There comes a time in every Canadian’s home when we finally reach our breaking point. Winter just seems to drag on and on, and even when it does start to get a little warmer and the robins start to make their nests in our shrubs and trees the cold winds and dark dreary clouds seem to hang over us incessantly.
I reached my winter breaking point in January, but for most of us hardy northern-types we hit the wall by March. It is now April and it’s just so cold and gloomy, that I felt a huge need to bake something summery (that most likely would include lemons) and bring a burst of colour and joy into my otherwise grey existence.
I decided to break out the frozen berries from Costco and whip up my very first galette. Bursts of colour and the loveliness of a rustic tart.
It’s time for some Bumbleberry (or Triple Berry) Galette.
This week I have finally started to pull out of the cloud that was most likely the influenza virus, 3.5 weeks later I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like I completely missed an entire month of my life, walking around in a fog and sleepiness. I did my best to keep up with my baking as much as possible, as well as my ‘other’ work, but it’s been a tough haul both ways. I’m so happy that I’m finally getting better!! WOOT!!
This has also been a week of quiet reflection and dreaming about where I’d like this journey to lead me. Unfortunately I haven’t come to any decisions or conclusions, other than the fact that I would adore owning my own little bakery/cafe that offers only artisan breads, homemade desserts made from locally sourced ingredients and a separate little kitchen attached that could make all of the gluten-free goodness that I know exists but no one makes. I told the hubby that if someone happens to pass away and leave us $100,000 (feel free to adopt me if you’d like) then I’d like to use that money to open my ‘Little White Kitchen Bakery’ with a big window, wooden floors, brick walls, a huge glass window so everyone can see what’s happening in the kitchen, and the best food around. Darryl agreed to that nonsense and I’m holding him to it.
A girl can dream, can’t she?
For now I am hunkered down in my little kitchen, baking foods that intrigue me and make me happy, and even though I don’t really like berries or pie, this Bumbleberry Galette was a delight to my senses. The bright and vibrant colours of the berries and the buttery-ness of the crust made it a joy to make and serve to the hubby’s office staff.
I made the galette dough in my food processor, and I have to tell you that it was a revelation!!! Darryl bought me a fancy schmancy industrial sized Cusinart food processor for my birthday and I’ve been delighting in it ever since. I have always used a pastry cutter or two knives to make my pie dough, but did you know that it’s a billion times easier in a food processor? Who knew?
The butter and shortening are added into the flour while they’re cold, and then you pulse the food processor just until it resembles coarse meal, with some pea-sized chunks thrown in for good measure. Of course you can still use the pastry cutter for this whole process if you want to, and it will be just as fabulous. I have made pie crust by hand for 23 years now, so having a machine do the work for me was quite a treat.
Of course a summer dessert would include the ingredient I love to hate…..LEMONS!!! Good grief, I have never used this many lemons in my whole life, but this blog seems to have brought out the lemon in me.
I decided that I wanted to fully utilize the oils of the lemon zest instead of just tossing them into the berries, so I rubbed the by hand into the sugar before I added the cornstarch and before I added the whole mess into the berries. I think this is my new favourite way to add lemon zest, not only because it smells so wonderful, but it’s fun to do. It’s like playing with sand and squeezing it between your fingers.
I know I just posted a lot of photos, but I couldn’t help myself. This galette and these berries were just so darn photogenic and I couldn’t help myself.
Ok, here are a few tips from the galette-making newbie.
First off, make sure your dough is COLD when you’re working on this, or else it gets a little gooey from the melting butter. I do think I put a little too much water into the dough, but I followed a recipe and it worked out just fine as long as I kept it chilled.
Secondly, if you’re using frozen berries I would recommend thawing them out just a little in the microwave before dumping them onto the dough. Frozen berries take longer to heat up and then bake into a pie, so I figured that I’d give them a headstart and thaw them out a bit first. I just put them into a glass bowl and microwaved them on high for a minute or two, just enough to lightly thaw them, not to cook them.
Thirdly, when you’re folding up the dough over the berries, make sure to plug and holes or cover and cracks. Not joking here. My first galette of the day was a bubbled-over mess of blackened berry sauce. Thankfully I had lined the baking pan with parchment paper or that baby was going to have to be chiseled off. Berries bubble a lot and make a lot of sauce, so just take precautions. That is all.
Pastry~ (makes a single pie crust)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
10 tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 1/2 tbsp. shortening, chilled and cut into 2 pieces
about 1/4 cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor fit with a metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar and salt together until blended. Add the chunks of cold butter and shortening to the bowl. Pulse on short bursts until the butter and shortening blended in and the mixture resembles coarse meal and has some pea-sized chunks in it.
Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition. After adding 5-6 tablespoons of water, pulse the food processor for a few seconds at a time, until a smooth dough starts to form. If you find the dough doesn’t pull into a ball and looks dry, add another tablespoon of cold water and repeat the pulsing process.
Remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour or two before rolling.
18 ounces of frozen or fresh mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
1/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp. corn starch
a little coarse sugar for decorating
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a glass bowl, pour the berries and if frozen then microwave for a minute or two until slightly thawed.
In another bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until moist and fragrant. Add the cornstarch to the sugar and mix well. Pour the sugar/cornstarch mixture into the berries and mix gently until blended. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle or oval about 13 inches wide (I used an oval so the galette would fit onto my jelly-roll pan). The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Don’t worry if it’s not a perfect shape, since this tart is supposed to be rustic looking.
Place the rolled dough onto a pan (preferably with low sides) that’s been lined with parchment paper.
Pour the berries into the center of the dough, spread it out just a little (to about an area 9 inches wide) and gently fold up the sides of the dough to cover about 1-2 inches of the berries. (I think I folded mine up about 3 inches, but that was personal preference) The dough will pleat as you fold it over a little at a time.
Before baking, gently brush the pastry with some water and sprinkle the coarse sugar on it to coat.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is gently browned and the filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Serve lightly warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, ice cream and a some sifted icing sugar.
This galette is best served the day it is made.