12 July 2010

balsamic strawberry galette

While I did not actually make it to the farmers market on Saturday morning due to the rain, I just picked up some strawberries from the happiest place on earth to make the winning goody from the Poll. 47% of the voters wanted a galette, so here it is! What exactly is a galette, anyways? Basically, it's a free form pie. Instead of forming the crust in a pie plate and worrying about crimping a crust, you basically lay out the dough on a sheet pan, put some filling in the middle, and fold over the edges to create a nice rustic crust. The filling can be just about anything, and summer is great for it because of all the fresh fruit around. In this case, it's strawberries that've been soaking in sugar and balsamic vinegar for a while. You can also use peaches, berries, apples... just make sure it's fresh and sweet and not too juicy so it doesn't make the crust soggy (like I don't think watermelon would work).

I should note that I split the dough and made two mini galettes. Each would make a modest dessert for 4, or a generous dessert for 2. For the first one, I let the dough rest one hour and the berries macerate for the same amount of time. This turned out to be soggier and the berries were okay. I didn't get to make the second set until tonight, so the berries were macerating and the other half of the crust was sitting in the fridge for an extra day. I also made sure to keep the dough as cold as possible, throwing it back into the freezer to chill between steps. And it was downright delicious - not too juicy, the crust was crunchier - more airy and flaky. Quite pleased with the result. Balsamic Strawberry Galette

1 pie crust (recipe to follow)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
3 Tbsp vanilla sugar, split
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp flour
1 tsp ground nuts (in this case almonds)
egg, beaten
turbinado or clear sanding sugar

Put berries in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp sugar and vinegar. Macerate for an hour (or more, and if you read the paragraph before the recipe, you'll know I macerated in the fridge overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out half the pie crust until about 1/8" thick then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put into the freezer for a few minutes to chill. Strain the strawberries (keep the juicy goodness and reduce down for a yummy sauce later.)

Take back out, then sprinkle the flour, ground nuts, and the other tbsp of sugar in the middle. Make sure to leave an edge that's at least 1 1/2" wide. Placing the berries in the middle on top of the flour, sugar, nut mix. Fold the edges of the dough over the strawberries. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden. (reminder: this is for a half recipe)
(above: you can see I folded the edge pretty tightly so it didn't cover much of the berries. you don't see the pleating much after it baked up, but it sure was flaky and delish! the great thing about being rustic is you can make the edge/crust as big or little as you like!)

Pie Dough
adapted from Gastronomer's Guide

1 stick butter, cut into small pieces and frozen
1 1/4 C flour
2 Tbsp vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C ice water (give or take)

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt with a whisk. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal -- there should be some butter clumps that are the size of small peas, but most should be pretty small. Chill in freezer for a few minutes just to make sure the butter doesn't melt.

Form a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in 2 Tbsp ice water. Mix with a wooden spoon, adding more water 1 Tbsp at a time until dough starts coming together. Form into 1 disc (or 2 small ones like I did), wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at LEAST 1 hour - I recommend overnight - before rolling.

UPDATED: This dough is really easy to make with a food processor, too. Basically you'll want to cube the butter and freeze. Then combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse a couple times to combine. Add butter to the dry ingredients and pulse until it's a coarse, pebbly texture. Some pieces should be the size of peas. Add water 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing a couple times with each addition, until a ball forms. Form into a ball, flatten, wrap, and refrigerate.


  1. It was really yummy and completely validates my strategy of stuffing the ballot box in your poll.

  2. It was super yummy! I may have to try this one myself.

  3. Thanks guys! Glad the recipe worked out for you, too, donna :-)