Cook on a Whim: Fresh Berry Galette

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Fresh berry galette. Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the abundance of fresh produce, especially berries. If you are a true local, then you know all about the wineberries that grow wild all over our gorgeous countryside.

You can pull over on the side of almost any back road around (with caution of course), and pick them right from their brambly bushes. They are very similar to a raspberry — even better, in my opinion. They aren’t as fuzzy and the seeds are smaller. My dad and I have been picking them for years on his property and making all kinds of delicious treats. Sorbet and galettes are at the top of the list, and this fresh berry galette was one of his favorites.

A galette is simply a free-form pie. It can be sweet or savory, and is just so simple and elegant. Fill it with any kind of fruit all year long; pear is one of my favorites in the fall (you can find that recipe on my blog). You can even fill a galette with jam, jelly or marmalade if fresh fruit is scarce. Sprinkle the top with some flaked almonds and you’re done. To make it even easier, feel free to use a good-quality store-bought crust.

Keep your eyes peeled for those wineberries and take someone you love on a thorn-filled, berry-picking adventure. You’ll have memories to last a lifetime.

Tip: My number-one tip with any recipe is to read the entire recipe before you begin. Make sure you have all the ingredients and enough time before you commit! I don’t always follow my own advice, and I often regret it when I don’t.

Fresh Berry Galette

Ingredients

For the flakiest crust:

2.5 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed and refrigerated until very, very cold

¼ cup to ½ cup ice water (you may not need all of it)

For the filling:

3 cups berries (any combo works here — if using large berries like strawberries, make sure to slice them first)

¼ cup white or brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Juice of ½ lemon

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

Instructions

To make the crust, place flour, salt and sugar in food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter cubes and pulse about 15 times until the butter is combined and the texture is crumbly/sandy. At this point, slowly drizzle ice water (being careful not to add any ice cubes) through the feed tube while pulsing.

Check dough after you’ve added ¼ cup of ice water. When you pinch the dough between your fingers, it should clump together but shouldn’t be very wet. Usually in drier months/seasons you’ll use the entire ½ cup, but in more humid months you will most likely only need ¼ cup.

Once the dough comes together, dump it onto a large piece of plastic wrap, knead it a few times, then press it together to form a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a week.

Place all filling ingredients in a bowl and toss gently to combine. Whisk egg and water until combined to make the egg wash.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake the galette, preheat oven to 400.

Roll chilled dough out onto a floured surface (I like to do it on the parchment I’ll bake it on later) until you have about a 12-inch circle and a thickness of about 1/4 inch. The edges don’t have to be perfect — just make sure to keep moving the dough and adding flour while rolling to make sure it isn’t sticking. Place rolled-out dough onto a large cookie sheet in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before adding the fruit filling.

Once dough has chilled, add the filling with all the juice. Leave about a 2-inch border so you have some dough to fold over the filling. After you add the filling, fold dough up and over it in loose pleats. Brush edges with egg wash and sprinkle with a light dusting of granulated or coarse sugar.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing (like a pizza!) and serving with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.
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