Gretchen McKay | Pittsburgh Post (TNS)
Summer desserts should look and taste exactly like the season’s: bursting with color and bursting with sunny, fresh flavor. The best ones are also super easy to make, with ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store or farmer’s market, and not terribly expensive.
My favorite when it’s hot outside is always a galette, a rustic free-form pastry that’s basically puff pastry folded over a filling of fresh fruit mixed with sugar and a little cornstarch to thicken it. Not only is it a beautiful dessert, with the colorful filling poking through the buttery, golden crust, but it’s very forgiving for people who wouldn’t normally attempt a double-crust pie, but want something fancier than a crumble.
I used the last of the season strawberries and the newest of the season peaches for this first galette of summer, along with fresh blueberries. But you can pretty much use any fruit you like: stone fruits like plums, cherries, nectarines, and apricots work great too. In a pinch, refrigerated pie crust batter can substitute for homemade.
It is important to keep the dough cold before adding the filling and putting it in the oven. Otherwise, the butter softens, leading to a chewier, tougher crust. Brushing the inside with egg white before adding the filling will also keep the bottom from getting soggy.
SUMMER FRUIT COOKIE
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cooled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1 cup sliced fresh peaches
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- Pinch of salt
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for dusting
- Egg white, to brush the puff pastry
- Heavy cream or milk, to brush the puff pastry
Prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles thick, stony food, 8 to 10 seconds.
With the machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky, no more than 30 seconds. Squeeze out a small amount to test; if it’s still crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Roll out the dough into a 13-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill while you prepare the filling.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the fruit, salt and lemon zest. (no juice, that comes later). In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch and sugar, then add to the fruit. Mix with your hands to combine. Add lemon juice and mix gently again.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg white onto the surface of the puff pastry (still on parchment on a baking sheet).
Place the fruit mixture in the center of the chilled dough and spread it out evenly, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the fruit, folding as necessary and being careful that the folded edge of the dough does not tear.
Brush cream or milk around the edges of the galette, then dust lightly with sugar.
Bake the galette for 45-50 minutes (turning halfway) or until the crust is golden brown all over, the berries are softened and the juices are bubbling.
Let cool 2 hours before serving.
—Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette
(c)2023 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.