The easiest fruit tart known to humanity and humidity

We are in France, in the village of my heart where we spend part of each summer. Our friend Lucy (and her new dog, named Whitney Houston by the adoption centre she came from only last week) came to dinner on Monday and I wanted something to end the simple dinner of roast chicken and tomato salad.

This galette was inspired by a recipe I saw in this month’s Elle à Table by Natacha Arnoult. It was part of a feature about new kitchen equipment. The recipe begins with grinding your own wheat and buckwheat into flour. Not only am I not making my own flour, I am not making my own pastry. It is 40˚C. Butter turns to oil before you can unwrap it. Mercifully, French supermarkets carry excellent circles of all-butter pastry in their chiller cabinets (lean the hell in). Essentially, you throw some almonds and sugar on the base, mound up the fruit, varnish with a little egg wash and sugar, bung it in the oven and retreat for a cold drink and a lie down while it bakes. It’s the kind of thing I make all summer long with cherries, apricots, peaches or nectarines, rhubarb, blackberries, or whatever fruity combination I fancy.

I bumped into my friend Laurence in the market this morning, who had seen my picture of the tart on Instagram and was marvelling at my baking fortitude in face of the canicule (heatwave). Please don’t tell him about the cold drink and lying down part.

Summer fruit galette

Serves 4-6

1 circle of shortcrust all-butter pastry, approx 33cm diameter
3 tbsp ground almonds
3 tbsp caster sugar or vanilla sugar
About 600g summer fruits, I used a combination of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants
A little beaten egg or cream and a sprinkling of sugar, to finish

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C Fan/Gas 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Lay the pastry on the sheet. Mix the ground almonds with 1 tbsp of the sugar and scatter it over the pastry – this helps stop it from becoming soggy from the fruit’s juices. Heap the fruit onto the pastry, leaving a border of 5cm free of fruit all around the edge. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the fruit – you might need more or less depending on its sweetness. Fold the pastry border back over the fruit, brush with a little beaten egg or cream and sprinkle with a little more sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden and the fruit, bubbling.

Serve it warm or cold, with crème fraîche, ice cream or cold, thick cream.

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