Monday, August 10, 2020

rough & puff

Dear Bakingest,

A dear friend lives with a beautiful backyard plum tree, and so around now, there are plums.  This is a special plum, not like those sour-skinned black things you get elsewhere.  They are small, and inside they are riotous burgundy fuchsia.  This year I made some of these rustic crostata with them.  The crostata, or, if you feel more French than you do Italian, the galette, is a homey, form-follows- function pastry.  Nothing special is needed- a plain old cookie sheet or baking tray suffices: no pie or tart pans needed.

You can see that my pastry really puffed, and threw the fruit filling plum out of the galette, but to demand symmetry in your food is quite mad.  Enjoy your baking, puffy, warty, crumply, & cracked: it will be delicious and beautiful in its own uncontrolled way.

Here is the (un)recipe that I used:

a slab of rough puff pastry dough (see below)
plums without pits - no more than 2 cups- you want the fruit to caramelize; not to stew in its juice
sugar - use as much or as little as you like

Roll out the rough puff dough, into something kind of 12 by 9 or 10 inches.  Lay your plums in the middle, leave about 2 inches of pastry to fold up to make an edge.  Sprinkle with sugar, fold up the edges, and bake the heck out of it: 40 minutes at 425 degrees.  

Rough puff pastry is a terrific thing- I got the recipe from my Judy Roger's cookbook some years ago.  Here is a link to the recipe.  This version would have you put sugar in the pastry, but, that is not necessary, and the original recipe does not have sugar in it.  Oh, it does take time to make, and a certain amount of pleasure should be taken in the smushing of the butter into the flour.  If you think you can't enjoy a buttery floury 20 or 30 minutes of tactile mud-pie action, then just get that stuff in the box from the store.  It is good, but not as much fun.