James Beard Award-winning Cookbook Author

Recipe and Tips: Italian Plum Galette

Last week I was thrilled to find Italian prunes at our farmers’ market, and I thought I’d repost my recipe for baking them in a galette. I’d always called these succulent fall fruits Italian Prune Plums. But I now have learned, thanks to my friend, John Keegan, that I have been wrong. Here’s what he wrote when I made my original post on October 14, 2013.

Thought you would like to know. While many prunes are dried plums, the Italian prune (also known as Italian prune plums) is a prune and not a plum. The name was changed in order for younger people to like the fruit. So the Italian prune was dried into a prune, however it started out a fresh prune not a fresh plum.

So there you have it. The galette–a rustic French creation–is one of the best ways to bake these prunes. Here’s the recipe.  The window of availability for these fruits is quite short, so don’t dawdle. Make it now!

Italian Plum Galette

You can make the pastry hours or even a day or two ahead and refrigerate it. It must be cold when you roll it out. The nut and flour base may also be made ahead. If you have a baking stone, this is a good time to use it.
Course Dessert, Light Snack
Cuisine French
Servings 8


  • Baking stone, optional
  • 14-inch pizza pan or large rimmed baking sheet



  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 5 ounces, preferably organic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 ounces cold unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 3 tablespoons ice water plus more if needed

Ground Almond Base

  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Plum Filling

  • 1 1/4 pounds Italian prune plums, halved and pitted about 18
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice



  • Either weigh the flour or measure it by dipping a dry measuring cup into the flour container, filling it to overflowing, and sweeping off the excess with a straight edge.
  • Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Slice the cold butter and add to the bowl.
  • Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into smaller pieces, about ½ inch or so.
  • Then reach into the bowl, and with your fingertips, rapidly press and flatten the butter pieces into flakes. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t soften and don’t be concerned about flattening every piece of butter.
  • Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir and toss with a fork to combine. Stir just until the dough comes together in one mass. If the dough seems dry, add only enough additional water to make it cohere.
  • Shape the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disc—you’ll see large flakes of butter in the dough—and enclose with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm the dough.

Make the Almond Past

  • Process the almonds, flour, sugar, and cinnamon with a food processor for a few seconds until the nuts are finely ground.

Prepare Oven

  • If you have a baking stone, set it on the center shelf of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • If you don’t have a baking stone, just preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Shape the Galette

  • Roll the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface into a very thin, roughly shaped circle, 14 inches in diameter.
  • Tip: If the dough is very firm, let it sit at room temperature about 10 minutes or tap the pastry all over with the rolling pin to flatten it a bit, then roll it out. You may not think the dough will be able to become 14 inches in diameter, but it will
  • Tip: If the dough feels too soft, fold it in half, transfer it to the pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet, unfold it, and refrigerate a few minutes.
  • Tip: Do not be concerned about rough edges of dough or if your circle is perfect. This is rustic. What’s important is that the dough is thin, thin, thin. The butter flakes melt during baking and the pockets of air that are formed make the pastry flaky.
  • Transfer the dough to the pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the ground almonds and flour onto the center of the dough and distribute with your fingers into a thin powdery circle 10 to 11 inches in diameter.
  • Arrange plum halves cut side down in concentric circles on the nut layer.
  • Scatter the cold butter bits over the fruit, drizzle with lemon juice, and sprinkle evenly with 6 to 7 tablespoons of the sugar. Bring up edges of the pastry to cover the outer edge of peaches and press gently to adhere.
  • Brush the pastry with water and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Bake and Serve

  • Put the galette into the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or maybe even longer, until the plum juices bubble thickly, like a syrup, and the pastry is well-browned with random darker spots. The sugar must be well caramelized.
  • Cool the galette on its pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer with a wide metal spatula to a wire cooling rack. Sometimes juices leak onto the pan during baking causing the galette to stick, so loosen the galette carefully to avoid tearing the pastry
  • The galette is best when very fresh. Serve it plain or with crème anglaise.
  • I’ve successfully reheated leftover galette the next morning in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5 minutes.

3 thoughts on “Recipe and Tips: Italian Plum Galette”

  • Thanks very much for this post. I am excited to try your Italian prune plum galette recipe.

    I believe your description of the prune plum may be incomplete.
    Here is the section from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prune_plum) describing the prune plum:
    The prune plum (Prunus domestica subsp. domestica) is a fruit-bearing tree, or its fruit. It is a subspecies of the plum Prunus domestica.[1] The freestone fruit is similar to, but distinct from, the clingstone damson (Prunus domestica subsp. insititia)[2] and is especially popular in Central Europe.
    The fruit is known under various regional names, including “blue plum”, “damask plum”, “sugar plum”, and “German prune” in English-speaking countries, and “Zwetschge” in German-speaking ones. The word Zwetschge (/ˈtsvɛtʃɡə/), plural Zwetschgen, is from the German. Variants of the word include: Quetsch(e) (Lorraine, Alsace, Luxembourg, and regionally in Germany); Kwetsen (Dutch), Zwetschke (regionally in Austria); and Zwetsche (regionally in Germany). These names, like damson, are thought ultimately to derive from postulated Vulgar Latin *davascena, altered from damascena, meaning “of Damascus”, reflexes of which appear mainly in Franco-Provençal, e.g. daveigne (Jura), dav(d)gna (Franche-Comté) [citations omitted].

    Here is the french page: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunier_de_Damas

    Here is a German version of a family plum cake

    • Thank you for the references, Eduardo. The French text can be translated into English. The German version of the plum cake doesn’t look at all like Marian Burros’s version, and because it’s handwritte, difficult to read. However, this recipe is infinitely adaptable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating