Make a summer berry galette to take advantage of rich and ripe fruit. A pistachio crust adds a welcome crunch to compliment the jammy berries.
In the midwest, summer is a fleeting season. All winter we achingly wait and hope for the days when we can relax our shoulders that are hunched in defense against the cold. The summer air feels good on our skin and we can look forward to al fresco dining and lingering get-togethers with friends. For many people, summer is pie season. All the ripe and juicy fruit seems to scream for pie-making.
Which brings my confession. I never liked making pies and would resort to any subterfuge to avoid making pies. Not a good thing for a pastry chef. The root of this secret aversion is making the dough. I always struggled with making a dough that had the proper amount of water. I would end up with a dry paste that wouldn't stick together when I squeezed it in my hand. Eventually, I had to get over it.
Making the galette dough
What changed my dough making experience was the use of a food processor and the pulse button. Not only does it speed up the process, but it also uniformly mixes the ingredients. And by pulsing, you are using the power of the machine just enough. Stop as soon as it looks like the dough has come together.
One other pie-making revelation has changed my summer baking projects. I don't need to make a traditional pie. I can make a galette. Given the rustic nature of a galette, it is very forgiving so you can shrug off any blunders as an artistic choice. As I continued making dough, my confidence in pie-making increased. This became my gateway to making pies.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to use flour to prevent sticking. You do not need too much. Also, work efficiently. If the dough gets too warm it will get soft and hard to handle. When this happens, put it in the refrigerator to chill again.
Toss the berries with sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and zest. Making sure that there is a 1 ½ inch border of crust, add the filling to the middle of the crust. Fold the border up and around the berries. If the dough has ripped while folding it, pinch it together to create a seal. Mix an egg with about 1 tablespoon of water and brush on the dough. Sprinkle sugar over the top for some extra sparkles.
While I used strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, for a summer berry galette any combination would work. You can always go the traditional route and serve a slice with a scoop of ice cream. I enjoy the sourness of creme fraiche sweetened with a little brown sugar. It is a worthy complement to the rich sweetness of the jammy berries in the galette.
Summer Berry Galette
- ¾ cup pistachios raw, shelled, unsalted
- 2 ½ cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 pound strawberries hulled and quartered
- 1 ½ cup blueberries
- 1 ½ cup raspberries
- ½ lemon juice and zest
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 cup creme fraiche
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- The dough can be made in a food processor. Add nuts to bowl of food processor and chop into small pieces. Add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl and pulse 3 or 4 times. Add the cold butter and again pulse, 8-10 times, until the dough has pea sized chunks of butter. Through the feeding tube add the egg and vanilla, pulsing 2-3 times. Finally add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse 6-8 times. If the dough looks dry, add 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time and pulsing 3 times. You should be able to see some butter chunks in the dough but it will be damp and somewhat sticky. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- After the dough has rested and is cold, roll out on a floured surface. Make sure you have a little flour on the rolling pin also. Once the dough is rolled out to approximately 12-inches, move to a parchment lined sheet pan. Note You always roll the dough out on the parchment and then move to a sheet pan.
- Once the dough is rolled, assemble the berry filling. Combine all the berries in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and zest, the 4 tablespoons of sugar, and the cornstarch. You will see berry juice in the bottom of the bowl. Have the crust ready for filling so that the berries do not leach too much liquid. With a slotted spoon, pile the fruit in the middle of the crust, making sure that there is a 1 ½ inch border of crust. Leave some of the berry juice in the bowl behind. The dough will leak if there is too much juice. Fold the border up and around the berries. If the dough has ripped while folding it, pinch it together to create a seal. Mix an egg with about 1 tablespoon of water and brush on the dough . Sprinkle sugar over the top of the galette.
Baking the Galette
- This is a very rustic looking dessert. It is okay if it isn't perfect. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, until the crust looks golden brown. Check after 30 minutes to see the progress of the dough. Adjust the cooking time if the galette looks like it is getting close to be done. Let cool until room temperature.
- Add the brown sugar to the creme fraiche. Adjust the sweetness to your liking. Top each galette slice with a dollop.