Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. 

Thousands, maybe.

--Neil Gaiman

Lots of good things have been happening lately, not the least of which is this rustic peach galette with sweet almond filling. Work has been humming along, good friends are getting married soon, and we've slowly been taking on the task of transforming our empty shell of a new house into a warm & cozy home. I hope to be able to share all the good things with you here soon, but in the mean time there's this peach pie and a couple of other that I just have to write about.

When I was little, I knew this quote by Neil Gaiman to be completely true, although I didn't actually read the above words until much, much later in life (like, as in last week). It was easy to understand about other, inner worlds, though. Back then I would have called up the image of the Wood Between the Worlds, described in C.S. Lewis's Narnia books as a grassy, warm place interspersed with trees and shallow pools, 'a kind of in-between place.' There were any number of pools leading to any number of strange worlds, and all anyone had to do was choose one and jump in (wearing a magic ring, of course, storybook rules are never as simple as they seem on the surface). My wild and woods-loving child heart loved those Narnia books (back before I knew what a fraught issue that would turn out to be, they were just wonderful stories that thrilled me), and knew something like a Wood Between the Worlds in my own heart. I knew the way to jump with both feet into a magic pool and escaped to other worlds every time I opened a book, every time I drew a picture, or every time I spent an hour glassy-eyed to the world, exploring wildernesses and fantastic beasts inside my own head. There were endless pools in my own personal wood. Thousands, maybe.

I like to think that I have hundreds, maybe thousands, of pie recipes inside me. Unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing pies waiting to be given form. This peach galette--a rustic-edged, freeform thing like all good galettes--with a hint of almond filling, this is an especially good one. Served with an extra dollop of late summer on top--fresh basil folded inside pillowy clouds of whipped cream--it's especially good. I almost missed my chance to post about this one, but thank goodness I didn't. It's still summer-warm here, still sunny and hot and buzzy with cicadas. There's still time to eat a peach pie, to slip dreamily off into other worlds for a while. Fall is coming. But for now, it's still summer.

Peach & Almond Galette

For the crust

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter (make sure it's cold first; twenty minutes in the freezer beforehand works well)
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg white
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup sliced almonds, for sprinkling

For the filling

1/4 cup finely ground almonds (buy them ground or pulse in food processor at home)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3 ripe peaches, sliced

For the basil whipped cream

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Pull butter from the freezer and grate it over the large holes of a cheese grater directly into your flour mixture. Mix with fingers until it looks crumbly but butter is evenly distributed. Start sprinkling in ice water a little at a time, continue mixing by hand just until the dough holds together. Use a light touch, and try not to overwork the dough. Lay out some plastic wrap, flatten the dough into a disk on it and wrap it up, refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough into a circle shape, roughly 13" wide and about 1/8" thick. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect around the've gotta love galettes for this. Place dough circle onto a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar and butter until it forms a paste. Spread evenly on the dough circle, top with sliced peaches (I like to make concentric circles with my peaches, because I am fancy). Fold the edges of the dough in roughly overlapping pleats, making sure they overhang the peach slice filling by about 1" all around, pinching pleats as you go. In another bowl, whisk egg white and honey together and brush onto outside of crust with a pastry brush. Sprinkle liberally with sliced almonds.

Bake for about 60 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and its edges are just caramelized around the edges (you may need more or less time depending on your oven, so trust your senses). Remove from oven, let cool for 20 minutes. Whip cream until it holds soft peaks, then fold in sugar and basil. Serve on top of warm slices of galette, and enjoy your own private summer for a few moments more.