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Berries, berries and more berries! While it’s true that these days berries are available in grocery stores pretty much all year long, summer is indisputably berry season. If you are like me, we can’t get enough of them. And I love them all – blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, watermelon berries….
As I mentioned in my previous post, I also really enjoy a good dessert. Nothing cloyingly sweet mind you, but definitely dessert. A galette is perfect. It’s simple to make and by its very nature its rustic and unfussy. A basic pastry rolled out, filled with the fruit of your choice and folded up. If the juices run over a bit, no problem. Eaten warm straight out of the oven with a bit of ice cream or crème fraiche or just at room temperature.
This Mixed Berry Galette used the berries that can almost always be found in my fridge. The proportions don’t really matter too much as long as the weight is about the same. I do think that the majority of the berries should be of a slightly firmer variety such as blueberry, strawberry or blackberry. Raspberries are very soft and are fine to use as an accent, but are likely to bake into jam. But don’t overthink this. Just make it and enjoy.
The amount of sugar is pretty minimal and the lemon zest and juice brightens up the berry flavor. While you can use a pastry from your store’s freezer section, it really is simple to make this dough. I did experiment just slightly by adding a teaspoon of a raspberry balsamic vinegar that I had on hand to the dough instead of the usual apple cider or distilled vinegar. Just to layer in the berry element. It didn’t make a huge difference, but it just added a certain sumpin’ sumpin’.
As with any berry dessert, you want to bake the pie, galette or cake until the berries begin to bubble and ooze some liquid. If you don’t do this, the juices will continue to run once the finished product has cooled. Not horrible, but generally not desirable.
This Mixed Berry Galette is soooooooooooooooooooo delicious, with it’s crispy, flakey crust and bursting berries that I decided to forego ice cream and crème fraiche. Don’t wait – just make this!
Yield: About 6 servings
1.5 cups (188 g.) unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 stick (8 Tablespoons or 114 g.) cold unsalted butter or vegan butter cut into 16 cubes
1 teaspoon of vinegar (distilled, apple cider or raspberry balsamic)
4 to 5 Tablespoons of ice water
4 cups (750 g.) cleaned berries (I used about 500 g of blueberries and filled in with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries to get to 750 g.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 medium lemon
Juice of 1/2 a medium lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
For brushing the pastry
1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon of cream OR just brush with some non-dairy “milk” and leave out the egg
A sprinkling of either granulated or castor sugar (Demerara would also work)
For the pastry
This can be done by hand, but I used a food processor. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt (or mix with a whisk or even your hand).
Add the butter or vegan butter, and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces of flour-coated butter. If doing this by hand, you can use a pastry cutter or two knives.
Drizzle in the vinegar and 4 Tablespoons of the ice water. Pulse just until the dough starts to come together. If doing by hand, mix until you take a Tablespoon of dough between your fingers and if you squeeze it, the dough holds together. Since flour and room humidity vary, you may need to add a bit more water. I didn’t, but it’s okay. Only add the absolute minimum! Using plastic wrap or waxed paper, push the dough together to form a disk. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for at least an hour or up to overnight.
When you are ready to make the galette, remove the dough from the fridge. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. This should make the dough more malleable and will prevent cracking when you roll it out.
For the Galette
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 to 220 C).
Mix the sugar with the salt and lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers.
Gently mix the berries with the flour, sugar mixture and lemon juice.
Roll out the dough onto a Silpat or parchment paper dusted with flour until it is an approximate 12-inch round. You can trim the edges for a more “finished” look or leave it rough if you prefer a more rustic look. Place the Silpat or parchment onto a baking sheet and carefully fill the center with the berry mixture. Push the berries out to about two inches from the edges. Then start folding over the dough, pleating it as you go around. The center should be left open.
Brush the pastry with either the egg wash or use the non-dairy “milk.” Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the berries are bubbling and the crust is browned. Now enjoy!