Paris is so lovely. The food is something special. I am staying with a friend's aunt in the center of Paris, (thank you for your great hospitality Chantal). Pastries for breakfast, baguettes and cheese for lunch, and pasta for dinner. With the many restaurants, tempting us with their chairs comfortably set in a manner to view people as a late afternoon show, it is hard to pass up a meal in a Parisian restaurant. Being that so, we have cooked a few meals in, learning a few French tips, experimenting with clams, mussels, and apricots. Our first day here, we carried as much as our arms could hold. Croissants, bread, 3 cheeses, wine, cherries, artichokes, radishes, and apricots. Ambitious as we were, the apricots did not hold up like the cherries and we were forced to baked them into a sweet treat in order to preserve their fine quality and sweet charm. I choose to bake them into a galette, a French term used to describe a flat pastry with a round or free form crust. I'm not sure if the pastry gods were by my side, the ingredients were exceptional, or the fact that everything in France tastes delicious, but I was extremely pleased with the crust. The perfect amount of apricots, not too tart, juicy enough. A small sprinkle of sugar, coconut to enhance the sweetness. The galette turned out wonderful. We were all so pleased.
APRICOT GALETTE WITH COCONUT RECIPE
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, cold and cubed
9-10 large ripe apricots, pits removed and sliced
3 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut
1 egg white, whipped
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp butter, melted
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, and salt with your hands. Add the chopped butter, and work the the flour and butter with your hands or a pastry cutter, until you have a mixture resembling coarse meal. Start by drizzling a small amount of cold water onto the dough. Work the dough between your hands in a kneading manner, gathering and folding. Continue to add water until the dough starts to come together (approximately 2 tbsp) and sticks into a ball. Do not add too much water, just until it holds it shape and does not fall apart when rolling. Shape the dough into a large ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Wash the apricots. Slice them in half removing the pit. Slice them lengthwise and set to the side.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Scoop some flour onto the counter. Place the dough onto the flour and start rolling into a 1/4 inch thick round sheet 9x9 inches. Do not worry about making the dough perfectly round. A galette is meant to be a very easy version of a pie. It does not matter if the ends are uneven or rough.
In the center of the dough, leaving a 2 inch gap from the outside, layer the shredded coconut. Layer on top the apricots in a circular manner, starting with the outside and working your way inside. You can also get creative and layer any way you prefer.
Once you have layered the apricots, fold the corners over the apricot filling. When looking at the galette from top down it should look like a circular cherry danish, dough 2 inches around the outside with an apricot center.
Brush the dough with the egg white and then sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp sugar. Drizzle the melted butter over the apricots and then sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the dough have become a nice golden color.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Can store in the fridge for up to a week.