Some days experimenting in the kitchen is a good idea…others days it is a disaster. I knew I was playing with fire on a recent sunny afternoon. I had a goad: to create a simple, seasonal and satisfying summer dessert. Did it work?
I set about to gather the ingredients from the kitchen. Moving around my new kitchen has become easier and much more like a familiar dance. Less like an awkward middle school slow dance and more of a flail around and pretend you are a sprinkler at a high school dance – not that I am familiar with this. I have only heard stories. I pulled out the canister of flour, cubed up butter, grabbed some salt and a pinch of sugar.
The butter and salt/ sugar combination are added to the flour. At this point you may use a pretty little pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture. But I do not prefer this neat and tidy way of doing things. Instead, I dove my hands into the bowl of flour and quickly started working the butter in. The idea is to keep things COLD!
Add in some ice water to bind the dough. I did not overmix and turned out the shaggy mess onto my board while gently shaping it into a ball. I wrapped the dough in saran wrap and popped it into the fridge to chill out for a half hour. Meanwhile in fruit filling land, I gathered up some fruit we had on hand and got to work.
This dessert featured blueberries, a peach and 3 sugar plums. PS – sugar plums are amazing if you have never had them before! Here is where I started to get a little crazy in my overactive brain. My thought process was this: allow the fruit to marry in a mixture of cornstarch, vanilla bean sugar, and a splash of almond extract to release their beautiful juices. Seems normal and easy enough. But then I had to go and get an even crazier idea of straining the juice from the fruit, heating the juice with a tiny bit of butter and make a glaze or thickened sauce of sorts. Logical? Umm…well, lets say I made a gorgeous fruit paste which I then thinned out with a splash of grand marnier and some water. I incorporated this back into the fruit mixture.
Seems ok right? I was breathing a sigh of relief. I brushed on an egg glaze and sprinkled a bit of vanilla bean sugar on the top. Into the oven it went for about 45 minutes on 375*.
The real test, for me, was two-fold. I wanted a flaky crust and a not-too-sweet filling. The crust turned out quite flaky. The tartness was slightly tart…but when you put a little dab of ice cream on top it magically works out!
Voila…just like that a summer berry galette is born!
- Galette Crust, I halved the recipe from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 1/4 C Flour
- 1/8 t. salt
- 1 1/2 T. sugar, I used vanilla bean infused sugar
- 1/2 C. unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 C. - 1/2 C. ice cold water
- Summer Fruit Filling
- Be creative and use what you have on hand!
- 1 peach, peeled and sliced
- 1 1/2 C. blueberries
- 3 sugar plums
- 1/4 C. sugar, adjust as needed to the tartness of your berries
- splash of almond extract
- 1 1/2 t. cornstarch
- Egg, lightly beaten, for the egg wash
- Pate Brisee:
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add in the cold cubed butter and work this into the flour until the mixture is the size of small peas. You may use a pastry blender, a food processor or your hands (my choice!). Turn the shaggy mixture out on the board, gather together and form into a ball. Wrap this in saran wrap and chill it at least a half hour, while you work on your fruit filling.
- When ready to roll out turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and roll a circle to about 9" in diameter. Preheat the oven to 375* and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with a fork and have a pastry brush ready.
- Fruit Filling:
- Add the sliced peach, blueberries and sliced sugar plums to a bowl. Add in the sugar, almond extract and cornstarch mixture. Stir gently to combine. Here is where you have choices:
- Choice 1: Let the fruit flavors marry until the crust is ready to be rolled out. Put the filling in the center of the rolled out crust, bring the sides of the pastry towards the center, brush with egg wash and bake.
- Choice 2: Strain the fruit filling juice, make a reduction, and thin out with an orange liquor or water until the desired consistency is reached. Add it back into the fruit filling, stirring gently to combine. Put the filling in the center of the rolled out crust, bring the sides of the pastry towards the center, brush with egg wash and bake.
- Bake this at 375* for about 40 - 55 minutes.