Sunday, August 23, 2009

Berry Galette...Sort of?

So, this week's Baking Beauties Challenge was to make a berry galette; perfect to make use of our in season berries! Well, this week I cheated a little. I didn't mean too, but I hate wasting food and I had a perfectly delicious sheet of sponge cake sitting around waiting to be eaten.
What could be better than sponge cake with berries? Well, I'll tell you. Sponge cake, drizzled with lavender syrup, filled with macerated berries and topped with whipped cream and crushed pistachios. Yep, it was good.
I used a mixture of raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb, which I mixed with a touch of sugar and honey. The result was divine. I would have been happy eating the berries alone.

The sponge cake I made was the same recipe used for the French Strawberry Cake, which was a Baking Beauties challenge a couple of month's ago. The cake is a little dry, which is why I decided to drizzle the layers with lavender syrup.
What I really enjoyed about the dessert was that the flavour of the berries came through first and foremost. The hint of lavender followed. And it all ended the way any good dessert should, with the coolness and richness of whipped cream.
I figured my fellow Baking Beauties wouldn't mind that I strayed from the recipe a bit. We have made the galette dough before (with the pizza galette), so I didn't avoid trying something new. Maybe I will try the actual berry galette a little later in the season. I imagine using some ripe dark plums. Yum! I love summer.

Here is the actual Berry Galette recipe. If you want to subsitute the sponge, use the recipe found under the French Strawberry Cake post.

Galette Dough
Makes Enough For Two 8 inch Galettes
The cornmeal in this wonderfully buttery dough not only gives it a bit of crunch, it makes it crisp enough to stand up to soft and syrupy fillings and sturdy enough to be rolled to extreme thinness. You can use this dough to line a tart pan, but it is particularly well suited to rustic tarts called Galettes - - flat, open-face, free-form tarts whose edges are folded over the filling like the ruffled top of a drawstring purse.

The dough is made quickly either by hand or in a food processor and produces enough for two Galettes.

3 tablespoons sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk)
1/3 cup (approximately) ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces

To Make The Dough By Hand: stir the sour cream and 1/.3 cup ice water together in a small bowl and set aside. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a fork to mix. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl, tossing them once or twice just to coat them with flour. With a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, aiming for pieces of butter that range in size from bread crumbs to small peas. The smaller pieces will make the dough tender, the larger ones will make it flaky.

Sprinkle the cold sour cream mixture over the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork to evenly distribute it. After you've added all of the sour cream, the dough should be moist enough to stick together when pressed; if it's not, add additional cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time. With your hands, gather the curds of dough together. ( You'll have a soft, malleable dough, the kind you might want to overwork.)

Chilling The Dough: turn the dough out of the bowl and divide it in half. Press each piece of dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To Make The Dough In A Food Processor: stir the sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water together in a small bowl; set aside. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in the work of a processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse to combine. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and pulse 8 to 10 times or until the mixture is speckled with pieces of butter that vary in size from bread crumbs to peas. With the machine running, add the sour cream mixture and process just until the dough forms soft, moist curds.

Chilling The Dough: Remove the dough from the processor, divide it in half, and press each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

Storing: the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two, or it can be wrapped airtight and frozen for a month. Thaw, still wrapped, in the refrigerator. It is convenient to roll the dough into rounds, place parchment between each round, and freeze them wrapped in plastic; this way you'll need only about 20 minutes to defrost a round of dough at room temperature before it can be filled, folded into a Galette, and baked.

Berry Galette

Makes 4 To 6 Servings

This, as heirloom cookbooks used to say, is a keeper. It is so simple and inviting and so enjoyable to construct that you'll find yourself turning to it frequently. It's called a Galette because it's flat, open-faced and free-form - - the crust is rolled into a circle, the filling is piled in the center, and the edges of the crust are turned in and ruffled. The filling can be mixed berries, as suggested here (if you include strawberries, don't include many, as they're too watery), peeled soft fruits, like peaches or apricots, or, in fall and winter, tart apples or sweet pears.

1/2 recipe Galette Dough, chilled
1 1/2 cups mixed berries (or cut-up peeled fruit)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into an 11-inch circle that's about 1/8 in. thick. Since the dough is soft, you'll need to lift it now and then and toss some more flour under it and over the top. Roll up the dough around your rolling pin and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.

Spread the berries over the dough, leaving a 2-to 3- inch border. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar over the fruit and drizzle on the honey, if you're using it. Cut the butter into slivers and scatter it on top of the fruit. Fold the uncovered border of dough up over the filling, allowing the dough to pleat as you lift it up and work your way around the Galette. (Because you're folding a wide edge of dough onto a smaller part of the circle, it will pleat naturally - - just go with it.) Dip a pastry brush in water, give the edge of the crust a light coating, and then sprinkle the crust with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.

Baking The Galette: Bake the Galette for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the Galette rest on the sheet for 10 minutes. Slip a wide spatula or a small baking sheet under the Galette and slide it onto the cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, cutting the tart with a pizza wheel or a sharp knife.

Storing: the Galette is best eaten the day it is made.

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