Nothing could be simpler than unwrapping a packet of ready-made pastry, but the luxury of sinking your teeth through layer upon buttery layer of hand-made flaky puff is unbeatable, and this rough-puff variation is surprisingly easy compared to its laborious full-puff counterpart, and so much more delicious – the key is to keep every ingredient as chilled as possible and work quickly.
These should be eaten on the day of baking, but if you eat them the next day then just flash them in a hot oven for 5 minutes to crisp up (although polishing them off in one day shouldn’t be a problem…).
for the rough puff pastry
200g plain flour
Pinch salt (unless butter is salted)
200g chilled, good-quality butter, diced into small cubes
100ml ice cold water
for the vanilla cream
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
30g plain flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
40ml double cream
3-4 ripe apricots
1 egg, for egg wash
Apricot jam, warmed, for glazing
To make the pastry: Place flour in a bowl with thee cubed butter. Use a knife to cut the butter cubes even smaller, mixing in with the flour as you do so. The lumps of butter should remain fairly chunky. Gradually add small amounts of cold water and mix with hands until it comes together into a firm dough.
Tip out onto a clean counter. Form into a rough rectangle shape then roll out to a long rectangle. Brush off any flour from the surface of the dough. Fold the pastry by taking the top half and folding it into the center, then do the same with the bottom half and place it over the top of the top half (see images!). Seal the edges to form a neat rectangular parcel. Roll out again into a rectangle, then repeat the process. Wrap and chill for half an hour. Repeat the rolling and folding then chill for a further hour.
For the vanilla cream: Place the soft butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat together for 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds, vanilla and one egg. Mix again. Add the other egg and the flour and beat a further 3 minutes until smooth and light. Pour in the double cream and mix for a final 2 minutes. Place in fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
Slice the apricots in halves, removing the stone.
To assemble: Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC. Lightly flour the counter top and a rolling pin. Roll out the chilled pastry to about 0.5cm thickness. Cut out circles of 5 inches and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Take a smaller cutter of 3 inches diameter and press lightly in the middle of each circle half-way into the pastry, so as to pierce the surface but not cut all the way through to the tray. On top of the middle circles, place two teaspoons of the vanilla cream, and top with an apricot half. Brush the outer edge of the circles with a beaten egg, and sprinkle with caster sugar if desired.
Bake for around 15 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
Let cool on a rack for a few minutes before brushing the galettes with the warm apricot jam to give them a stunning shine.