Monday, September 1, 2014


The Alzheimer's Idaho (local grass-roots organization) The support group dinner is normally the last Friday of the month but this month it was last Saturday.  If you follow this blog you know that I am a volunteer for this wonderful organization and one of the things I do is to make their dessert each month.

Since the late summer is yielding so many wonderful stone fruits at their peak, I decided that a galette (or crostata) would be perfect for the monthly dessert. A galette is a tart with hand folded edges of pastry.  There are endless variations of sweet and savory fillings.  The galette is French while the crostata is Italian.  They can be made with different layers and I chose to make sweet cream cheese galettes with fresh stone fruit - peaches and plums.  The first thing I did was go to my local produce place and see what was the freshest available on baking day.  I was hoping to find Santa Rosa plums (I have a particular affinity for this variety as I grew up with them and my father grew them commercially) but found out "soon." They suggested Simka plums and Red Globe peaches, they were both at their peak, ripened on the tree and delicious - always trust a farmer! You will note that I made (3) galettes - every month I make the dessert and my house fills with the aroma of yummy dessert and then I whisk it away and give it away so this month I decided to make one to keep at home and make the hubby happy - ours was the peach and plum one.
These desserts are great for anyone with a pie dough phobia as you can use dough that you purchase.  I will give you the recipe that I use but if you don't have the time or the inclination to make your own dough use a box mix or one from the refrigeration area of your grocery store.  If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's in your area they have one I have used before in their freezer section.
The first thing I would do is to prepare my pie dough, make it into disks and put into the fridge.
 Next the sweet cream cheese filling, just a few simple ingredients, I use my stand mixer to make this and it is a very quick process.
After rolling out the dough in a circle (or the best you can do), make a circle of the sweet cream cheese filling. A trick that I use is to make the galette on the Silpat mat and then gently put that onto the cookie sheet for baking.
Add your fruit, I like to start on the outside and work in but you can do it anyway you want - personal preference.
Gently fold over your crust and brush with the egg white and sprinkle with sugar (I like to use the more coarse textured sugar), ready for the oven.
After the galette cools I like to brush the fruit with a mixture of apricot preserves and water that I have brought to a boil and combined to make it more syrup like and have found that my hubby's BBQ brush is the perfect thing to brush the fruit with, better than a pastry brush that tends to pull at the fruit a little, the BBQ brush does not do that.

Ready for a two tier display rack and a little sign telling them what's for dessert.  The sign is necessary as I drop off the dessert, the hostess does not make it or have any idea what I am making, so the sign tells the story. Another trick that I use is when transferring the galette from the Silpat mat slip a cardboard cake round under the galette (after using a spatula to loosed it all around) and you can make the transfer with the galette staying perfectly intact.
 As usual moseyed over to The Graphic's Fairy and found a nice graphic, then in Corel Draw put it together with a dotted back ground and printed it out on 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock then carefully cut out the top part, folded it over, used a bone folder to get a crisp top and trimmed all around.

I recently found out that one of the members of the group cannot have dairy or chocolate so she has not been having dessert. I found this Melt buttery spread that is dairy free. In a sauce pan I melted some of the Melt with some brown sugar and some oats then set aside while I stewed some of the peaches and plums, a little of the leftover apricot preserve syrup and some port wine (fruit loves port ). Added the fruit to a heatproof bowl, topped with the crumble and baked for about 20 minutes in a 325° degree oven. The Honey Melt is wonderful and I look forward to making other desserts for the non-dairy attendee and trying some of their other products.  I am placing a link below to their website. 

A thought or two on pie crust and lard.  When I was growing up the school pot luck was a great place for some good home cooked food.  At every school there was that mother who was the famous pie maker and we all wanted her pie, the one with the crust so flaky it would melt in your mouth.  Turns out Ms. PTA pie maker was using LARD, you know that word that strikes fear in the heart of all healthy eating people, the word that is equated with obesity and sure death.  Now it seems that the food world is rethinking lard and it's health effects.  I make no recommendation one way or the other but I do know that the best pie crust I have ever eaten contained some lard. Back in the day when my boys were little I found a book at the Jackson, California library called Wyoming Wife, Rodello Hunter's book about her coming to Wyoming (I think from back east) as a young bride.  At the end of the book were recipes that had been given to her by the wonderful women of Wyoming.  I could not get to the store fast enough to buy lard and make wonderful pie crust. But then I kept reading all the bad things about lard and did not want to poison my family.  Will be interesting to see what science today says about lard - an ingredient that has been used in cooking as long as there have been pigs. Leaf lard is the finest lard (won't even say what part of the pig that it comes from), it is expensive and hard to find but can be ordered online.  Would love to hear your comments about this subject.

Pie Crust recipe courtesy of Jacques Pépin  

  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  5. 1/3 cup ice water
  • In a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt and butter and process for about 5 seconds. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds; you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. Wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled. (You can also roll out the pastry and use it right away.) 

Galette Recipe

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch, divided
1 whole egg, separated
2 Tbs. sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 tsp. vanilla extract or ¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 single pie crust, homemade or store bought
2 cups fruit (pick 1 or mix thinly sliced plums, peeled peaches and apricots; or mixed berries, such as blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)

Apricot preserves and water cooked until syrup like for brushing on the fruit - do not have to do this step but I like the way the fruit looks - again, personal preference.

*Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix cream cheese, confectioner’ sugar, 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, and the egg yolk in medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl mix fruit, 2 tablespoons of sugar, remaining tablespoon of cornstarch, and vanilla or almond extract.
Unfurl pie dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to about 13-inches in diameter. Slide onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan and spread evenly with cream cheese mixture, leaving a 2-inch border. Scatter fruit evenly over cream cheese mixture. Fold pastry border over the fruit. Brush dough perimeter with egg white and sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake galette until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Loosen with a metal spatula and slide onto a wire rack to cool slightly. After the galette has cooled brush with the apricot/water syrup and let it sit a bit before serving. Serve warm or cold, always good.

*This is VERY important, if you try and bake the galette at mid-oven the sides will get done and the bottom will not be done. 

Serves 6

Cooks Note: If my fruit is very ripe and I don't want to disturb it by mixing it all together with the sugar/cornstarch/vanilla or almond extract mixture I omit the vanilla/almond mixture and mix together the sugar and the cornstarch and using a little hand sifter, after I have placed the fruit on the galette, just dust it with the sugar/cornstarch.


Recipe for pie dough Jacques Pépin  
Two tiered stand, HomeGoods
Cardboard cake rounds, Wilton
Melt, non-dairy buttery spread website, link
Eiffel Tower image, The Graphic's Fairy, Link

Thank you for stopping by.


  1. I would join the club for the desserts and the information.

  2. You are so right, they receive so much information from Jerri Stanfield that helps them cope with caring for a loved one in the throes of Alzheimer's but I don't think you would like to be a member because that would mean your loved one was afflicted. I will however be most happy to take the compliment and thank you so much for stopping by. Hope you will try and make a galette as they are really simple and such a good way to enjoy the fruits of summer.j.

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