Persimmon Galette


Persimmon Galette

A galette is a style of freeform rustic tart originating in France. It can come in a savoury or sweet flavour and be filled with virtually anything. Their beauty lays in their simplicity and ease of making – all that is required is some short-crust pastry (savoury of sweet) and a selection of tasty items for the interior.

Persimmons are one of those little known fruits that one sees occasionally in the supermarket but few know what to do with them. They come in two varieties astringent and non-astringent. The astringent variety is completely unpalatable until it is fully ripens and the flesh of the persimmon is very soft whereas, the non-astringent variety is eaten firm whilst still crisp. Generally both are Autumn fruits but here in Bridgetown, our astringent persimmon tree tend to ripen very late – in the middle of winter.

Although astringent persimmons make for wonderful eating fresh (scooped straight from the fruit with a spoon), they also make a fantastic base ingredient for a jam or used in a sorbet or granita.

Here is a very simple recipe for a persimmon galette which is certain to excite the tastebuds.

Makes 6 – 8 serves

Ingredients – pastry

1½ cup plain flour
1 cup almond meal
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 orange
125 grams butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 egg
a little water (if needed)

Ingredients – filling

8 very ripe astringent persimmons
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon honey

possible extras
a selection of thinly sliced ingredients – apple, pear, rhubarb or
1 cup mixed berries or
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mascarpone or frangipane

Preparation

1 Place the flour, almond meal, baking powder and castor sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg, orange zest and juice as well as the vanilla and blitz again.
2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and bring all the ingredients together. If the dough is too hard sprinkle with a little water and knead through to create a soft pliable dough.
3. Place dough in a sheet of plastic film and into the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Once chilled, roll pastry out on a lightly floured board to form a thin sheet or alternatively roll between two sheets of baking paper. You want the pastry to be around 2 mm thick.
5. Cut pastry sheet into 6 to 8 circular discs approximately 10 to 15 cm wide and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
6. To prepare the persimmon filling, pull the stalk off the persimmon and use a spoon to scope out the soft interior flesh into a bowl. Add the sugar and honey and mix with a fork, mashing the fruit flesh if necessary to break up any large lumps.
7. If using fruit or rhubarb as a possible addition to the galette, slice thinly, place in a bowl and sprinkle with a little sugar. Stir through and allow to sit for 10 minutes before using
8. To construct the galette, place 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the persimmon mixture into the centre of the pastry disc, then decorate with whatever extras you like.
9. Gently fold the edges of the disc inwards to cover the edge of the tart, crimping and pressing the pastry as you go, so it creates a pastry boarder to prevent leakage.
10. Place into a pre-heated oven at 180° C and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
11. Serve warm rather than piping hot with cream, ice-cream or some custard.

Note
If you want the galette to have a glossy appearance, brush the pastry with a little egg wash prior to baking.