My father is born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He knows of a secret location deep in the woods where wild blackberries grow and each summer spends hours filling large white buckets with tiny black fruit. The surplus is used predominantly for jam. I think it is the best jam in the world and always have some when I visit, but that is usually only once a year.
The berries at the store are fantastic right now and I thought it would be fun to make my own jam but I live in a large city and pay $4.99 for approximately eight organic blackberries so purchasing enough to prepare homemade jam would drain my savings account. Instead I decide to cook my favorite summer dessert, the galette.
The galette, an open faced tart, is the lazy way to make pie. The cooked berries wind up tasting like juicy, sweet homemade jam. An all butter crust is crisp on the bottom and flaky on the top. It tastes just like pie, and since there is only one crust and half the filling, it has half the fat and sugar of regular pie.
The sweeter your fruit the less sugar you’ll have to add which is why it is optimum to use seasonal fruit when making a tart like this. I combined raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries for this filling. Scrumptious. Because the fruit is so fantastic I used only 2 tablespoons of sugar for the entire dessert. That is only one teaspoon of sugar per serving. Not bad.
If making a crust feels intimidating, just go for it. The only way to get better is practice. It’s mainly flour and butter so it won’t taste bad. It is important to allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for the flour glutens to relax and butter to chill before rolling it out.
Brush the top crust with beaten egg white so the look of the final crust is golden brown and glossy. In this recipe, you will separate the white from the yolk and the yolk will be used to coat the inside of the dough before pouring on the fruit. This shields the dough from fruit juices and makes sure the crust cooks up perfectly crisp.
Summer Berry Galette
1 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter, cubed and frozen for 30 minutes
3-4 tablespoons ice cold water
4 cups berries
zest of 1 lemon
2-3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg, yolk and white separated
For crust: Cut butter into small cubes and freeze for 20-30 minutes. Place a few ice cubes into a bowl with 1/2 cup water and hold in the refrigerator to keep cold. Place flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the s-blade. Add cold butter and pulse until the butter combines with the flour looking like a mixture of sizes between panko breadcrumbs and frozen peas. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and pulse quickly to combine. Remove lid and squeeze dough together in your palm. If it holds together its ready, if it still looks dry add 1 more tablespoon of cold water and quickly pulse.
Spread out a large sheet of plastic and carefully place dough mixture into the center. Use the sides of the plastic to press the dough into itself and come together in a cohesive disk shape. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, for filling place berries in a large glass bowl with lemon zest, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir and set aside to marinate.
Heat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack on lowest level. Roll out a piece of parchment paper large enough to fit on a rimmed baking sheet. Place parchment on counter and sprinkle with flour. Roll dough out on parchment paper to 12-13″ circle, rolling from the center outwards. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg yolk on the surface of the pie dough, leaving a 3″ border on the sides. Add filling over the yolk. Fold the edges of the pastry up and over the fruit all the way around, sealing the edge as necessary. Brush with remaining egg white completely.
Place in hot oven and cook for 35-40 minutes, until golden and fruit is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack. Can be served warm or room temperature. The crust will be crispiest the day it is made.