Peach Galette

The expression “life is a bowl of cherries” translates to life is wonderful or things are going very well. For the sake of simplicity, let’s change this slightly to “life is a bowl of peaches” so I have something to write about this week and can experience first hand how truly wonderful this new block editor is supposed to be.

Peaches in a Blue Bowl

This months recipe is a peach galette. Galette (from the Norman word gale, meaning “flat cake”) is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or free-form crusty cakes, with a combination of sweet or savory fillings. A fruit galette is a French tart made with one flat piece of pastry that is wrapped around a fruit filling. Being free-form it’s easier than pie and for those of us not adept at making rich flaky pastry, a store bought pie shell is perfectly acceptable. The aim is to make it look rustic, like something you would serve under the shade of a tree in Provence.

Photo from Victoria Magazine July/Aug 2018

As my favorite vendor is no longer at the Farmer’s Market, I made the trip to their farm to pick up a box of peaches for making jam. I’d ordered ahead and specified over-ripe seconds as I had already sanitized the jars in the dishwasher that morning. As in years past, the seconds were a bargain at $10 for a big box of peaches.

Canning Peaches

Except….I’d already paid for them and the clerk had put them in the trunk of the car before I realized they were small, cold and nowhere near being ripe. Where were their usual big juicy peaches? I might have gone back in to inquire but the storefront was crowded and there was absolutely no attempt at social distancing. (How much effort would it take to mark the floor with tape and only let so many people inside, especially with the higher COVID numbers in some of these agri-food areas?) So I grumbled and left and five days later they were starting to spoil and get soft and spotty on the outside while the insides were still not quite ripe, but cut up they were, and two batches of freezer jam produced, with extra sugar to make up for the lack of juicy peachy flavor. It hasn’t exactly been a stellar year for most fruit here, with everything behind due to the cold late spring and snow in May.

After making the jam I still had 24 peaches left so a small peach crisp was created and then some peach trifle, both with good results and more sugar (but no pictures as I forgot before they were consumed), and then the “piece de resistance”, the famous French galette, and there were still a few left over for eating. It was the box that kept on giving…..even if it wasn’t a vintage year.

Now the head chef (moi) was not above borrowing a recipe from another source, said source being the Lifestyle section of the local paper, so here’s the recipe.

The filling called for 5 peaches cut in half, pit removed and sliced, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp flour, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and ground ginger. I doubled the sugar but it still could have used more. I left out the ginger as it had expired in the last decade. I made this at my mother’s and her spice rack is suspect and her oven temperamental, but she enjoyed peeling the peaches as it reminded her of life on the farm and canning every summer.

The Tenderflake deep dish pie crust I bought, did not look any too deep to me, as by the time the fruit was piled in the middle,

there was not much pastry left for crimping the border.

The pastry is folded over the fruit, aiming as I mentioned, for the rustic, not too perfect look.

The finished product was not pretty, the filling having bled a bit around the edges, and gotten rather burnt in spots while trying to brown the pastry, having to be scraped off by a kitchen knife before any photo-ops ensued. Plus the lighting in her kitchen is not good at all, not flattering to anyone, least of all a French galette. It did however taste better with some French vanilla ice cream.

It was by no means a Michelin five star job, but the best I can say is I tried and the end result was certainly rustic. Maybe next time with apples? The same can be said for the block editor. It’s certainly doable – but do I want to do it? I think I’d rather stay with the classic.

(This is the first post I’ve drafted in block and I seem to be using a hybrid of block and classic, with things popping out at me and the draft itself shifting from right to left to center for no discernible reason. If it was closer to Halloween I’d swear it was haunted.)

All That Jam

          The farmer’s markets are full of peaches right now, a little past their prime which is perfect for jam-making.  peachesLast Saturday I bought a big box of peaches for $16 and made 3 batches of jam on Sunday as they had ripened so fast as to be almost spoiling – two of freezer jam and one the old-fashioned boiled on the stove way.  

       Unlike last year, where I experimented with different types of pectin, I just used the Bernardin No Sugar Needed brand as I don’t like jam to be too sweet, although I did add 2/3 of a cup of sugar as the package insert suggested.   I like to be able to taste the peaches.  Of course there is nothing so lovely as a big bowl of peaches peeled and sliced on their own, or mixed with some vanilla yogurt.   


I woke up with a sore right shoulder (probably from carrying the box), so I recruited my mother to help peel the peaches, which she enjoyed very much as it reminded her of all the canning she did on the farm.   My nostalgia for homemade jam was one of the memories which lead to the creation of the homeplace blog (see Out in The Country).  

For more canning memories, you can check out last fall’s unpublished blogs,  Jamfest and Lavender and Pears, (although it is not quite pear season yet). 

Peach jam is best served in January during a blizzard while looking out the window at two feet of snow and dreaming of summer….

(200 words – almost makes up for the last weeks 4000)

Peaches for Sale - AMc

Peaches for Sale




Freezer Peach Jam

Freezer Peach Jam

TCanning Peaches


There was a jamfest in my kitchen last weekend in honor of August.   I had bought a big box of canning peaches from the Saturday morning farmers market for $9 – they were seconds, overripe but perfect for canning – there must have been over fifty peaches in the box – the guy who owned the stand had to carry it to the car for me, but they needed something done with them stat.     It was my first time making peach jam and after some google research I still couldn’t decide what recipe to use so I decided to make three small batches – two freezer jam and one the old-fashioned preserves way.   For the first batch of freezer jam I used the Certo Light Pectin – 3+ cups of peaches, but I cut the pectin and sugar in half, ½ package pectin and approx.. 1 ½ cups of sugar – it was just right – made 4 little jars and one plastic container.  The dollar store jars were cute but the lids were not the best – the  grocery store was out of the standard jars.   Freezer jam can be stored for 3 weeks in the fridge and for 8 months in the freezer.   It was fairly runny so I’m not sure it set properly but then I had cut the amount of sugar in half and the directions warned against doing that….but it was still plenty sweet enough!   I’m not sure why this recipe had you sprinkle the pectin and ¼ cup of sugar over the crushed fruit for 30 minutes stirring occasionally, whereas the Bernardin No Sugar recipe called for boiling the pectin with apple juice, but there is a chemical reason behind it according to one of the websites, for those who like a little chemistry with their canning.   It has something to do with the ph and acid molecules but since I am retired from all that it didn’t stick in my brain.  

         The second freezer batch was Bernardin No Sugar Needed Pectin – and I followed the recipe on the box exactly this time, boiling the pectin in 1 ¾ cups unsweetened apple juice, then adding to 3 cups crushed peaches, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 2/3 cup of sugar as recommended.   It set thicker, and there was lots of nice peachy taste, but it could have used more sugar.  Maybe the tart apple juice cancelled out some of the sweetness?   Made 8 smallish plastic containers.    

        The third and largest batch which we made on Sunday (I put my mother to work helping to peel the peaches…she said she enjoyed it, it brought back old memories), was made the old-fashioned way with sterilized jars and boiling the fruit with sugar but no pectin…..8 cups of peaches and 2 cups of sugar.   Last year I had made pear marmalade with 8 cups of pears and 3 cups of sugar and found it way too sweet, so I cut back on the sugar.  But this batch, while it had plenty of peach flavour, could also have used more sugar.  Made six 250ml jars.   Many of those old fashioned recipes call for a 2:1 ratio of fruit to sugar, (the sugar acts as a preservative), including the Purity Cookbook, which I tend to use as my food bible as it is the reissued edition of the original Canadian classic my mother used when we were growing up.   My mother’s copy is dog eared and stained, whereas mine is still in fairly pristine condition, which might give you an idea about how often I cook.  Unlike the Pioneer Woman I will not be appearing on the Food Network anytime soon.  That cookbook being old, originally published in 1917, uses the paraffin method of putting a bit of melted wax over the top to seal the jar, which I did, but it is no longer recommended according to my online search.  Apparently it does not make a good seal and people do not like having to fish hydrocarbons out of their jam so I am not recommending it – do not try this at home.   It is a wonder we all survived when our grandmothers knew nothing about organic molecules.

       Unlike Goldilocks, none of the recipes were just right, but the best was the first – Certo Light… if I could only remember exactly how much sugar I added as I didn’t make any notes and just sweetened to taste…..a bad habit I picked up from my mother.  It’s hard to get a recipe out of her because like many experienced cooks she doesn’t measure, and if she does give you a recipe it never quite turns out like hers.    My mother used to store her canned goods on pantry shelves in the cellar, but I put mine in the freezer and fridge.   I figure if there is a nuclear war and we are forced to use the basement as a bomb shelter, at least no one will die of scurvy.     

Peach Preserves

Peach Preserves

The Purity Cookbook

Music for a Jam Session – Duke Ellington – C Jam Blues  – click music link here

Peaches in a Blue Bowl - AMc 2017

Peaches in a Blue Bowl – 2017

Postscript:  Feb 2018 – the first batch Certo Light tasted good at the time but did not keep well and had to be discarded, it might have been the dollar store lids, and I reduced the sugar which they said not to do.  The Bernardin No Sugar batch tasted wonderfully peachy even in Feburary.