Plum & Blackberry Galettes with Hazelnut Frangipane

I’ve wanted to do a plum pie since Cook’s Illustrated rebooted the concept with a Plum Ginger pie in their last spring issue. I thought adding blackberries would be an original way to give it some depth, but a quick online search told me that combo has, of course, been tried a million times. The thing is, it’s usually done with Chinese 5-spice, or more ginger and cloves and orange, and while I love all that, it makes me think of Christmas more than summer.

I did not want to let the fruit sit too long in the sugar, as it does in their recipe, since it would release a lot of liquid that be too much for my little hand pies. I added a hint of Frangelico to make it stick to the fruit after a quick toss. Another dollop of Frangelico in the nut mixture worked again to intensify the flavour.

I made these galettes with purple plums first, then yellow. Both were good partners for the blackberries, and both benefitted from the softening effect of the bed of crushed hazelnuts. Almonds are the more obvious pairing with stone fruit (they’re related), but the earthiness of the hazelnuts combats the tartness of the plums.

With purple plums leave the skins on. It adds colour and retains the shape for defined slices. With the yellow plums, the sweet flesh can be overwhelmed by the tartness of the skins. I left them on and found them quite sharp. They were fine in a pie mixed with purple plums, where all the fruit was baked in the syrup that formed when they were left to rest in sugar for 20 minutes. For the little galettes, I might peel them and use the pretty blackberries to disguise any indistinguishable yellow plum flesh.

You can make one big galette, but smaller ones are great for individual portions (social distancing!) since there’s no need to cut and serve. You plop them on a plate and let people head up to the table one at a time.

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Seasonal plums and blackberries go nicely. Hazelnut base takes it to the top!

If you want to make pie instead of galettes, I would make both the pastry and the plum filling the day before, and add the blackberries just before you fill the crust. Letting the plums macerate for a good long while makes them swim in a gooey sugary syrup that would be too much liquid for the free-form galettes. But that same sweet nectar will bake into a delightful jammy mess in a deep dish. No need for the frangipane, but if you want a little nut flavour, you can line the bottom crust with some store-bought almond paste. No shame in that at all.

Gooey but tasty!

I used Brave Tart’s (Stella Park’s) Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough Recipe, because it holds its shape well, especially when it’s had a day to firm up in the fridge. And it’s delicious.

Plum & Blackberry Galettes with Hazelnut Frangipane

Small, rustic, freeform pies loaded with seasonal fruit on hazelnut paste.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Canadian, French
Keyword: #fruitpie, #pie, blackberries, galette, galettes, hand pies, hazelnut frangipane, hazelnut paste, hazelnuts, plums, Stone fruit, Summertime
Servings: 8 portions


  • Food processor


  • 1 batch basic pie dough

Plum & Blackberry Filling

  • 2 cups sliced plums, skins on (from 1½-2lbs plums)
  • 1 cups blackberries
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Frangelico
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Hazelnut Frangipane

  • ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted and cooled
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • I tbsp Frangelico
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • crystal sugar, to finish the crust


  • Divide pie crust into 8 equal pieces by cutting it in half, then in half again. Roll out each piece into a rough 6 inch circle and stack them up on parchment paper. Refrigerate for two hours minimium. This is a great step to do a day ahead.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Rub loose skins off hazelnuts, leaving any that cling. Grind hazelnuts and ⅓ cup sugar in the food processor into a fine paste, 2-3 minutes. Add butter, flour, Frangelico, salt, and egg. Pulse until smooth and set aside.
  • Slice your plums into ¼ inch wedges and toss with ½ cup sugar and Frangelico.
  • Beat egg with water and set on the table next to all the other components. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and have a pastry brush handy.
  • Add a heaping tablespoon to the centre of a disc of dough and spread in a circle, leaving a 1" border. Brush the border with egg wash. Spoon some fruit onto the frangipane, and fold the edges in, tucking each fold into the next, making little nests for your fruit fillling.
  • Brush egg wash over outer ring of pie dough, and sprinkle with large crystal sugar, if you have any. Otherwise regular sugar will do.
  • Pop them into the oven and cook for 35-35 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the plums and blackberries entirely softened.
  • Cool on a wire rack for one hour. Serve with ice cream, if you like. Or just eat out of hand, without even taking the time to get a plate.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Divine Caramel and Three Nut Pie




A recipe to follow my review of Pies so that I’m not the only one drooling over this book. I love sexy food pics. Don’t they just make you unreasonably desirous of food. Well unreasonable for 10:30 in the morning. But I suppose there is nothing reasonable about decadence. Just pure delight. 

As this particular pie requires the recipe for Sweet Pastry Dough, I’ll be sure to post that next. 

I’m curious to try caramelizing brown sugar. I have always very lazily just used brown sugar melted in butter and topped up with cream to make caramel sauce. Anyway, I’ll try it both ways and see what I can’t learn about working with sugar. My taste testers will let you know which one wins. 


Divine Caramel and Three-Nut Pie

Servings: 8 to 10

Preparation: 30 min

Cooking time: 50 min

Utensil: 9″ (23 cm) round, fluted tart pan with a removable bottom

This pie is a sensational mouthful with all its contrasting textures. While the creamy caramel softly caresses the palate, nuts crack lightly under teeth to liberate flavours. The pleasure that follows will take you to seventh heaven!



  • Sweet pastry (recipe on page 13)


  • 1 cup (115 g) pecans
  • 1 cup (105 g) walnuts
  • 1 cup (135 g) hazelnuts
  • 1 1/3 cup (280 g) cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • 2/3 cup (165 ml) 35% cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter



  • Preheat the oven to 350⁰F (180⁰C).
  • Flour the work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin and line the pie plate. Or, place the ball of dough in the centre of the pie plate and then spread it out evenly with your fingers from the centre to the edges.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on the dough and place 2 cups (400 g) of dried peas on top of it (this step helps to keep the dough in place while baking).
  • On the centre rack, bake the crust through for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the peas and the parchment paper on the crust and continue to bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is cooked through or golden.
  • Remove it from the oven and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.


  • Spread out the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven at 325⁰F (160⁰C) for 15 minutes.
  • In a small pot, heat the cream.
  • In another pot, on medium heat, heat the sugar and water until it caramelizes (see information about caramel on page 160).
  • Take the pot off the heat, gradually pour the hot cream into it and mix.
  • Add the butter, and mix.
  • Mix the nuts into the caramel. Pour into the pie crust.
  • Cool and serve with custard or caramel sauce (recipes on pages 156).


The cream must be hot before pouring it into the hot caramel. If the cream is cold or warm, there is a risk of splatter that could cause burns. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.



Pies by Josée Fiset and Dominque Boué


I love this first line: “Pies awaken wonderful emotion in me.” That’s so true for everybody. Pie is not just tasty, but a nostalgic emblem of hearth and home, usually tied to a holiday. Sadly, I rarely make pie anymore, because I find it too much work to make a proper flakey piecrust, and too difficult to achieve the right texture. I often opt for crumble or pudding instead. Yet this book has made a pie convert of me. For making, I mean, not just eating.

First, to address the crust issue: Many cookbooks offer recipes for the different types of crusts, but I get confused by the French names and lack of description of what it should look like when I’ve made it. (Thanks for nothing Martha.)

This book not only describes the various types of crusts, it breaks it down for you with step-by-step pictures. Pies explains the taste and texture variations you can expect from different ingredients, so that if you want to use lard instead of butter, or whole wheat pastry flour, you will know what to expect in flavor and consistency. You need never fear crust making again.

Beyond the instructional value for traditional crusts and pies, this book is a testament to the gastronomical imagination. The authors offer recipes for pancake and crepe crusts, poundcake and sponge cake “crusts,” or bases, and a brownie crust that will spread evenly without drying out. The Almond Dacquoise Crust made of almond meal and egg whites looks just heavenly, as does the Pecan and Oatmeal Crust. Ms. Fiset has even conceived of a piecrust made of dried fruits held together with milk chocolate! I’m picturing doing the same with candied orange peel, pistachio and white chocolate. Maybe a few dried cranberries for a more Christmas-y feel.

But never mind my imaginings. We have an aptly named Celestial Spell of Grapefruit and White Chocolate, an insanely promising compilation of Puffed Rice and White Chocolate Crust, White Chocolate Mousse, and Grapefruit Cream. I think I might faint. And I’m dying to ask the authors why the Dark Chocolate Tofu Pie on a Peanut Chocolate Crust uses tofu rather than whipped cream, but I think I’ll try it first myself. Expect a very detailed description of both texture and taste soon, including the honest reaction of my tofu-hating teenaged son (who will perform a forced blind taste test.)

Traditional pie recipes are also well represented in Pies. By traditional pies, I mean the very basics: My Mother’s Homemade Apple Pie, Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb, Lemon Meringue, Clafoutis, and Awfully Good Olden Time Cream Pie.

While this book looks perfect for a Christmas present with its great collection of traditional pies, I think you might want to get it in the hands of the bakers and hostesses in your life well before then. I’m going to try the Ginger Flavoured Sugar Pie, the Apple Raisin Pie and the Maple Syrup Nut Crust Pie for the upcoming holiday season.

While I’m not going to argue that pie is health food, I will back up the author’s claim that all their recipes use fresh, natural ingredients. I detest all the cake mix/marshmallow whip/pre-fab crapola that I see a lot of on Pinterest. (With the sole exception of heavenly Skor bits. Pies hasn’t suggested a use for them as far as I can see, but they would certainly be a great addition to some of the melted chocolate crusts.) Speaking of Pinterest, I plan to have a pinning-fest with this book’s gorgeous and plentiful colour pictures.

I also plan to stop in at the Première Moisson Bakery next time I’m in Montreal. In the meantime I’m going to get busy rekindling my pie-making skills.

Pies by Josée Fiset and Dominque Boué