Weir Cooking in the City: Little Almond and Plum Galettes

Serves: 6

A galette is just a rustic, free-form pie. I love to serve these little individual galettes hot from the oven with vanilla ice cream melting over the top. (They’re also perfect for picnics.) But how do you serve them hot when company is coming and you don't want to get stuck in the kitchen? Assemble them several hours in advance and store the uncooked galettes in the refrigerator. When your guests arrive, pop them in the oven. Make sure the fruit you use is fairly firm or the filling will be too juicy and make the bottoms of the galettes soggy.

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons almond paste
• 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice and chilled in freezer for 1 hour
• 10 tablespoons sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 3/4 to 1 cup ice water
• 3 tablespoons ground almonds
• 1 pound plums, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
• Vanilla ice cream

Place the flour and almond paste in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Place the mixture in the freezer for 1 hour.

Place the flour-almond paste mixture with the butter, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in the food processor and pulse until half the mixture is the size of peas and the other half is like oatmeal.

Turn out the mixture onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Add the ice water, a little at a time, just until the dough holds together.

Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface. Cut into 6 rounds, each about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Place on rimmed baking sheets in a single layer.

Combine 3 tablespoons of the sugar and the almonds together in a bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto the center of each of the pastry rounds to within 1 inch of the edge. Refrigerate while you assemble the filling.

In a bowl, toss the plums together with the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Spread the plums over the center of each round, distributing evenly and leaving a 1-inch border uncovered. Fold the uncovered edge of the pastry over the plums, pleating it to make it fit.

Bake the galettes until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Slide the galettes off the pan and onto a serving plate.

Place each galette on a serving plate, scoop ice cream alongside, and serve.

Recipe ©2004 Joanne Weir from Weir Cooking in the City, reprinted by permission.