By: Deanna Linder
I used to go to summer camp every summer as a child. Every day in the afternoon we had free time. I used my free time to sneak off to the orchard. It was there, that I would go with friends, to talk, laugh, kiss, sing-a short distance away from the rest of the camp- which at that age meant the rest of the world.
I was never a city girl. My short 3-year stint in the heart of Tel Aviv was incredible for what it was, but there was just one day when I knew that I needed to get away from the bustle.
We built the house within a month or two, right in the center of a nectarine orchard on the moshav (farm) where my husband grew up.
Every year since, in March/April I am surrounded by the most beautiful blossoming of trees, knowing that within a few months, the delicate white flowers will wilt and fall, but understanding that with the falling of the flowers comes the onset of the nectarines.
Come late May we are greeted with the most delicious fruit and the aroma of nectar.
I am blessed that I live in a place today that reminds me of my childhood hideaway every day.
Adapted from Alice Waters, Apricot Galette
This is a truly freestyle dessert- you don’t need a special pan, or even a particular fruit. Once you have the dough ready, you can really put anything sweet (or savory for that matter) inside. I keep a pizza stone in my oven at all times, but with this recipe, it really makes all the difference, giving the crust a really crisp finish.
Ingredients for one 12 inch tart:
For the dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
3 oz./85 grams butter, cold and cut into cubes
4 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
½ cup finely ground almonds
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
5-7 ripe nectarines, quartered and then cut into 1 cm. slices
1 tablespoon butter, melted
¼ cup apricot jam, honey or maple syrup (for glaze, optional)
- Make the dough: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and start working the butter into the flour with your hands until there are pieces the size of large peas.
- Add the water and continue mixing just until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap, press down to flatten the dough into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Remove dough from fridge.
- Working on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 14-inch/35 cm. circle, about ⅛-inch/½-cm thick. Place dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ground almonds and ¼ cup of sugar. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the dough, leaving a 1½-inch/4-cm. border. Arrange the nectarines in concentric circles, making only one snug layer. Sprinkle the remaining almond sugar mixture over the fruit.
- Fold the border of dough into the nectarine, pinching the edges to make sure they are sealed. Brush the border with the melted butter and sprinkle it with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake in the lower section of the oven for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is well browned and its edges are slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
- Brush the galette with warmed jam, honey or maple syrup and serve with ice cream!