Plums may have been one of the first fruits to be domesticated by humans. Remains have been found dating from the Neolithic age. They were mentioned in writing by Confucius (also, in Chinese mythology, plums are associated with age and wisdom), the Greeks and the Romans.
They are the most cultivated fruit in the world after apples and they come in many colors, sizes and shapes. Plums are used in both sweet and savory preparations. They can be dried, pickled and are used to make alcoholic beverages in several countries.
Blah, blah, blah...
I know. You didn't come here for this. I mean, these facts may have been interesting and even amusing (in a nerdy-foodie kinda way), but this? This is just boring. Stuff you already know, and if you don't, maybe it is because you don't particularly care to know it.
Am I right?
I did want to tell you something... it's just that...
... my mind is a total blank...
For the life of me, I cannot come up with one single amusing or entertaining thing to write today.
But I have a dessert for you that I am just dying to share. I want to tell you about it even if I don't have a cutesy preamble for you. After all, this is a food blog, is it not?
So I am going to cut right to the chase and give you the recipe for a delightful, very seasonal, rustic yet elegant galette to make with your overabundance of plums.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Pastry crust (recipe from Taste Food)
1 1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
8 tbsp /115gr butter, cold and in pieces
2-3 tbsp ice cold water
1 cup/250gr ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground ginger*
small pinch salt (optional)
12 small plums (Empress or Italian prune plums)
1 tbsp brown sugar + enough to sprinkle on top
1 tbsp flour
lemon zest from one lemon
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter, that you will previously have cut into small cubes, and work it into flour using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cold water one tablespoon at a time so you have just enought to hold the dough together. You don't want to overwork it. Form a ball, flatten into a disk and wrap it with Saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
While the dough is cooling, prepare the ricotta filling by whisking the sugar into the ricotta until it becomes creamy and smooth. Add the ground ginger a little at a time, to make sure the flavor is not overpowering. You can also add more or less sugar, according to how sweet you like it. Let the resulting cream rest at room temperature to allow the flavors and texture to develop.
Wash, halve and pit the plums (you can use any variety, just remember to adjust quantities and sugar according to size and tartness). Put them in a bowl, sprinkle over the sugar (use more if your plums are tart, mine were very ripe), the flour and the zest of one lemon. Mix well and let rest.
Preheat oven to 375°F/180°C.
When the dough is chilled, roll it out into a circle of about 12 inches/30cm in diameter. Don't worry about the edges, the galette is supposed to look rustic. Spread the ricotta onto the dough leaving about 2 inches around the edge (this is the part you will fold over the filling). Pile the plums over the ricotta and then fold over the excess dough. Sprinkle a large pinch of brown sugar over the fruit.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the dough turns golden brown and the juices from the fruit start bubbling (don't expect any major bubbling, however, because of the ricotta underneath).
Let cool and serve.
* I originally wanted to use fresh ginger, but the knob I had had seen better days and I had to toss it. I used ground ginger instead, but the jar I have has been open for more than I care to admit, so I have a feeling it has somewhat lost its aroma. As a consequence, I used a heaping tablespoon. Add the ginger a little at a time until you find the balance is right. The flavor should shine through but not be overpowering. Next time I will opt for fresh, grated ginger or perhaps even candied ginger.