Peeps, I did it: I jumped on the galette bandwagon and I don’t believe i’ll be jumping off any time soon. Yes, I love — like really love — a slab pie, as is evidenced by my pecan pie, red raspberry slab pie, and strawberry rhubarb pie. But this galette thing? Kind of exactly what I needed to bring my pie game to a whole new level. Prior to making these strawberry rhubarb galettes to enjoy over the July 4th weekend I had had very little galette experience, save for developing this brown butter apple cranberry galette for baked occasions.
But as you may have noticed, galettes are all over social media. Everybody’s instagram feed seems to be featuring them (for example, Yossy Arefi’s feed is full of them and they are gorgeous). And I had just made two slab pies for a party last weekend, and so . . . making individual galettes seemed like the perfect, and prettiest, way to shake things up. Galettes are super easy to make. You roll out dough to whatever size you desire, plop down some pie filling, leaving a border, and fold the sides up and, just slightly, over the edge of the fruit. Voila: galette.
However, just to be sure about the ratio of dough to filling, and to confirm there were no secrets to galette making that had been kept from me, I did a bit of galette sleuthing on the internet. No surprises surfaced, and I went at it. Using my strawberry rhubarb filling and my off the charts flaky pie dough (with the addition of a touch of baking powder, to help with browning, tenderness, and sturdiness – as per Nick Maligieri and Rose Levy Bernbaum) I produced 8 of the sweetest little galettes you ever did see, or taste. I implore you to give these little ruby-red gems a try. But I warn you, your days of making traditional pies may be numbered . . .
individual strawberry rhubarb galettes
for the pie dough
- 2 1/4 cup 2 Tbsp pastry flour *see note
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 sticks 16 Tbsps high-fat, salted butter, cold
- 2 Tbsp vodka ice cold
- 2 Tbsp cold water
for the egg wash
- one large egg
- 2 tsp heavy cream
- sugar in the raw for decorating
for the strawberry rhubarb filling
- 3 1/4 cup strawberries hulled and sliced, if large (frozen works well)
- 3 1/4 cup rhubarb sliced into 1/2" chunks (frozen works here too)
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 to 4 Tbsp arrow root
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 to 4 grinds fresh black pepper
to make the pie dough
- whisk the pastry flour, baking powder, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. slice each stick of butter into about 12 pieces. toss the butter into the flour and place the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes. combine the vodka and water and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- remove the bowl from the freezer and dump the contents on to the counter. using a rolling pin, flatten/smear the butter into the flour (i recommend using a rolling pin to fraisage the dough, rather than the palm of the hand, as hands can get awfully toasty and melt the butter). your goal is sheets of butter, crumbly bits of butter/flour and almost no loose flour (this is important (the no loose flour-thing) otherwise the dough is too dry and it is hard to roll out later). use a bench scraper to move the dough around as you work, periodically bringing it all back into a pile in front of you. break up any large-ish sheets of butter with your fingers so all the butter bits are (relatively) uniformly shaped.
- once your pile consists of butter sheets and crumbly dough, sprinkle a little of the vodka/water mixture over your pile, and use your hands to gently incorporate the liquid into the flour and butter (i kind of toss the dough around in my hands and move it around a bit on the counter with the bench scraper). continue sprinkling and incorporating until the dough is uniformly crumbly, damp, and flour-y (as if that makes any sense at all) - about 4 sprinkles in total. don't be afraid to spend some time here tossing the dough with your fingers, to really help the flour absorb the liquid (but tossing is the operative word here - don't over work the dough by smooshing it, kneading it, etc). form the dough into a ball (as best you can) and transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap . use the plastic wrap to mold the dough into a disc. wrap it tightly and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- lightly flour a work surface, remove the disc from the fridge, and place it on the surface. flour the top of the disc, and let it rest on the counter until it softens a bit - about 10 minutes, or so (a little rest keeps the edges from cracking). now, using your rolling pin (and your fingers, if necessary) begin rolling/molding the dough into the shape of a rectangle. it will come together as you work - even if when you first start rolling it out you panic, as the edges crack, etc. if it is not cracking, but is instead extra sticky, sprinkle extra flour on the disc and your work surface to combat the stickiness. once in the shape of a rectangle, take one of the ends of the rectangle and fold it a little more than halfway across the rectangle towards its other end. then take the other end and fold that over the first (as if you are folding a long and skinny "business" letter). this first fold you make, might be made with dough that is both sticky in places and crumbly in others: not a problem. trust me.
- once the dough is folded, roll it out again into a rectangle (re-flouring beneath it and on top, if necessary), and fold up the ends, like a letter, for a second time. repeat this one or two more time (3 to 4 times in total). by the third time, your dough should have transformed into something much more pliable and easier to work with. cut the final rectangle in half, form each half into a disc, tightly wrap each disc in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. while the dough rests in the fridge, make the filling.
to make the filling
- combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl. add the sugar, arrow root and spices and, using your hands (or a wooden spoon), gently toss the fruit and the dry ingredients together until the fruit is nicely coated and the arrow root has completely dissolved. set aside.
to assemble the galettes
- line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. remove the 2 discs of dough from the refrigerator and form 4 balls from each disc. if it is a super hot day, return 7 balls to the fridge and work with one at a time. roll out a ball, generously flouring your work surface as you go, until it is 7-inches around. and place it on your prepared half sheet pan. spoon a rounded half cup of filling onto the center of the circle, leaving a border. gently fold up the sides of the dough pinching as you go, so the dough does not unfold. try not to leave any holes or gaps where juices might escape while baking. repeat with the remaining 7 pieces of dough. remember: galettes are rustic looking. don't worry if your folds aren't perfect, or your dough circle not completely round.
- once you have assembled all 8 galettes, in a small bowl, whisk the egg and cream together and, using a pastry brush, brush the dough with the egg wash. sprinkle sugar in the raw over the dough and place in the freezer for one hour (freezing the galettes before baking, prevents shrinkage).
- preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake the galettes for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the juices are slightly bubbly and the crust is nicely browned. serve once slightly cooled or at room temp with vanilla ice cream.
galettes leak! there is no two ways about it.