Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lindsey’s Fruit Galette from Alice Waters and Chez Panisse

I recently discovered a food section in the Berkeley Bioscience Library. Over the course of one week, I went through Alice Waters and Chez Panisse and Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. I'm currently skimming through Chez Panisse Desserts . Frankly, while I really enjoyed reading the books, it actually made me less inclined to try fine dining (if I could ever afford it).
The Chez Panisse book really approached food as an art and it would go on and on with descriptions of the dishes. It all sounded delicious, but I know for a fact that I could never detect and hence enjoy the subtle nuances that the author goes and on and on about. Bourdain's book makes me a little scared of fine dining and its punky gatekeepers.
I was super excited about Chez Panisse Desserts because I thought it would help me re-create this lovely poached pear tart from La Farine. It has this wonderful custard base on which the fruit sits on. The cookbook lists several custard recipes, but I just don't have the ingredients. Nor do I really want to experiment with vanilla beans and come off with inedible but expensive crud. I have already tried to make macaroons twice in two weeks with deflationary results.
I did have lots of fun making different fruit galettes. The first one is nectarines and plums and the one below is strawberries and blueberries. The strawberry cooked into a jammish substance, which was yummy but not visually appealing.

They're really quick and fun to make. You just sort of throw together the dough (flour, butter, ice water, and salt) and while its resting in the fridge, cut up the fruit into even pieces. Then you roll out the dough, measure and trim it with a plate, spread a flour-sugar mixture onto the center, layer the fruit, fold, sprinkle the whole mess with sugar, and then pop it into the oven. Voila!

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