This cardamom plum galette is subtlety spiced, delightfully sweet, and a perfect use for the bounty of stone fruits available in late summer. The sweet cornmeal crust is crisp, yet delicate, with a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.
I’m not really a baker. I can follow a recipe accurately, and usually my attempts turn out pretty darn good. But developing baked goods from scratch? Not really in my wheelhouse. This has always bugged me a little because baking is totally food science and I super love science. I even have a degree in it. But baking is also an art, which laughs in the face of the rules of science. It’s a magical blend of these two worlds, and I haven’t yet been able to crack the code of successful baking recipe development with any consistency.
All that being said, there is one baked good that I’ve nailed and that is the galette. AKA, the lazy lady’s pie. (Of course I would get this one right). Savory galettes are a staple in my kitchen throughout the dead of winter. They’re perfect for dense root vegetable medleys with cheese and herbs. But they also make for an outstanding summer fruit pie. I love pie. But pies are a bit…fussy. Especially for everyday baking. There’s the crust crimping, and the fork prickling, and the lattice weaving, and the parbaking. And inevitably I misplace my pie beans (aka, give them to the kids to play with and promptly forget where we tossed them while singing the clean-up song).
With a galette you get to skip all that. It’s literally thrown together, the messier edge the better. I love that with a galette you feel like you get more crust (because that’s my favorite part), and how the crust gets super crispy throughout. Naturally there are some limitations on filling. No custardy goodness here. But for simple summer fruits, like this cardamom plum galette? I’m gonna go with the lazy lady’s version every time.
Cardamom Plum Galette Recipe Notes
Galettes and fruit pies are terrific way to use imperfect fruit. Berries a bit past their prime? Toss ’em in a pie. Peaches that are underripe on the inside, but bruising on the outside? Toss ’em in a pie. For this cardamom plum galette I went with black plums and a cardamom based spice blend and the resulting flavor is so freaking delicious. The cardamom is subtle here, and you can bump up the flavor a bit by using a full teaspoon instead of just a half. I prefer the subtleness of just half a teaspoon, but you know your tastebuds better than I do.
If the plums are looking a bit sad in your local store or market, just about any stone fruit (or combination of stone fruits) will work here – apricots, nectarines, peaches, even mango. Actually, now that I’m thinking this through this I think mango and cardamom would be amazing together. Mental note – try this in muffin form. Personally I feel like cherries are too tart for a cardamom spice blend, so I’d skip ’em in this particular recipe. For best finished consistency, slice the fruit rather thin (1/4″ to no more than 1/2″). Pack them in close to allow the pieces to caramelize together along with the sugar and butter.
This cornmeal crust is perfect for sweet fruit pies, and comes together quickly with the aid of my trusty food processor. Substituting half a cup of cornmeal for the flour both lightens and sweetens the dough. The result is a crust that is super flaky and delicate with a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. I finish it with a heavy cream wash before popping into the oven, but an egg wash works too.
A (literal) baking note: I bake my galettes on a sheet pan that’s been preheated in the oven. To do this, I prepare the galette on a piece of parchment, and then carefully lift the parchment by the corners and place it on the baking sheet. I’ve found that preheating the baking sheet ensures a uniformly crispy crust throughout.
Cardamom Plum Galette with Sweet Cornmeal Crust
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- ½ c. cornmeal
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 8 tbsp 1 stick unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 4-6 tbsp ice water
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp demerara other other coarse sugar
- ¼ c. sugar
- 1 tbsp flour
- ½ tsp cardamom
- Pinch ground ginger
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1 pound ripe but firm, plums
- 3 tbsp butter cut into small cubes
Place the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Sprinkle the butter cubes into the dry ingredients and pulse, pausing every 4-5 pulses, until the mixture is coarse and resembles cornmeal. Add the egg yolk and plus 3-4 times to incorporate. Add the ice water (1 tablespoon at a time) and pulse until the dough just barely comes together. This particular batch took 5 tablespoons. Remove the ball of dough and press together into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap, the place in the fridge. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour, and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and then place a baking sheet on the rack to preheat.
While the oven is heating, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the flour, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Halve and pit the plums, then thinly slice and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle the spiced sugar and flour mixture over the plums slices and and gently toss with your (clean) hands.
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap, and place on a floured work surface. Roll out the dough into a 12-14” circle. Wrap the dough around a rolling pin and gently transfer to a piece of parchment paper that is roughly the same size as your baking sheet.
Arrange the plum slices in the center of the dough, leaving at 2” dough border around the edges. Gently fold or crimp up the dough edges around the filling. Dot the plums with the butter cubes. Brush the edges of the dough with the heavy cream using a pastry brush, and then sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Baking for 40-45 minutes until the dough is golden brown and the plums are starting to caramelize.
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