- 2 cups pitted Barhi or another variety of soft dates
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Zested rind of ½ orange
- ½ cup (125ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp orange-blossom water (see note)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp butter, melted, for brushing
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 2 cups unbleached plain flour
- ¾ tsp caster sugar
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, coarsely chopped, slightly softened
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1For galette dough, combine flour and sugar with ¼ tsp salt in a mixing bowl. Add butter, toss to coat then press each piece of butter with your thumb and forefinger to flatten. Drizzle over ¼ cup chilled water, mixing continuously with your fingers spread and curved slightly, raking the dry mix from the bottom to the top to evenly incorporate the water until dough starts to come together. Break apart any large lumps as you go. Resist the urge to squeeze or press the dough together; this will activate the gluten in the flour and can make the dough tough. If there is unincorporated flour, drizzle chilled water over 1 tbsp at a time, raking until it looks moist and ropy with very little dry flour. Give the dough a final rake to break apart any large clumps. Divide the dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, press lightly into discs and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- 2Process dates in a food processor (or chop very finely) to a coarse paste (1 minute). If the dates remain too chunky, add a little milk to soften the paste. Transfer purée to a medium bowl then add butter, walnuts, rind, juice, orange-blossom water, honey and a pinch of salt, mix well.
- 3Roll out the 2 discs of dough on a lightly floured surface to 36cm rounds, around 5mm thick. Brush off any excess flour, then transfer discs to a large baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the dough to firm up.
- 4Preheat oven to 200C. Spread date mixture evenly over one disc, leaving a 2.5cm border. Brush border with water, then cover galette with the other round. Press edges together, gently smoothing out any air pockets. Trim a neat edge all the way around, then crimp with a fork or pinch with your fingers. Cut a few decorative slits for steam to escape during baking. Brush top of galette generously with melted butter, sprinkle sugar evenly over and bake on a pizza stone on the floor of the oven or on the lowest rack until nicely browned (30-40 minutes). Cool to room temperature before serving.
Note Orange-blossom water is available from The Essential Ingredient and specialty food stores. This recipe is from The Art of Simple Food II ($40, hbk) by Alice Waters, published by Clarkson Potter and reproduced with GT style changes.
Drink Suggestion: Sweet Madeira or Marsala. Drink suggestion by Max Allen