Elliott and I are going on vacation again starting this weekend — this time with the fam, to a sunny southern beach (a.k.a. MY HAPPY PLACE) — and we could not be more excited to go. But before we leave on a jet plane, I wanted to share with you a recipe for something sweet, and for what I am fairly certain is exactly what summer would taste like, if it had one.
I made this strawberry galette last weekend for Lindsay and Bjork, a.k.a. Pinch of Yum, a.k.a, the kindest, most gracious hosts ever, who had us over to their place for a grill-out. They made us dinner, we made them dessert. Needless to say, it was an excellent eating day.
But you see, I have this problem. It goes like this — I am presented with an opportunity to make food for people, people besides me and my husband. And instead of making something I’ve made hundreds, even dozens of times, I decide that no! This is a perfect moment to make something new and exciting! And then I start to make it and suddenly think to myself, as if I’d never had the revelation before, “What if this doesn’t turn out? What if it tastes like crap? What if I kill these people or make them think I suck at making food? I really don’t! I know how to make enchiladas! I should’ve made enchiladas” and then I start to get all sweaty and nervous (which is an even worse situation when we’re the ones hosting) and I decide to proceed anyway, because what’s the worst that could happen? Besides accidentally killing them, I suppose.
Though I have yet to learn my lesson and just make old standbys for friends, so far I’ve done OK with serving foods of uncharted territory. And this galette was no exception. In fact, it turned out better than I expected. The crust, studded with cold butter and vanilla bean seeds, was flaky and mild; the strawberry filling, sweet and tart. And a little dollop of fresh whipped cream on the side didn’t do it any disservice, either.
I don’t know about you, but I love galettes for their rustic beauty and lack of unnecessary fuss. Just roll out the cold crust, top it with a mix of fresh summer produce, fold over the edges, give it a good go in the oven and just like that, you’ve made the ideal summer dessert. With the freshest and most in-season ingredients, you really can’t go wrong. Thanks to this recipe, I have a feeling I’ll finally be breaking my streak of new recipe experiments for guests, at least when it comes to dessert. This one definitely deserves a repeat.
Strawberry Galette with a Vanilla Bean Crust
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
For the dough —
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1/2 stick chilled unsalted butter
1 1/2 sticks frozen unsalted butter
1/2 cup ice water
For the galette —
1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Fresh whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Snipped fresh basil, for topping (optional)
Combine flour, sugar, salt and vanilla bean seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Cut chilled butter into small cubes; add to food processor and pulse until combined, about 10 times. Cut frozen butter into small cubes; add to food processor and pulse just until a coarse meal with a few larger chunks of butter forms.
Add ice water to food processor and pulse just until a dough forms, about 10 times. Turn out dough onto a countertop and form dough into a disk. Place disk between two large pieces of plastic wrap; roll out to a 1/2-inch thick round. Seal in plastic wrap and chill at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days (can also be wrapped in plastic, then foil, and frozen up to a month).
When dough is fully chilled, unwrap and roll out on a floured surface to a 1/4-inch thick round. Cut dough into a 10-inch circle; discard scraps. Transfer dough disk to a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss hulled and sliced strawberries with sugar and cornstarch. Immediately place strawberries on chilled dough, slightly overlapping in concentric circles, if desired, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges. Carefully fold up dough around the sides. Chill for 15 minutes.
Brush dough with egg wash, then sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Sprinkle chilled butter pieces over berries. Bake until golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Serve with fresh whipped cream and top with snipped fresh basil just before serving, if desired.