What to do with all the olallieberries and boysenberries picked on Saturday? Aside from the option of eating them unfettered and freshly washed, straight from the bowl, I explored a few options of berry consumption.
And from the looks of my berries the next day, I had better think of them fast–they were slumping and letting go of their juice. Berries simply don’t keep too long!
One of the more obvious options for using fruit is pie–in fact, berry pie was one of the things we mulled over while tugging at the luscious fruit on the vines. But, you see, I am totally lazy sometimes, and the thought of making a crust and putting it in a pie pan and then making a crust for the pie top overwhelmed me. I guess I used all my diligence for the actual berrypicking!
And besides, if you’re someone who likes that buttery pie crust most of all, you’ll prefer a galette. What is a galette? I like to describe it as a “flat pie”–a rustic pie without the pie pan, and with less fruit. But if you want a more formal definition, here’s one from foodtv:
“Definition: [gah-LEHT] Hailing from France, a galette is a round, rather flat cake made of flaky-pastry dough, yeast dough or sometimes unleavened dough. The term also applies to a variety of tarts, both savory and sweet, and there are as many variations as there are French regions. They may be topped with fruit, jam, nuts, meat, cheese, etc. Galette des Rois, the traditional cake served during Twelfth Night festivities, often contains a bean or other token, which is guaranteed to bring the recipient good luck.”
Galettes are one of my favorite desserts to make, and I make them with just about every fruit. With apples (and I’ll add a bit of lemon juice and zest to the apple mixture), peaches, blueberries, etc., etc.
The bottomline: it’s easy to make and tastes like a delicious pie. The most labor intensive part of making a galette is the dough for the pie crust, and you can use any recipe you like to do so, whether it be one made of rendered leaf lard or shortening (bleah–but it’s popular), or my favorite, butter (Martha Stewart’s pate sucree recipe below). Notice I did not lay out storebought pie crust as an option. 🙂 Each option has its pros and cons, and makes for a good debate. But I like butter, because it tastes good and well…I don’t have to go render lard (though I am eyeing the duck fat in my freezer for a future pie crust experiment), and butter is readily available.
Of course, the downside is that you’ll still have berries left over, after making this…which means I’ve got to discover Berry Usage Case #2…!
Recipe follows after the jump…
- pie dough (recipe below)
- 2-3 cups of berries, rinsed and fairly dry
- about a cup of sugar (more if your berries are VERY tart) + 2-3 tablespoons of sugar
- tablespoon of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom *if you do not have cardamom, you can substitute more ground cinnamon)
- several pats of butter
- few tablespoons of milk
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Mix the berries, sugar, flour, cinnamon and cardamom gently in a bowl–I used my hands, because the berries were quite fragile.
- Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface…till it’s a little over a foot in diameter, and about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. If you find that the shape of what you’ve rolled out is highly irregular, feel free to trim the edges so your galette is more circular. Make sure your dough is not sticking to the board–if so, add flour to the board…
- Move the dough to a baking sheet (though if you want, you can use a pizza stone–you want the stone preheating in the oven so it warms up to help the crust get very crispy…while that pizza stone is heating, consider how you will move the galette to the pizza stone–I have a pie mover but you can improvise by using 2 very thin disposable “cutting boards” to carry it to the pizza stone).
- Scatter the berry mixture onto the center part of the galette, leaving around a 1.5 inch border around the edge.
- Fold the edge of the dough over 1 inch of the blueberry mixture, pleating and gently pinching as you go. Then dot the berry mixture with butter.
- Brush milk over the pastry/dough and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
- Bake until the berry mixture is bubbling and the pastry is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
PATE SUCREE (from Martha Stewart)
Makes two 8- to 10-inch tarts or single-crust pies
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 4 tablespoons ice water
* 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1. In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and process for approximately 10 seconds, or just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. To mix by hand, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two table knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. With the machine running, add ice water, drop by drop and slowly add egg yolks, until the dough just holds together without being wet or sticky; about 30 seconds. Test the dough at this point by squeezing a small amount together. If it is too crumbly, add a bit more water.
3. Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Grasping the ends of the plastic wrap with your hands, press dough into a flat circle with your fists. Wrap dough in the plastic and chill for at least an hour.