get it to work a little better, or at least make the pastry easier to work with.
While some galette’s simply toss the fruit with some sugar and corn starch/cornflour, I wanted to add in a bit more flavor here and give it a bit more of a feeling somewhere between a sweet tart and a rustic galette. So I made a bit of a cross between an orange curd and an almond frangipane mixture that adds flavor, keeps it moist and also helps hold the pieces of fruit in place. Although it’s an extra thing to make, it doesn’t take long and adds to the lovely combination of flavors. Both the almond and citrus pair really well with the fruits and add a nice softness between the firmer pastry and cherries.
This nectarine and cherry galette is a pretty and delicious tart that will surely please guests but is also great just to enjoy yourself, as I admit I largely did (one benefit of having a husband that’s not that into dessert). It’s particularly tasty warm but also works well cold and will keep for a few days in the fridge. With such a delicious combination of nectarine, cherry, orange and almond, it’s a real taste of summer on your dessert plate. Or as a snack, as you might be tempted to have it, it’s that good.
Nectarine and cherry galette with orange-almond cream
For the pastry
- 1/2 cup almond flour 50g
- 1 cup all purpose flour 140g plain flour, or omit almond flour and 1 1/4-1 1/2cups all-purpose - see above
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 8 oz unsalted butter 110g, NB - I would suggest less if using almond flour, maybe 6oz - see above
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup sour cream 60ml
For the filling
- 1/2 cup orange juice 120ml
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter 28g
- 1 orange zest ie from 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond flour 50g
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 6 oz cherries 170g, approx, weight with stones in
- 2 nectarines or 1 1/2 if smaller
- First make the pastry by mixing together the almond and all-purpose flours, salt and sugar. Cut the 8oz (or less) butter into small chunks and work into the flours, either rubbing in by hand or using a food processor, until you have a texture like breadcrumbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and sour cream until smooth then add to the flour-butter mixture. Mix until just combined and it comes together - try not to overmix - then take dough out and form into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap/cling film and chill for approx 1hr
- Make the filling by butting a bowl over a small pan of simmering water (making a water bath or bain marie) so that the bowl sits in the water without touching the bottom of the pan. Put the orange juice in the bowl along with the 2tbsp butter, cut in small chunks. Warm until the butter melts, stirring now and then.
- Once the butter has melted, whisk the eggs and add them along with 1/4cup of the almond flour and the sugar to the bowl. Continue to gently heat until the mixture thickens, stirring regularly so you don't get scrambled eggs in the mixture. Once it has thickened so it holds a little on the back of a spoon, add the remaining 1/4 cup almond flour, stir and remove from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Once the pastry has chilled, flour a work surface and roll the pastry in a circle. Transfer to a baking sheet or pie dish.
- Spread out the orange-almond mixture over the pastry leaving around 1-2in (2-5cm) space at the edge if on a baking sheet (if in a dish, you'll fold down the pastry up the sides), then gently press the fruit into the mixture in circles, fold down/over the pastry without any filling over the edge of the fruit, crimping a little as you go.
- Bake in the oven for around 35min until gently browned on top.
- Allow to cool a few minutes before serving (or serve cold).