Did you know, I’ve been swooning over pictures and photographs of galettes for ever! It took a trip to my fruit vendor to find out that most of my favourite berries were going (if not already) out of season, to wonder why I hadn’t gotten round to baking one. Over the months, I’d been freezing batches of berries, and so many that my berry-packed freezer bags are starting to slide off my over-packed freezer shelves. So it was time. Time for some super berry therapy!
To me, galettes are truly a thing to gaze upon – they look so unpolished, so deliberately unintended in form. Like something you had to put together on the fly, or didn’t give enough thought to. Yet, for a treat that looks like it was meant for a casual tea affair, it’s raw, rustic beauty holds up just as well among the usual array of desserts for any occasion. And would you know it, berry galettes are my soft spot!
How could anyone not take to warm, layered mounds of cooked berries oozing with caramelised juices over a light, buttery, almost puff-like, flaky pastry? Add dollops of vanilla ice cream, and it becomes a dessert to die for! Something warm with something cold, something tart with something sweet, something flaky and buttery with something creamy and velvety smooth…. What’s not to love, really?
Naturally, you can fill galettes with your favourite choice of fruits – peaches are delicious as well. If you’re using citrus fruits, such as berries, it might be a good idea to do a taste test so that you can adjust the amount of sugar, especially if you have a batch of really sourish berries.
A galette is essentially a free-form pie. What is lovely about it is it’s utter simplicity. There’s no need to press the dough into a pie dish. Just roll out, fill up the centre with your choice of fruit (which usually involves no pre-cooking), and pleat (or fold) the edges over the fruit, leaving the centre exposed. That’s it!
In fact, I wonder why I didn’t get onto the galette bandwagon much sooner, like years ago? I think once you’ve experienced just how easy and versatile these are to make, you might actually be tempted to abandon the traditional pie forms in favour of the galette.
If you haven’t yet gotten around to making your first galette, do bookmark this for your next bake – I promise you’ll love it! Oh, by the way, even if you’re not into galettes, do try the pastry dough. It is really, really good! You can use it for tarts, pies, or in place of anything that calls for pastry dough (other than puff pastry). If you prefer making traditional pies, check out this blueberry crumble pie or apple pie in my blog.
This recipe yields enough dough to make three 9-inch (20-cm) pies or galettes. The leftover dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and kept in the refrigerator (for a couple of weeks) or in the freezer (for up to 2 months) until your next use.
Mixed Berry Galette
For the Flaky Pastry Dough
- 4 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 380 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup ice-cold water
For the Berry Filling
- 4 cups assorted berries (blackberries, blueberries, lingonberries)
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp plain flour
For Egg Wash and Sprinkle (Optional)
- 1 egg, mixed with 2 tsp of water (for egg wash)
- Some turbinado or demerara sugar (for sprinkling)
- Some icing sugar (for dusting)
To Make the Dough
- In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour and salt in the mixer bowl, on low speed (speed 2 on a Kitchen Aid mixer), about 1 minute. With the paddle still turning, scatter the butter cubes over the top of the flour, and continue to blend until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, about the size of peas. Next, drizzle the ice-cold water over the flour-butter mixture, until the dough just starts to come together. It should be quite clumpy.
- Using your hands, gather the dough together into a ball. Transfer the dough to a work surface, divide into 3 equal portions, and press each into a flat disk. Wrap all 3 discs in plastic or cling wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes - you will need only one disc of dough. (see Recipe Notes below on how to store the leftover dough).
To Roll Out the Dough
- Pre-heat the oven to 215 deg C (425 deg F). Line a baking sheet with parchment or baking paper.
- Place one disc of pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to make a 13-inch round sheet (sparingly dust the surface with flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking). Fold the rolled out dough sheet in half, transfer to the baking paper on the prepared baking tray and unfold.
To Fill and Bake the Galette
- In a mixing bowl, lightly stir together the berries, lemon juice, sugar and flour. Spoon the filling onto the rolled out dough, leaving a 2-inch (5-cm) border uncovered around the edge. Fold the edge up and over the filling, forming loose pleats. Brush pastry dough with egg wash, and sprinkle over the dough with turbinado or demerara sugar.
- Bake in the centre of the oven until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and transfer the galette to a cooling rack, and let cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve. Best eaten warm, dusted with icing sugar, and with generous dollops of vanilla ice-cream.