Sunday, August 23, 2015

Alpha Bakers -- Perfect Nectarine Galette

Summer is my busy season. While the schools are out, the libraries are full of children. Children gaming, children playing, children bored and causing mischief, children seeking summer reading books of all shapes and sizes (and publication dates). I run daily programs several times a day, and the library also serves as a summer meals site, serving food supplied by the Department of Education to anyone ages 0-18. I have a very supportive staff and a team of summer volunteers, but my limited training skills combined with their youth (many are no more than twelve) means that supervising them is actually the most exhausting part of a summer (well, that and waiting for a new full-time custodian to be appointed after our wonderful custodian's retirement at the beginning of  July (sigh)). 

The summer meals are served on a drop-in basis, with no signups or scheduled attendees. Because of this, it can be hard to predict exactly how many meals we will need, and there are sometimes shortages or overstocks. While most of the leftovers have to be disposed of pretty quickly, sometimes we hit the accidental fruit jackpot. A few weeks ago, I found myself looking at a large surplus of hard nectarines, and a peach galette on the Alpha Baking schedule. This thing pretty much planned itself. 

The fruit is macerated in sugar and lemon juice, and the resulting juices are then caramelized and returned to the fruit with cornstarch (tapioca starch as usual in my case). The whole is then piled onto a round of pie crust, which is folded up around it and the whole is baked and delicious. The pie crust Rose recommends is her flaky cream cheese formula, but I wanted something a little different, so I used the cornmeal crust recipe from the Four and Twenty Blackbirds book.

The caramelized juices were particularly nice. The nectarines don't get as soft as peaches would (I also didn't peel them), but as fruit salvage it was more than satisfactory.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Eating in the library! Things have changed since I was a child using libraries. Summer sounds fun.

The pie looks good, the pastry looks almost scone-like and nice and shiny. I liked this recipe.