...Especially if you dress it up in a flat, flaky crust, roughly crimp the buttery edges, dust it with a sprinkling of coarse sugar and call it -- a galette.
There may be nothing more American than apple pie, but no dessert says country French elegance like a freshly-made galette. So rustic and handsome, even the name sounds rich and seductive - elevating a simple pastry into a work of art in the way that the only the French can do.
And the real secret - it's actually easier to make than pie! For those of you who have lived in fear of the homemade pie crust, the galette is the perfect place to start; there's very little rolling and no fussy cutting and crimping. This recipe is also a breeze to put together, even without a food processor (though you certainly could use one if you have it!).
Mixed Berry Galette
makes one 12-inch galette
1 recipe for Galette Dough (see below)
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
11 oz blueberries
6 oz raspberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoons cornstarch *
1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar or other coarse sugar for dusting
*I was out of cornstarch and substituted 1 Tablespoon of flour, which worked fine
Preheat oven to 370°F. Remove prepared dough from refrigerator (it should already be rolled out on a parchment-covered baking sheet) and set aside to warm slightly. In a large mixing bowl, toss the berries with the sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir thoroughly, to coat, and allow berries to rest about 5 minutes.
Spoon berries onto the chilled dough, leaving about 2 inches bare to form the crust. Pinching the bare edge between thumb and forefinger, begin to fold the crust over the berries, crimping gently as you make your way around the circle (no perfection required!). Be sure to pinch firmly enough that the crust won't unfold during baking.
Brush egg onto folded crust and sprinkle immediately with coarse sugar. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until crust is golden and the filling is bubbly and thickened. Allow to cool on baking sheet. Excellent served warm or cool, with cream, ice-cream, or simply on its own.
very, very, very loosely based on this Martha Stewart recipe for Pate Brisee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter, chilled
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut chilled butter into flour mixture with a fork, working quickly and handling as little as possible to keep the butter cool (here's where a food processor comes in handy). Cut until mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Add ice water gradually, stirring continuously until the dough just holds together.
Form the dough into a ball and roll it out onto a lightly floured surfaced, taking care not to overwork the dough. Roll out into a 12-14-inch round, about 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap (I also cover this with a damp towel, just to be safe!). Refrigerate until ready to use - at least one hour.
A few notes: You can make this galette with any fruit - even apples, peaches, plums, figs, etc. The sky's the limit! As for the dough, I like mine slightly sweet, but you can cut the sugar if you prefer. Also, it's best to use the chilled dough within a couple of hours to prevent it drying out. Keeping the butter cool will create a buttery, flaky crust, but you'll lose some of the tender, crumbly texture if you overwork the dough, allow it to dry out, or let the butter get too warm before mixing. Still, don't let these warnings put you off trying the recipe - Matt's late homecoming meant that our crust chilled for over 5 hours and our galette was still rich, tender and delicious. It's a forgiving recipe with rich rewards - give it a try, I promise you won't regret it!
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