June 16, 2021
Eating dessert for breakfast is a secret pleasure of many pastry chefs. I was introduced to the idea when I started my morning shifts at the eponymous Cafe Annie many years ago. We had a peach cobbler on the menu, and while a perfectly crafted round portion was cut, scooped and served to customers, we feasted on the delicious leftovers in the back. One of my best memories of working there is starting my morning relishing those warm crisp cobbler bits and pieces with a cup of coffee.
Maybe because it was not part of our childhood routine, I don’t crave sweets after most meals. Mornings are a different matter, but now I want those indulgences to be minimal in sugar and refined white flour yet big in flavor.
Here is a peach galette with just a hint of sugar, lots of pecans and a kick of chili powder to wake up your taste buds. Enjoy a piece with your morning coffee or chai, share a piece or two with your neighbor and maybe take some time reflecting on the lessons learned in the past year.
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup (135 grams) whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup (113 grams) ground pecans
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) cold butter, cubed into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup (57 grams) maple syrup
8 ounces (227grams) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 pound (454 grams) peaches
1/2 cup (100 grams) cane sugar
2 teaspoons chile powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
Combine the whole-wheat flour, pecans, black pepper, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the cold butter and mix it in with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly — there will be some chunks of butter left.
Add the maple syrup and bring the dough together — if it appears too crumbly, add a tablespoon of cold water. Spread the dough on a rectangular baking sheet into an 8 by 9-inch square or a circle. Crimp the edges so they are slightly more raised than the rest of the dough. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the cream cheese into smaller slices and spread evenly over the chilled dough. The entire dough will not be covered, but this is fine.
Slice the peaches in half, discard the pit and slice thinly. Toss with sugar, chile powder, and salt. Spread the peaches over the cream cheese evenly and place in the oven immediately. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 300°F and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the edges of the dough appear done.
Let the galette rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then cut into 6 or more pieces.
Replace the maple syrup with honey, agave, or just plain sugar.
Replace the pecans with walnuts, almonds, or a nut of your choice.
Make the galette with other fruits, such as nectarines or apricots.
December 02, 2022