As I've mentioned before, I spent years thinking that I didn't like pie, that it was a terrible waste of good fruit. Only to find that I like pie quite a bit — turns out I just don't like bad pie. Take a stellar crust (preferably all-butter, light and flaky), treat the fruit with a light hand, and you can end up with something truly delicious. Like this peach lavender galette.
I have long been a fan of mixing up fruit and herbs (beyond the token mint leaf in your fruit salad). Tired of making the same old blueberry jam? Add some sage or tarragon! Want your strawberry lemonade to have a more sophisticated edge? Muddle in some basil, or infuse some rosemary into the sugar syrup. Herbs can bring out all sorts of interesting flavors, as well as adding a bit of interest to the same-seeming glut of harvest. It's hard to go wrong.
And yes, a drippy-sweet ripe peach is summer perfection. But a peach lavender galette, softly scented with flowers and a subtle almond layer to absorb the sweet juices? Also amazing.
Peach Lavender Galette
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided, plus additional for finishing
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons fresh or dried lavender flowers (divided), plus a few sprigs for garnish
Pastry for one 9-inch pie (I'm partial to a half-batch of this recipe/technique)
4 good-size unpeeled ripe peaches, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the ground almonds and 1 tablespoon of the lavender flowers.
Roll out the pie pastry until it's about 13 to 14 inches in diameter; transfer to a baking sheet (or, if you'd like a bit more support/structure, transfer to a pie or tart pan). Sprinkle the almond mixture over the bottom, leaving a 2-inch border, and arrange the peach slices in a single layer over it, scattering with the remaining lavender flowers as you go. Sprinkle on the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, then fold the 2-inch border of the pastry up and over the peaches, pleating together to contain the fruit.
Dot the peaches with half the butter, and then melt the remaining butter and brush it on the exposed pastry. Sprinkle the buttered pastry with additional sugar, and then bake until the peaches are soft and the crust is nicely browned, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, garnish with the reserved lavender sprigs, and serve.