I recently read an article behind the reason why produce in Chinatown is so much cheaper than other supermarkets and grocery stores in the city. It’s something that always made me curious, but never thought too deeply about, perhaps so I could continue to blindly enjoy bargain priced mangoes, lychees and cherries. Oh, the cherries! I especially get excited when cherries first appear on the streets of Chinatown because they can be bought for as much as half of what the supermarkets charge. How is this possible? Turns out these vendors have a different supplier than mainstream supermarkets – they deal directly with farmers and wholesalers.
Eating cherries on their own is probably my favorite way to eat them, particularly since they aren’t cheap. But with friendly Chinatown prices, we’ve been making desserts with them too, mainly as a filling in hand pies and as a sauce to be poured over cake.
If you’re not in a mood to make a pie, a galette is a quick way to make a dessert that has many of the characteristics of pie, but is simpler to make. It’s a great way to use all the seasonal fruits found in farmer’s markets this time of year.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup instant polenta
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup cold water
3 Tablespoons sour cream
Filling and Topping
2 cups fresh cherries, washed and pitted
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons Turbinado Sugar
3 Tablespoons Raw Sliced Almonds
For the dough: mix together dry ingredients by hand in a medium bowl. Mix in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the pieces of butter are all 1/4-inch or smaller. Stir in the sour cream and cold water and gently mix until everything is incorporated. Form the dough into a 8-inch disc and chill until ready to roll.
For the filling: mix the cherries together in a bowl with cornstarch, sugar, and lime juice until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set aside while you roll the dough.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chilled dough on a floured surface and roll to a 12-inch circle. Pour the filling into the center of the circle and fold one side of the dough partially over the filling. Repeat the folding all the way around with each fold overlapping the previous one to create pleats. There should be a 3-4 inch space in the center with the filling exposed.
For the topping: lightly brush the dough with the beaten egg white mixture. Sprinkle the dough with turbinado sugar and place sliced almonds over the entire galette. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the dough is nicely cooked on the bottom. Cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.