February and March is generally plum season in the south west and whilst the majority of year’s farm harvest has been used to make some wonderful Little Hill Farm Jams, including the perennial favourite – ‘plum, rhubarb and ginger’ (a robust, full bodied jam with a touch of spice) as well as (two new jams) roasted plum, raspberry and honey (a sweet but tart jam, due to the use of raspberries) and roasted plum and vanilla (a variation on our popular strawberry and vanilla jam), which is sweet, silky and delicate in flavour).
I also put some of this wonderful fresh fruit into a number of desserts for Adam, myself and friends of the farm.
In keeping with the plum theme, here is a wonderfully simple ‘galette tart’ recipe that anyone can make at home. It can be made rustic and freeform if you prefer or refined and decorative, if you wish to impress.
Makes – 8 serves
Ingredients – pastry
1½ cups plain flour
180 grams unsalted butter (cubed)
good pinch of salt
⅓ cup cold water
Ingredients – filling
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons almond meal
3 tablespoons plain flour
7 – 8 large firm plums (cut into eights)
40 grams butter (very small cubes)
⅓ cup sugar – extra
a splash of vino cotto or vanilla extract
50 grams good quality jam (plum, raspberry or apricot)
1. Commence by making the pastry. Place flour, butter and salt into a food processor and process for 5-10 seconds at high speed, so it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add water and process for a further 5 seconds to incorporate.
2. Remove blades from food processor, and bring dough together to form a solid ball.
3. Turn out onto a well floured, flat surface and flatten gently with your hands, before flattening further with a rolling pin, to form a flat sheet approximately 3 to 4 mm thick.
Turn the pastry regularly as you thin with the rolling pin so it develops a roundish shape.
4. Using the rolling pin as an aid, drape the pastry over the rolling pin and transfer it to a lined baking dish and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
5. Whilst waiting for the pastry to chill, mix the initial ¼ cup of sugar, almond meal and flour (for the filling in a bowl and slice plums into even wedges.
6. Once pastry is cold and firm, remove from fridge. You can leave the pastry as is irregular or if you prefer, use a large plate as a template to cut the pastry sheet into a circle.
7. Place the dry mixture onto the surface of the pastry, making sure to leave a 20 mm space free of the dry mixture around the outside edge of the pastry shape.
8. Arrange the sliced plums onto the surface of the dry mix and then dollop evenly with small cubes of butter.
9. Fold or crimp the outer edge of the pastry shape to form a rim and brush pastry with egg wash. Then sprinkle the fruit with the extra sugar and allow a little to (approximately 1 tablespoon) to also coat the rim of the tart.
10. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180° C for approximately 1 hour until lightly golden brown.
11. While the tart is baking, mix vino cotto/vanilla extract and jam in a cup to form a runny liquid. If the jam is very firm, zap in a microwave oven for 20 seconds to soften.
12. When fruit is cooked and pastry is brown, remove tart from oven and brush the fruit and pastry rim with the softened jam.
13. Slice and serve.
Although I have made this tart with plums, you could use most summer or autumn fruit – cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, apples and even berries work very well. Just note, that depending on the fruit and its water content, some have a tendency to bleed through the pastry.
For those wondering a ‘galette’ is simply a French culinary term used to describe something that has a flat roundish shape. In France there are cakes, pies, flans and even pancakes called galette – each version has a different recipe but they all have a squat, roundish shape and hence their name. The most famous being ‘galette des rois’ or king’s cake made around Christmas to celebrate epiphany.