When fresh local fruit hits the stores I’m compelled to think of pie. Make that, pies.
Then I start thinking of just how long it takes to make a double crust fruit pie, from scratch. Defo not wanting it to be THAT long before I can eat pie, I remember the galette: the French answer to pie, free formed and without a top crust.
I can get behind that!
Especially when fruit is this fresh, and vegetable – in the case of rhubarb, you want them to be the stars of the show. Less pastry would help with that. Plus, it’s not only less caloric intake, but less work. Win. Win. Win.
Since it had been ages since I’d made anything really, with any kind of pie/tart pastry, I turned to my cookbook collection. Somewhere in there, was a recipe I’d made a mental note of – for future use.
As I headed for my cookbook collection, I found myself reaching for ‘French Taste’ by Laura Calder. Sure enough, there was a bookmark at a recipe for ‘Pastry for Sweet and Savoury Tarts’. Turned out the recipe was actually from cookbook author Jennifer McLagan… all I can say is that they both have great taste!
The pastry recipe is like many others, cutting fat – in this case butter only – into the flour but quickly takes a turn when an egg whisked with sugar is mixed in. The result is a tender, crisp buttery pastry that tastes like a cross between shortbread and sugar cookies!
Turns out it was the perfect vehicle for the fruit filling I put together, using just enough sugar to sweeten and start the juices forming. Some lemon juice for brightness, some tapioca starch for thickening, and it came together easily while the pastry was chilling.
I may have erred in rolling the pastry out a little too thickly, thinking the weight of the filling might make it collapse. While a tad on the thick side, it was so tasty it didn’t matter. So good in fact you could eat it on it’s own!
Do be sure to leave room at the edge of the dough, so you have enough to fold up. Make this as rustic as you like – it’s purpose is simply to hold in the filling. Watch for any cracks though, or the filling might just escape during baking!
Sift over a pretty dusting of icing sugar – which is all it needs. If however you decided to serve it with whipped ricotta or vanilla gelato, I’m sure no one would object.
- 2 cups (250 gr) flour
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150 gr.) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 1/2” pieces
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup (79 gr.) sugar, for sweet tarts only
- 1 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 1/4 cup diced rhubarb (approx 1/2" pieces)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch ginger
- Use a food processor if you like, but it comes together quickly by hand - and you don’t have all those parts to clean afterwards!
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and cut it in with a pastry cutter, two knives or lightly with your fingertips (I do the latter, and believe it adds to the texture) until pieces of butter are about the size of small peas.
- Make a well in the center.
- Whisk together the egg & sugar (if using) and add to the well. Quickly mix it in using your fingertips, until it forms a dough. *Do not over-mix as it will toughen the dough.
- Divide into 2 discs and wrap them in plastic. Chill at least one hour before rolling it out.(It’s recommended to chill it another 30 minutes before baking.) For my galette, I simply used it after the one hour chill and it was perfect.
- Combine all ingredients gently in a large bowl. Set aside while you roll out the dough.
- Roll out the dough directly on parchment paper, making it about the size of a pie plate.
- Add the filling, leaving enough of an edge - to fold up the dough - forming the sides.
- Bake at 375° for about 35 - 40 minutes, until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.
- Let cool. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
- *If there is a lot of juices in the bowl, don't use all of it. Just sprinkle over a teaspoon or two.