June 20, 2017

Bourbon Peach Pecan Galette

I know it's peach season when I can find them all the way up north. Sure, they're not quite the same as the local Georgia peaches, but they are decent and I know anyone in the south has some tasty ones. Peach pies are always tasty (I'm still perfecting a raspberry peach pie that you may or may not see on here next summer), but I'm a crust girl and am always looking for ways to adjust the ratio in my favor. Here, I toss fresh peaches in a bit of sugar and a lot of bourbon, pile them onto a pecan crust, and sprinkle with more toasty pecans. It's everything southern in one bite, and it makes the perfect ~adult~ dessert for all your summer barbecues (make sure to put it on your July 4th cookout menu!).

You all know by now all my secrets for making the perfect pie crust. Keep everything cold, don't overwork the dough, and cover the edges if you need to so you can cook everything through without burning the crust. What makes this crust so special is that there are extra pecans INSIDE the pastry. Yes, you read that right. I toast some pecans and blend them right into the pie crust so your mouth goes *nuts* with every bite. I do like to toast the nuts to maximize the flavor, but you absolutely have to let them cool before blending them because they will warm up the rest of the ingredients and also turn into pecan butter if they're still hot.

As for the peach part, I slice around 2 pounds of peaches and toss them with some sugar so they can macerate. It's the same process that I use for the berries in my lemon berry scones. Adding a few spoonfuls of sugar makes the concentration higher outside the peach cells than inside, so water moves out of the cells to balance everything out. The whole point of this is to remove water here so the peaches don't bleed out and make a soggy mess when you bake them.

Once the peach juice has time to settle out, I toss the peaches with cornstarch, a bit of brown sugar (since most of the sugar was left in the juice; adjust this to how sweet your peaches are), a pinch of cinnamon, and all the bourbon. You can either add the remaining pecans in at this point or wait until you transfer the peaches to the crust so they are sprinkled all pretty on top.

I bake this in a big round tart pan, but you could turn it into a pie, a freeform galette, mini tartlets, or any other pans you have lying around. Like I said, I prefer the crust to filling ratio of a tart pan, so I would consider making this a double crusted pie (the regular pie crust plus the top crust, as opposed to an open pie like a pumpkin pie) if the pecan dough cooperates. If you are having a particularly large gathering, you could even double (or triple) the recipe and make a big slab pie on a rectangular pan or cookie tray. This recipe is just so perfect for summer that you could serve it at just about any shindig you're throwing in the near future.

For the Crust:
2/3 Cup Pecans, Toasted
1 1/4 Cups Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Stick Butter, Chilled & Cubed
1 Egg Yolk

Pulse the cooled toasted pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Add the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until small lumps remain. Whisk the egg yolk with a few spoonfuls of water and pulse until just combined. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

For the Filling:
2 lbs Peaches, Sliced
3 T Sugar
2 T Brown Sugar
1 T Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Bourbon
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

Heat oven to 375F and grease a 9 to 11" round tart pan (or other desired pan).

Toss the peaches with the sugar and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain the liquid and toss with the brown sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Stir in the bourbon and pecans.

Roll the pie dough out to fit the desired pan. Press gently to adhere, then add the peaches. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until the crust is brown and the peaches are tender.

Makes 1 Tart

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