Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blueberry Galette

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Perhaps my favorite part of summer is the fruit. I can't pick a favorite - berries, cherries, peaches, apricots all vie for first place. Each of these fruits is heavenly just eaten plain (and most do meet their fate in that manner), but when I want to put something a little more fancy-pants on the table, my first choice is to make a fruit galette.

Last weekend we had the good fortune to pick 4.5 pounds (!) of blueberries from the 2 bushes in our tiny city backyard. Therefore, the recipe below focuses on these berries, but you can substitute just about any other fruit and find success. It also shares my technique for getting a good, flaky and tender crust. OK, perhaps I am a bit vain even about the crust, but after all my years of making crap pie crust, I am allowed a little pride.

This recipe is sized to make one or 2 small tartlets - enough for 2 or 4 people and also reflects my aversion to things sweetened. And, unlike the other monkey, I tend to be pretty loosey-goosey about exact measurements, so please bear with me and adjust to suit your taste and what looks right.

Blueberry Galette

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. cold water

2 cups blueberries
2 tsp sugar

  1. Measure the flour and salt into a food processor bowl. Pulse just to mix. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Pulse in quick bursts to just break the butter into smaller bits - so that it looks maybe granola-ish in terms of chunky size. You don't want to process down as fine as breadcrumbs like most recipes say, let alone into a smooth paste like I used to do.
  2. Add the water and pulse again once or twice to incorporate.
  3. Turn out the whole crumbly mess onto a lightly floured board or counter. It should look like this:
  4. Using the heel of your hand, smear the dough, always working in one direction to flatten the butter chunks within the flour. Do this just enough to transform the pile of crumbs into a generally cohesive mass.
  5. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. (if you leave it longer, it gets harder to work with - you might let it warm up for 5 min or so if you find that you have a solid cube of butterflour on your hands).
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  7. Roll out the dough into a circle, about 1/8" thick and trim the edges so that they're smooth
  8. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. you can skip the parchment paper, but it makes the pan much easier to wash in the case of a fruit juice spill... trust me, I know.
  9. Sprinkle the dough ever so lightly with sugar. I have a theory that this helps seal it, but, hey, I am known to make things up.
  10. Now that the dough is on the pan (ask me how I know this one), pile the berries evenly, leaving about 1 1/2 " margin all around. I generally go for a pile of fruit about 1" tall all around, unless it's an apple galette, in which case the thing is square, the apples are very thinly sliced and it is maybe 1/2" tall at best.
  11. Sprinkle again lightly with sugar, then fold in the edges of the dough, pleating it as needed.
  12. Bake for 28 min. or until your crust is browned the way you like it.


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