02 July 2013

Red, Lime & Blue Galette

Get your stars and stripes out, because the Fourth of July is almost upon us!  For the record, I'm really excited about this year's celebrations.  Last year we drove right by Independence Day twice without stopping - first Canada's on our way to visit family in Toronto and then America's on the way back. Though the fireworks were splendid from our view in the car, the lack of food and cornhole was quite disheartening.  This year we're staying put to celebrate both the 4th and the hubs completing of his third year of medical school.  That's right folks, as of 4:30 on July 3rd we're only 12 months away from being a two income household.  Needless to say, there's ample reasons to celebrate this week.

Now I have been going galette crazy as of late.  Galettzy, let's call it.  I have always been a pie girl, but there are times when a deep 9-inch dish can be a bit much for our little household.  Typically we freeze a slice or two, but my desire to empty our ice box is even more stubborn than my appetite for pie.  Perhaps that is why I was so very enthused to come across Jacque Pépin's ridiculously delicious and easy galette recipe.  Not only it is my first successful all-butter crust ever (avert your eyes, Mom!) but it is a perfect excuse to use my brand new 9-cup food processor.  Our mini-processor has been faithful blending for years, but the unfortunate burning smell during difficult chopping jobs finally became pungent enough to necessitate an alternate.  This way, Mr. Mini can avoid a slow and painful death by homemade almond butter.

Galettes are fabulous introduction to pie for those who are intimidated by double crusts and crimping.  They are the smaller, uglier, single-crust cousins which require no fancy lattice work or decorative venting.  Baked on a cookie sheet, they don't even require a special dish of their own - just a rolling pin, some fruit and a ready fork.  Monsieur Pépin's is particularly wonderful since his crust recipe is so very easy.  I have abismal luck with all-butter crusts, and this turned out perfectly on the first try.  Since I am maternally predisposed to use shortening, I did attempt this recipe sans butter.  The end result was wonderfully flakey and tender, but the dough was so stickily difficult to work with (stickily?...sure) that it honestly wasn't worth the effort.  A butter crust is less sticky and far less likely to end up in the garbage can.  I also find that using parchment paper under the crust makes the recipe even easier, which I unfortunately ran out prior to this photography session.  I was serious about going galettzy.

Of the many galettes that I've been churning out, this is absolutely the most patriotic of the bunch.  If you're looking for a easy dessert to make the morning of your July celebrations, this recipe is for you.  The delicious buttery crust is filled with fresh strawberries and blueberries, then baked to juicy perfection.  The subtle kiss of lime brings a nice extra flavor to the dish and fits oh-so-nicely into the title (much better than lemon) for a name worthy of a salute from Uncle Sam.  

I tend to like my pies and galettes with more natural fruit flavor and less sugary sweetness.  Therefore, I typically use only two tablespoons of sugar with the fruit plus a little more for sprinkling.  But feel free to add an extra tablespoon to the berries if you prefer a sweeter treat.  My recipe below makes one mini-galette and is half the size of Jacque's original recipe, so if you're cooking for a crowd, feel free to double the recipe for a larger dessert.  Just be sure that after you've raised your hand to your heart, you raise your fork to your plate for a bite of this scrumptious of berry treat.

Red, Lime & Blue Galette (about 4 servings)
First even all-butter crust thanks to Jacques Pépin

Jacque's Pâte Brisée:
  • 6 tbs cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbs ice water (and I mean ice!)
  • 2-3 tbs sugar 
  • 1 1/2 tbs corn starch
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1 c strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • zest from 1 lime 
  • 1/2 tbs butter, cut into small bits
  • 1 tbs sugar, for sprinkling (I like turbano here)
  • 2 tbs apricot jam, for brushing
To make the pâte brisée, combine the butter, flours and salt in a food processor.  Blend for 5 seconds until butter is broken into pea-sized chunks.  Add the ice water and process for another 5 seconds until the butter is in small flecks and the dough just starts to come together.  Remove the blade from the processor, then use your hands to form the dough into a ball.  

Lay a piece of parchment paper on a rolling mat or cutting board, generously flouring the surface.  Transfer the dough ball to the prepared parchment paper, press lightly with your hand, then sprinkle the top with flour.  Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 to 1/16th of an inch thick, about 8-9 inches in diameter.  Transfer the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and pace in the refrigerator and chill for 15-20 minutes.

Once the dough has chilled, remove from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and corn starch.  In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, blueberries, lime juice and lime zest.  Gently toss to coat the fruit in the lime juice, then sprinkle with the sugar and corn starch.  Gently toss again until the fruit is evenly coated.

Place the blueberries and strawberries in the center of the galette with a two-inch boarder around the fruit, leaving any residual juices in the bowl.  Dot the top of the fruit fruit with the butter.  If the dough still feels stiff and cold, wait a few minutes for it to warm up so that your crust does not crack and leak.  Once it is malleable, gently fold an edge of the dough over the fruit to create a two-inch boarder.  Fold up the remainder of the dough at regular intervals, gently pinching together where they overlap.  Brush the edge with a beaten egg white (if desired) and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juices are starting to thicken.  Remove from the oven and brush the crust with the apricot jam.  Let the galette cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool for another 30 minutes.  Serve at with your favorite cream - ice or whipped.  

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