Tizgui Village, Todgha Gorge, Morocco

Peach and Wild Blackberry Frangipane Galette

08/15/2020

Peach and Wild Blackberry Frangipane Galette

This summery fruit galette is loaded with juicey peaches and wild blackberries nestled on a bed of luscious frangipane (almond cream) and surrounded by a buttery, flakey pastry crust. I love the rustic look of a galette versus a pie--and it's a lot simpler to put together, too!

 

Use fresh fruit and only when it's in season--not only is it better for the environment but you'll get a much tastier dessert.

Feel free to substitute the fruit you use depending on the season! (I've made this with raspberries too and it was also fantastic).

This recipe is slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction--one of my go-to baking blogs. I like to minimise the amount of sugar I use in baking so this recipe cuts out some of the sugar in the original recipe.

 

 

Peach and Wild Blackberry Frangipane Galette

 

Pastry:

190g all-purpose flour

1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

115g COLD butter

60g COLD water

 

Frangipane:

30g butter or margarine, soft

1 egg

50g ground almonds

40g sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Fruit filling:

2-3 medium peaches, sliced relatively thin

blackberries (preferably wild)

1 tbsp ground almonds

1/2 tbsp flour

 

Method

For the pastry:

Add sugar, salt, and flour together in bowl and mix with a fork. Drop in COLD cubed butter. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mix until you have smaller flakes. You don't want the butter to completely disappear--you want there to still be pieces of butter as this is what makes the resulting pastry flakey. Too much handling/mixing of pastry results in stiff, hard pastry. Once combined, pour in the COLD water and mix with a fork just until the dough comes together. Press it into a disk and wrap in cling film and place it in the fridge until you're ready to use (at least 1 hour and up to a couple of days).

 

For the frangipane:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

 

For the fruit:

Slice the peaches relatively thin and toss them with the ground almonds and flour. Put in the fridge until ready to use.

 

Assembly:

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about 10" around. Spoon the frangipane into the centre of the dough, leaving about a 2 inch border around the edge. Then arrange your fruit on top of the frangipane. Fold the edges of the pastry dough up and over the fruit. Brush the pastry with an egg wash (mix one egg with a tablespoon of milk/plant milk) and decorate with slivered almonds. Let chill in the fridge for 20 min.

Bake at 425F/218C for about 30-35 min, or until the filling is bubbly and the pastry is lightly browned.

 

This pie keeps very well. Once I made it two days before eating (I simply kept it covered with a towel) and it was still delicious.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

05/07/2020

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It's been a quiet spring here in the Todgha Gorges. Normally these months are hopping -- not only with buses stopping in the middle of the gorge and spitting out hordes of camera-toting tourists dressed in fancy garb for their insta-worthy shots, but also with climbers. Now is the best and most busy climbing season. Or, normally it is!

This year, of course, has been different. We're sad that we haven't been able to share our home and our hospitality with visitors throughout these months. But we've been hard at work making updates and re-decorating so that when we can welcome you again you'll have an even better stay with us!

 

One of the things that occupies a fair amount of our time is the garden -- THE garden of "A Secret Garden"! And this year it's looking the best it's ever looked!

 

Since we can't welcome you to come for a visit, we thought we'd share our beautiful peaceful garden and its green growing things through a virtual tour.

 

This year we've transformed the back half of the garden into a vegetable garden. Once we start harvesting in a few months, we'll be able to share our produce with you in our home-cooked, natural meals :)

 

We've planted:

Coriander and Parsley

Basil, Thyme, and Oregano

Corn (for the chickens)

Beans (two varieties)

Melons

Courgette

Squash

Cabbage

Tomatoes

Radishes

Beets

Lettuce

Aubergine

Bell peppers

Celery

Onions

 

Vegetable garden A Secret Garden

 

 

 

 

You saw it here first: C'est une maison bleue

04/03/2020

You saw it here first: C'est une maison bleue

Think of a blue house in Morocco and you probably think of Chefchaouen, that Insta-worthy blue town in the north. Why, exactly, Chefchaouen is blue, is a matter of some debate. Some theories say that it was Jewish residents who originally painted walls of their houses blue. Other theories suggest that the blue serves a purpose: to repel mosquitoes or keep the houses cool in summer, or to symbolise water or some other such (probably) nonsense.. Julio's theory (and it's a good one, if we remember that just a few years ago Chefchaouen was more white than blue -- probably, incidentally, just before the invention of Instagram, if we were to do some digging) is that someone decided to paint their house blue and the tourists began to snap pictures. After that, the whole town turned blue, and the tourists kept coming in droves.

 

Anyway, we don't live in Chefchaouen, we live in Todra Gorge, but we now have a blue house. Perhaps the tourists will start to take pictures of it, too?

 

What with this lock-down of seemingly the entire world, we've had a bit of time on our hands to do some updates and renovations around A Secret Garden. Julio's first choice of task was to paint the house bright blue--and not only outside, but inside too!

 

What do you think? We think it looks like the sky :)

It's not quite finished yet. More photos to come!

 

A Secret Garden - Bright Blue!Julio painting A Secret Garden

Todgha Gorge, Morocco