Some friends came over for a casual dinner on Sunday. Because the weather was so steamy, I made cold zucchini soup with basil, followed by grilled local swordfish with a fresh corn and tomato salsa, and potato and arugula salad on the side. I wanted something blueberry for dessert, and decided on a galette. These rustic, free form tarts have the perfect balance of crust and filling. And I like the fact that they are quick to make. It’s okay if their shape isn’t perfect — that is part of their charm!
It has taken me a while to find just the right crust for a galette. I had tried a number of variations. One contained cornmeal for crunch, but I thought it was too heavy. Another had a lot of butter, plus shortening. It tasted great, but became difficult to handle in a hot kitchen. I finally came up with this basic one which is easy to make and stays crisp even under the juicy fruit.
Try the galette with other summer fruits. I don’t think I have to tell you that this tastes great with creme fraiche or sour cream.
Serves 6 to 8
1-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg, separated
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1. Make the pastry: In a food processor or large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the salt. Add the butter and pulse or blend with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of water. Pulse the machine or stir with a fork until the mixture just begins to come together and form a ball. If it seems dry, add a little more water. Do not over mix.
2. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate at least one hour or up to 3 days.
3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest, cinnamon and salt.
4. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Butter a large baking sheet.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 15-inch circle. Center the dough on the baking sheet. Pile the blueberry mixture in the center of the dough leaving a 1-1/2-inch border all around. Dot the filling with the butter. Pleating it as you go, fold the border of the dough over the filling.
6. Beat the egg white and brush some of it over the dough. Sprinkle it with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar.
7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Slide the galette onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with confectioner’s sugar.