This thing is fantastic! A new favorite for me. A galette is basically a free-form pie and frangipane refers to the rich almond paste that surrounds the cherries in this dessert. If you have some puff pastry on-hand, this can come together fairly easily. The most consuming task is pitting the fresh cherries. Once that’s done, however, this took me about 40 minutes from start to finish and 25 of those minutes were for baking.
The recipe calls for 2 pounds of fresh sweet cherries but I ended up using less than a pound on the actual galette, which I think is a much more realistic amount. The cherry pitter made quick work of the removing the pits.
I actually pitted these the day before I assembled and baked the galette. They kept just fine in the fridge.
A portion of puff pastry is rolled out into a large oval. The MSBH includes instructions for using store-bought puff pastry, if you don’t want to go through the process of making the MSBH version. (Although the MSBH is soooooo much better than store bought, I highly recommend it.) The MSBH puff pastry rolls out so easily, it’s one of the easiest doughs I’ve ever worked with.
The entire oval is brushed with an egg-cream wash, the edges are folded and sort-of crimped, and then it’s pricked all over with a fork before going into the freezer to firm up.
While it was chilling, I made the frangipane. Toasted almond sliced, sugar, and salt are pulsed in a food processor until finely ground.
Then butter and egg is added and processed until smooth. The resulting frangipane is thick, sticky, and smells like buttery, almondy heaven.
This is poured onto the chilled galette pastry and spread evenly. Then it goes right back into the freezer to chill completely.
Once frozen, the galette is ready for the fresh cherries (nothing needs to be done to prep the cherries other than removing the pits) to be distributed evenly on top. Now into the oven.
Both the puff pastry and the frangipane puff up and quadruple in height while baking, almost completely engulfing the cherries. The frangipane falls a bit while cooling but the puff pastry retains its baked shape and the crust forms a proper wall around the galette filling. A liberal dusting of sugar during the last 10 minutes of baking gives the galette that rustic, old-European dessert finish.
The taste reminds of what is just so very, very good about authentic French and Italian baking – simple flaky pastry, buttery almond frangipane, and just the right amount of juicy fruit that adds a bright, concentrated sweetness to balance the lightness of the crust and richness of the filling. C’est si bon!