Feb 5, 2020

Recommend: G A L E T T E

Baking is not in my wheelhouse. Homemade pie crust for me is a dream. My Grandma Minnie Rodewald, on my Mom's side of the family, was an amazing pie baker.  Her homemade pie crust was amazing, the main ingredient, years and years of experience and love, love, love. 

My history with baking and specifically baking a galette is recent. 

When I moved to Jacksonville three years ago, one of my neighbors invited me over for coffee and dessert and that was my first time enjoying a galette. It was a combination of fresh strawberries and blueberries, served with coconut ice cream, it was delightful.  

My neighbor shared that she had been to cooking school, her galette was beautiful and so delicious. The strawberries were cut all the same width, they were lined perfectly in the round shape of the overall round crust and the creases around the edge looked like they had been done by a machine, they were perfect. The indents in the pie crust were the same size, the same shape, I wish I had photographed the galette before enjoying it.  My neighbor also made her own pie crust and if you are an expert at pie crust, that adds another layer of delicious intensity to the overall dish or pastry or pie. Thanks Melissa for the invite. 

Ever since that invitation I've been experimenting with my own version of a galette. And thanks to YOUTUBE videos and copious amount of reviews online I've learned a few tricks and tips about making a wonderful, easy, delicious dessert. And trust me with the easy part. The biggest challenge is finding beautiful ripe, juicy, fresh fruits. 

I stared with an easy recipe, the 5 Minute Rustic Fruit Galette. I will be sure to include the link at end of this post. I also had to work with store bought pie crust, and over time I've improved my galette dessert even with store bought crust.  So far my all time favorite was a tie between a plum galette and one made with the most juicy, sweet and perfectly ripe mangoes ever.  Whatever fruit you decide to use, it has to be fresh, just ripe, juicy and firm.  I've also used apples and peaches, the mango was definitely my favorite. 

To get the crunchy, crusty galette, especially on the underside of the dessert, one recommendation that has proven successful, is to bake the galette on top of a cookie sheet that is upside down in the oven. You basically put cookie sheet in oven upside down, and place galette on top of the cookie sheet. Use parchment paper so the crust does not stick. There is something about the heat of the metal that gets the bottom part of the galette well baked and crunchy.  And be sure to put the cookie sheet in the oven as you are preheating, you want the metal to be as hot as possible.  

You have to be the judge on how long the galette actually bakes, and this depends on how sophisticated your oven is.  I have a plain electric, no convection, no fan oven. So the upside down cookie sheet tip works well for me; I usually bake the galette well past the 12 to 15 minutes detailed in the recipe, usually 18 minutes for sure. 

Another tip, when you build the contents of the galette, spread a thin layer of your favorite marmalade or fruit jam on the pie crust before you layer the fruit. I've done this 3 times and it adds a hint of whatever flavor you are using, boysenberry, pineapple, orange, etc. Again, the layer of whatever your spread has to be thin. 

Whatever fruit you use for the galette, the slices should be thin, slender, you don't want to overload the pie crust. Even when the fruit is ripe, I've always added a packet of raw sugar and tossed the fruit with sugar before layering in the pie crust. Some tips call for sprinkling the fruit with a few drops of fresh lime juice. 

You have to come up with you own idea of how to create a circular boundary for the fruit, leaving enough of the pie crust to actually fold over and pinch so you have the crust folds that hold in the wonderful, delicious fruit. Too much of a pie crust for the folds is not good, not enough is also not good. Watch a few videos and figure out what you are comfortable with. I still have a long ways to go on how to better pinch the pie crust dough, resulting in elegant and consistent folds. I'm going to practice this for sure. 

The last hint I learned that also works well, at about minute 15 of baking, I pull the galette out of the oven and brush all the folds and fruit with a thin, thin layer of maple syrup. And thin is the operative word.  Basically you are painting the galette with the sugary mixture of the maple syrup to create a bronze caramelized texture and shine to the overall presentation.  Some people use egg wash, I don't want any part of an egg on my fruit dessert, try the maple syrup, it works. 

I learned all of the above tips by watching YOUTUBE videos and reading online reviews. I have a long ways to go, I'm certainly enjoying all the trial galettes shared with family and friends. If you try the recipe send me a photo of your galette. Bon Appetit  ~ Buen Provecho !