Colin and I were headed home from Eastern, Washington last weekend when we came across a roadside stand selling local, organic peaches. Just the week before we had been lamenting the end of our annual tradition of buying an obscene amount of peaches for a very reasonable, price, every August from Bill Pace Fruit and Produce in Bellevue. If you never had the pleasure of visiting Bill Pace's, it was this cute little blue building in the middle of a park in Bellevue that sold fruit and produce directly from Bill's family farm in Eastern, WA. There was also a U-Pick blueberry patch on site, and I am pretty sure that is still running. Sadly, as is the story with many farmers, the enterprise was loosing money and Bill decided to close. I guess there just wasn't enough folks like us interest in buying peaches by the bushel.
In 2010, the first year we went together, we bought 100lbs and the weeks that followed turned into our version of the peaches Olympics! We were eating, canning, blending, drying and sharing the massive amount of peaches we had stacked up in our kitchen. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the compote-y concoctions we made are still squirreled away in our freezer.
This year, when we came across the roadside stand in Eastern, WA our car was full of passengers so we only had room for a modest 20lbs. When we got home and tried the peaches we realized that they were some of the sweetest we've ever eaten, and we're definitely worthy of some special attention.
So, I don't bake. Well, I do bake, but I don't do it well. I have been drooling over all the amazing galettes that have been showing up in my Instagram feed, particularly those by Yossy Arefi of Apartment 2B Baking, so I was thrilled to see that she had a recipe for these beauties on her blog that started with The Easiest Pie Crust Ever. I gave it a go, and it's true- this is one of the easiest and most satisfying recipes I have ever made. I only made one tweak (see, this is why I can't bake- I can't help changing the recipe!) and that was I only added 3T sugar to the filling because the peaches we have are so sweet. I doubled the crust recipe and I am going to experiment with filling the other half with vegetables from the garden! Remember, you can use any fruit, or mix of fruit, so don't be discouraged if you don't have peaches.
THE EASIEST PIE CRUST, EVER
Makes 1 crust for a single crust pie, galette, or about 6 small handpies
This dough is super forgiving, sturdy, crisp and flaky. The cream cheese gives it a bit of tangy flavor that is PERFECT with summer fruit. Yossy made this dough gluten-free with both Cup4Cup and King Arthur's Measure for Measure flour too and she says they both work fabulously. I personally love using Bluebird Grain Farm's Einka flour, which is hand milled from the ancient grain, Einkorn. The Einka flour give the dough a little more depth of flavor. I also love supporting them because they're a small family farm and so all of their flours are freshly milled in small batches on a regular basis! I have a 12-cup food processor and have squeezed in a 4x recipe, but a 3x would have been a bit more reasonable.
1 cup (125g) all purpose flour or Einkorn flour, Bluebird Grain Farm's small batch Einka is my favorite!
4 ounces (115g) cream cheese, cold and cut into bits
3 ounces (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
pinch sugar, optional
Add the flour, salt and sugar if using to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Scatter the butter and cream cheese over the top. Pulse the mixture until is starts to hold together, then dump the contents of the food processor onto a clean work surface and gather it into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic, press it into a disc, and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using.
ANY FRUIT GALETTE
1 Easiest Pie Crust Ever
about 1 1/2 pounds (775g) fruit
6T-8T sugar (50-100g)
1 tablespoon flour
seeds of one vanilla bean
squeeze of lemon juice
1 egg, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round just under 1/4- inch thick. Combine all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Move the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Pile all of the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the fruit and press gently to seal the folds.
Chill the formed galette until the dough is very firm, about 15 minutes. Then brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Cool slightly before serving.