Friday, August 10, 2012

Ripe Peach and Cherry Galette for Roger Detering

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Roger's orchard usually comes to life when the peaches ripen. Families weave and bob through the trees, gathering fruit for winter storage and when their buckets are full and dutifully weighed, the children are allowed to escape for one last scavenge of the blueberry bushes. It's a bit different this year. Things that once moved at a mazurka pace have slowed to a waltz, and the place, which normally buzzes with conversations in languages that span four or five countries, is strangely quiet. Roger and his wife, Sharon, both died this year and the farm seems to sense their absence. I guess it's fair to say, that there are some shoes that are just too difficult to fill. I wrote about Roger and Detering Orchards several years ago. If you have time that post can be found here. It will help you understand why this quiet constant man was held in such high regard by his community and people who knew him. If the way we are laid to rest is a measure of our worth, Roger was a wealthy man and his life bore fruit far sweeter than his trees. Roger was buried on a sleepy summer day and his memorial service was attended by 500 of the 3500 people in his town. Among the mourners were Old Order Mennonite women and members of a motorcycle club dressed in full leather gear. Those courageous enough to brave the microphone and speak before the crowd lent credence to a life that was marked by love and the human fruits he bore. Roger was a one man WPA and employed most of Harrisburg's teenagers at one time or another. And, according to his son, it wasn't just the kids. “He kept a lot of people around even though it wasn’t a benefit to the business.” Roger understood they needed the dignity of work and he was happy to carry them. Neighbors never paid for fruit and better than half the people at the service had received free fruit and vegetables when times were tough. Despite all this, he was a successful businessman and understood the value of money. He just put it in a different perspective than most. He gave generously to his alma mater, Oregon State, and faithfully supported youth scholarship programs. Roger never recovered from his wife Sharon's death last summer, and it really weighed him down. One of his daughter's described her mother's death as a frost too cold for him to bear. His own passing was mercifully quick. He died of a heart attack, just a quarter mile from the house where he was raised, but "the lives he touched are reminders that you don't have to travel far to make a difference in the world."

We were at the orchard this weekend and I came away with ripe cherries, near perfect peaches and some lovely memories. I thought this galette, which is based on a recipe from Baking with Julia, would be a perfect way to use them. A galette is nothing more than a free-form pie and they are very easy to make, if you remember to keep your pastry cold. This is simple, lovely and quite delicious. I hope you will give it a try. Here's the recipe.

Ripe Peach and Cherry Galette
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Inspired by Baking with Julia


3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups sliced ripe peaches (peeled and pitted)
1 cup sweet cherry halves (pitted)
2 tablespoons cherry jam
2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
water for brushing
1/2 tablespoon turbinado sugar


1) To make the dough: Mix sour cream with water and set aside. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in butter until it looks like coarse sand. Add sour cream water mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork. Only add what you need to get the dough to come together. Bring dough together and separate into two balls. Flatten into discs and save each in plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours or up to 2 days.
2) To prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a 16-inch pizza pan with parchment paper. Roll out dough to 13-inch circle, using a generous amount of flour to prevent sticking. Transfer dough to parchment covered pizza pan. Spread jam in a 9-inch circle in center of dough. This is the are that will contain the filling. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Arrange fruit over jam and crumbs, leaving a 4-inch rim. Sprinkle granulated sugar over fruit and dot with thin slices of butter. Pleat margins by folding sections toward center of galette. Each fold will create a new corner that should be folded to partially cover fruit. Brush dough lightly with water and sprinkle turbinado sugar over crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until pastry is golden and fruit is tender and  bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Best eaten as soon as possible. Yield: 1 9-inch galette.

Photo courtesy of Spatulas, Corkscrews and Suitcases.

One Year Ago Today: Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Two Years Ago Today: Asian-Style Chicken and Water Chestnut Rissoles

Three Years Ago Today: Grilled Tomato Sandwich with Blue Cheese Spread


Katarina said...

This looks really delicious! Have a great day!

Ellen Whyte said...

I love this kind of open folded pie. Very pretty!

Gloria Baker said...

I love galette Mary and this look awrsome!:)

Chiara said...

looks delicious Mary, have a nice weekend, blessings....

Vicki Bensinger said...

I've never made a galette with cornmeal but now I can't wait to try. Yours looks beautiful and so perfect this time of year with the cherries and peaches. Beautiful!

Unknown said...

What a lovely memorial your galette is. The colors are so pretty. Sounds like a fun day at the orchard and coming away with all those goodies. I would have been like a kid in a candy shop!

Alexandrina said...

It looks delicious!

Sokehah cheah said...

Wow, it looks so perfectly done. Enjoy your weekend!

Lynn said...

The crust sounds different with the sour cream and corn meal. I'd love to give this a try:@)

Lilli said...

Hi Mary! it looks so perfect dear! kisses!

SImple and Serene Living said...

What a beautiful story, Mary. His was obviously a life well lived. Thanks so much for sharing his story and this wonderful recipe. Fresh peaches are my favorite.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Mary, this looks wonderful. I've never tried making a galette - mostly because I'm not very brave about making pastry. But this looks beautiful and I'm keen to try it when summer rolls around.

From the Kitchen said...

A lovely remembrance and a delicious treat.

Hope you have a great weekend.


Unknown said...

Love this post, Mary. Love to hear the background on the orchid. Very sad that so much seems to have changed since the passing of Roger and Sharon - but, you did walk away with a wonderful bounty and the galette looks lovely! A very nice tribute!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

What a lovely tribute in food and words to Roger. Clearly the garden he tended throughout life was far greater than his orchard alone.

Bites from life with the barking lot said...

What a beautiful story Mary. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I feel nourished reading about Roger and wish I had known him.

Tricia @ saving room for dessert said...

You write so well Mary - I always enjoy your heartfelt stories. Great looking peach galette too! Anything with crust gets my attention :) Have a wonderful weekend.

tender b. said...

Peach and cherry, very nice. I love galettes.

June said...

What a lovely tribute to Mr. Detering and an inspiration to all of us to "pay it forward". Sounds like he was quite the guy.

Salsa Verde said...

Dear Mary,
What an amazing recipe you left us today.
Absolutely gorgeous and delicious combination of flavours!!

Carmen said...


I will definitely have to try this recipe! It looks absolutely scrumptious!!! Thank you. :-)


Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

A most perfect and flavoursome galette :D

Choc Chip Uru

Kit @ i-lostinausten said...

Beautiful sunny galette! Awesome! :)

David said...

Mary, This galette...pie like creation sounds great and looks even better. There is nothing like fresh fruit and we are in the middle of peach and cherry season! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Alicia Foodycat said...

What a wonderful man! How beautiful for him to have been cherished in his life and to leave a legacy in his passing. This galette is a lovely tribute.

Merisi in Vienna said...

Thank you for sharing Roger's story with us!
The world's the poorer when people like him and his wife leave this earth. I hope whoever is tending to his orchard now, will grow into his shoes and be successful too!

I have used this pastry recipe many times, even for chicken pot pie. It always works and tastes great. said...

I miss picking fresh fruit. Living in Manhattan I wait for the farmers to come in to the city 2x a week...if not then I have to go to a chain store. Lovely desert....

Joanne said...

Your galette is such a lovely tribute!!

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