Last weekend my best friend from college and her two young daughters (ages 4 and 6) hopped on the train and took a day trip from Philadelphia to New York City to visit me. The older one had been here before, but this was the first time to the big city for the 4-year old. We spent the better part of the day in the Central Park Zoo, where we enjoyed the polar bear, penguins, and sea lion feeding (my personal favorite).
During our time at the zoo, the girls impressed me with how they are growing up. The older one can read well above her grade level and was using a map to direct us where to go next. And to think, some adults can’t navigate! The younger one is full of confidence and energy (at least until she tires herself out).
By the end of the day, after many subway delays and walking around the park, we were all exhausted. When I announced, “I am pooped,” the girls looked at me like I was crazy. This was clearly not a term they were familiar with and they immediately thought of…well, you know. So, I guess you could say I taught them a new word. (Actually they also learned the word “crowded” … lots of people on the subway platform.) See, you can have fun and learn something too!
When I made this next recipe, I also learned a new word – macerate. Macerate is the official word for when you sprinkle sugar over fruit to pull out the sweet juices. (The dictionary definition is “to soften or decompose food by the action of a solvent.” That sounds nasty so we will ignore it.) The practice certainly isn’t new to me, but the word was!
I found this more appealing description online:
“When it comes to fruit, maceration refers to two different but related processes. In one, you soak the fruit in liquid and allow it to absorb the flavor. In the other, you simply sprinkle cut fruit with sugar, which draws out some of the moisture and lets the fruit soak in its own juices. Both processes give the fruit extra flavor; soaking it in a different liquid lets you add various flavors, while sprinkling it with sugar and allowing it to soak in its own juices makes it sweeter.”
So, the kiddos learned the words “crowded,” and “I’m pooped,” and I learned “macerate.” See, you’re never too old to learn.
The recipe below is for a Blueberry Peach Galette. As I explained in an older galette recipe, these are supposed to be rustic so don’t worry about having a perfect crust. That is secretly why I like them so much, because I have yet to master a beautiful crust. You could interchange any of your favorite berries in this recipe, but I think the peach and blueberries go well together. As a cheat you could use a store-bought crust, but considering the fact that a ripped, uneven, imperfect crust is just fine for this type of recipe, consider it a perfect way to practice for when you do want a lovely crust sometime down the road.
Blueberry Peach Galette
1 ¾ c all purpose flour
¼ t salt
¾ c (1 ½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ -inch cubes
2 T (or more) ice water
3 c sliced peaches
½ c blueberries
1 egg white or milk
¼ c raw (turbinado) sugar
¼ c white sugar
- Add ¼ cup white sugar to peaches and blueberries in a small bowl. Allow to macerate (mix and do good things with the sugar) for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl. Add butter and combine with a pastry cutter (or two knives) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and blend just until dough begins to clump together, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
- Form dough into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour. (This can be done up to 2 days ahead. Keep dough chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
- Roll out dough between sheets of parchment paper to 1/8-inch-thick round, 14 inches in diameter. Remove top sheet of parchment. Using bottom sheet as aid, transfer dough on parchment to large baking sheet. Chill 15 minutes.
- Pour the fruit into the center of the pie dough, leaving enough room around the edges to roll up around the sides. Carefully fold the dough around the edges and brush with egg whites or milk. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
- Bake on center rack for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature before serving.