MIXED BERRY GALETTE–VALENTINE’S DAY DO-OVER

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Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries baked in an all-butter super flaky crust

 

 

All week long I’ve been anxiously awaiting my family’s arrival this Thursday night, perfect timing for Valentine’s Day. Not to mention I miss them terribly and haven’t seen them for 2 weeks. I’d planned a super nice menu and had a whole host of activities scheduled (and booked). Snow storms in New York AND Birmingham (2 @ 10-inches and 1 @ 2-inches, respectively), plus the threat of freezing rain down here has had me on pins and needles for days. The big storm  this Thursday up north threw air travel into a tizzy and my guys have been rescheduled three times now due to cancellations and over-booking. Thanks, Delta! So glad I’m a frequent flyer with you! It’s Sunday and I’ve just heard they won’t make it in now until later this evening.  So much for planning. My poor guys will be sitting in the airport for hours after getting there at the crack of dawn to be on time! That’s all the more reason to have a special treat for them when they get here.  

The threat of ice and snow this week brought the Birmingham school system to a grinding halt, so for 3 days my test kitchen and photo sets were operating at a diminished capacity and consequently there was a good deal of un-used, just-this-side-of-rotting produce. I found myself with a ton of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. My husband and kids love fruit pies, especially with ice cream or whipped cream and I had all the raw materials to make something yummy. In fact, for a book-cover photo shoot that I actually got to style (yay!) I’d made an extra batch of pie pastry that I didn’t need (3 pies a charm!) and found it in the fridge. 

I’m including the pastry recipe here to make it more convenient for you to find. And in case of a dessert emergency (don’t we all have them occasionally? I know I do), the recipe below makes enough pastry for 2 galettes–1 for now and 1 for the freezer. It’s all so super easy and something you can throw together pretty quickly–especially since it’s kind of amazing warm. I’d show you a cut piece, but my family still isn’t here yet… In fact, if you make yours now, you’ll probably be eating it before us.  

MIXED BERRY GALETTE

Makes One 10-inch Galette

4 cups sliced strawberries

1 cup blueberries

1 cup blackberries 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

Pinch of salt

1 disc Flaky All-Butter Crust (1/2 recipe) (chilled but pliable)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375° and arrange a rack in the center of the oven. In a large bowl, gently toss the berries with the lemon juice, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 cup flour and the salt and let sit for 10 minutes, until the juices just begin to run.

2. On a floured board, roll the pastry to a neat (-ish) 13-inch round and ease it into a 9-inch pie dish or oven proof skillet (I used a non-stick skillet, so be sure to use a plastic knife and pie server to cut). Scrape the fruit and any accumulated juices into the pastry and spread into an even layer. Fold the sides up over the filling and brush with water. Sprinkle with sugar. If so desired, and you don’t mind using some of the 2nd pastry disc, roll out a small bit and stamp out a shape to place on top. (Just be sure with the next galette you use a smaller baking dish and 1 cup less filling). Brush it with water, sprinkle with sugar and place it over the fruit. Bake the galette until golden and bubbling for about 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream, creme fraiche or sweetened whipped cream. 

FLAKY ALL-BUTTER CRUST

Makes 2 (9 to 10-inch) Single OR 1 Double crust  

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, chilled

1/2 cup ice water

 

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and pulse in 1 second bursts 5 times. The butter should be the size of small peas. Lift the lid, pour in the water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the dough is moistened, but doesn’t form a ball. Turn the crumbs onto a work surface,  and gather into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 parts.  Flatten each into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

 

STONE FRUIT GALETTE, NEVER ENOUGH OF A GOOD THING

Making my way through the farmers’ market in August puts me into stone-fruit sensory overload on (healthy) par with my annual pre-Halloween trip to Economy Candy. Of the peach variety, there are Saturn, yellow, white and donut peaches (also yellow … Continue reading

VINTAGE BLUEBERRY PIES

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Blueberry Pies

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Vintage tools of the trade: wooden bowl, muffin tin, pastry blender, spoon and rolling pin

 Sometimes a few simple ingredients can inspire a great dish. Other times, it may actually be the dish itself that inspires the great—wait…that sounds a bit like an Odyssey-type riddle (maybe Monty Python?) In any case, I’ve been on my own quest of sorts—a quest to find beautiful and unusual tabletop objects and kitchen equipment. I’m really not one to fetish-ize stuff or even collect things really, but lately, I’m finding it hard to resist yard sales, junk shops and the occasional antique shop. 

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Blueberry pie fixings: blueberries, ginger, lemon and brown sugar

 

 

 

 

 

The more food writing, styling and shooting I do on my own, the greater need for interesting props I have. On a recent trip upstate, I hit every joint on the way up and came away with a few lovely things. One was a vintage square muffin tin made by Echo from the ‘40’s. It was filled with hazelnut coffee beans and scented tea candles—the shop owner’s shabby-chic “Great holiday decorating tip”—which immediately gave me a headache. (She refunded me $2.50 for the beans and candles that I left behind.)  Down the road, I found a few original Danish modern serving spoons, a vintage pastry blender, wooden board and an amazing Bennington bowl all for $6. Of course they’re no Golden Forest Dinnerware collection by Dibbern, but I like them, they’re interesting, purposeful and took some effort to find.

It’s finally sunk in that beautiful objects can function as “muses” as well as decoration. When I hold something in my hands, I know exactly what I will do with it. The muffin tin would be perfect for these little blueberry pies—it just needed a good soak and scrub to get rid of the hazelnut coffee /vanilla scented candle smell before baking.

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Assembling the blueberry pies

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Blueberry pies ready for the oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLUEBERRY PIES

ACTIVE: 30 MINUTES; TOTAL: 2 HRS

 

6 SERVINGS

  

FLAKY ALL-BUTTER PASTRY

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, chilled

1/2 cup ice water

FILLING

2 cups blueberries

1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Granulated sugar for sprinkling

 

  1. Make the pastry: In a large bowl, using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and cut it in, until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Add the ice water and using a wooden spoon, gently stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the crumbs onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Form into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Alternatively, use the food processor: pulse the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and pulse in 1 second bursts 5 times. The butter should be the size of small peas. Lift the lid, pour in the water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the dough is moistened, but doesn’t form a ball. Knead briefly, wrap and chill.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375° and position a rack nearest the bottom. Spray a 6-muffin muffin pan with vegetable spray. On a floured surface, roll the dough ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough into six 7-inch rounds. Gather the scraps and gently press together to make more rounds. Transfer the rounds to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Ease the pastry into the muffin cups, carefully pressing it into the corners. Patch any tears if necessary.
  3. Make the filling: In a bowl combine the berries, ginger, lemon zest and juice, the brown sugar and cornstarch. Spoon the filling into the pastry, mounding it slightly above the surface. Bring the edges of the pastry together and pinch to seal. Brush the tops with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the pies on the bottom rack until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is deeply golden, about 1 hour. Cover the tops with foil if they brown too quickly. Let cool, then carefully transfer the pies to a platter. Serve warm.