Pie is the quintessential seasonal dessert. In fall, there’s tart apple pie. In winter, pumpkin, sweet potato or pecan pie. In spring, strawberry rhubarb. And in summer, sweet, sweet berries make for glorious pastry perfection.
No matter what ingredients are in season at your local farmers market (or even in your local grocery store), something delicious can be concocted using the same simple pie crust that every baker should have as a staple in their recipe catalogue.
My only issue with pie is the same thing I love about it, that darn (was it simple?) pie crust.
No matter how many times I make pie, I have yet to perfect my pie crust. It’s never more than 3 or 4 ingredients, and incredibly easy to put together, so why do we all struggle with it? It’s because the butter needs to be exactly the right temperature, because you can never add too much water, because it can only be worked just the right amount before it gets tough.
And don’t even get me started on using Crisco – I’ve heard the rationale, that it creates a more tender, flaky crust, just substitute it for half the butter and you’ll keep the flavor. But Crisco skeeves me out, it’s unnatural and tasteless, and I’ll take a buttery crust over a flaky crust any day. I am and always will be an all butter pie-crust girl.
So when tasked with making a summer dessert, I immediately start dreaming of pie. But then the internal debate starts, no it’s too time consuming, but it’s worth it, no it’s too hot to get the pie crust just right, but blueberry pie sounds so perfect And then the light comes on, and all doubts subside when I think – but what about a blueberry galette?
Don’t be intimidated by the French word, a galette is just a flat pastry that is incredibly easy to put together and just as delicious as pie. It’s like pie’s easy-going, chilled-out, younger brother. In fact, sometimes it’s even better than pie, for when you want less crust and really want your filling to shine.
The crust can be made with a couple pumps of a Cuisinart (I provided a by-hand method as well), and the filling requires one bowl. It’s so simple to assemble, just role the dough, pour the filling on, and pat up the sides. If you don’t have a rolling pin, feel free to use a wine bottle covered in plastic (as I did). It’s that easy!
While I will continue to strive to achieve pie crust perfection, my new go to for a simple dessert, where I want to make my filling center stage, will be the galette. Bon appetite!
Recipe: Blueberry-Lemon Galette
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 11 tbs cold, unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tbs whole milk
- 4 cups blueberries (~2 cartons)
- 1/4 granulated sugar (add up to 2 tbs more if your berries are very tart)
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 large lemon
- 1 tbs all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tbs granulated sugar
Once dough has come together, turn dough onto a floured surface and mold together into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 4 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or butter and flour your baking sheet – this tart will stick). Remove the dough from the refrigerator; and let stand until it is still cold, but workable.
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface, and roll until it is 13-14 inches in diameter. Continue to check underneath and add more flour as necessary, as this dough is sticky. Don’t worry if it’s not a perfect round or if your edges are a little jagged, makes the galette more rustic.
Transfer the dough round to the prepared baking sheet.
While the dough is chilling, add the blueberries to a medium bowl and toss with the sugar. Add the juice and zest of the lemon, honey, flour and salt and evenly toss.
Spoon the prepared fruit into the middle of the dough round. Fold the edges of the dough over the blueberries so that it covers the fruit by about 2 inches. Work your way around the crust, creating pleats. Make sure there are no holes on the side of your crust as the filling will leak. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with your egg wash. Sprinkle on granulated sugar directly over the fruit and crust.
Bake the tart until the crust is golden brown, about 50-55 minutes. Some juice my seep out onto the pan, just spoon that back over the fruit while it’s cooking, like your basting a turkey. Transfer to a rack and let it cool. Serve at room temperature (with vanilla ice cream if desired).