By Kelly Egan from A Side of Sweet
I distinctly remember the first time I had a galette. My now husband and I had our favorite local bakery make pastries for breakfast the morning after our wedding. It was one of those places that ordering is both easy and incredibly difficult. Easy because everything offered is delicious, so you really can’t go wrong. And difficult for precisely the same reason. I saw the galettes, gorgeous rustic bits of flaky pastry dough folded up over fresh fruit, and knew what I wanted for my first breakfast as a married lady.
Just like the wedding itself, our morning-after brunch was humble and intimate. A handful of us sat on assorted chairs, cobbled together in a little nook of the balcony overlooking the hotel lobby. I sat on the floor, hair still in an updo thanks to a fistful of bobby pins, my head resting against my husband’s leg. I don’t remember what we talked about but I do remember eating those galettes. Eating them is one of my most vivid memories of the entire weekend.
They made quite the impression. I’ve spent the last two years recreating them in various forms.
The galette has become my go-to seasonal recipe. My friends joke that I can turn any dish into one. Although I was introduced to them in fruit form, I love to make them with vegetables as well. In the winter, I layer them with sweet potatoes and chèvre. Now in the spring, the sweet potatoes are replaced with tender asparagus shoots. As the bounty of summer approaches, the galettes will soon be loaded from fresh berries from our local farmer’s market. Or roasted heirloom tomatoes and herbes de provence.
When going to the farmers market, it's important to remember some tips. After I first brought my Urban Market Bags, which were so colorful, compact and fun to use, they have become a farmers' market essential. They pack up perfectly in my purse until I need them. The bags are washing machine friendly—a must for anything that carries farm fresh produce. A true marriage of form and function. I've learned that one bag is never big enough for my farmers market trips. It's nice to have reusable bags that fold down to fit in my purse! I also always carry $5s and $1s, even though more and more vendors are starting to accept payment electronically. I always ask the vendors on advice for picking the best produce. They always know what melon is going to ripen perfectly and which peaches will taste the best!
Right now rhubarb is popping up everywhere at the farmer’s markets in the area. I’ve always associated rhubarb with spring. Growing up in rural Wisconsin we had a patch of rhubarb in the corner of our garden. We had it in a variety of desserts, but what I remember most was waiting impatiently for my mother to cut the leafy greens off the top of a stalk so I could dip it in a bowl of sugar. The crisp tartness of rhubarb and the sweetness of raw sugar were the perfect pairing.
While my tastes have gotten slightly more sophisticated since I was eight, rhubarb and sugar are still the basis for this, my favorite galette recipe. Letting the rhubarb and the sugar macerate brings out the juice of the rhubarb and creates the perfect filling. Don’t give too much thought into folding the crust– the beauty of this dessert is in how imperfect it is. The final result is a perfectly flaky masterpiece with rhubarb as its crown jewel. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Mini Rhubarb Galettes
Makes 4 six inch galettes
For the galette dough:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ - ¾ cup ice cold water
For the rhubarb galette:
6 stalks rhubarb
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons buttermilk or heavy cream
Make the galette dough:
1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
2. Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry cutter until mostly pea-sized pieces of remain. You can also use a food processor and pulse a few times until combined. Do not over mix.
3. Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture 1-2 tablespoons at a time and stir with a butter knife to distribute. Mix the mixture with your hands until it starts to come together in a coarse ball. Sprinkle the dry bits with more water and bring together into a ball.
4. Divide the dough into four equal balls. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight.
Make the rhubarb galette:
1. Cut the ends off the stalks of rhubarb and slice each stalk in half lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1 ½ inch pieces.
2. In a large bowl, mix the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, cornstarch and vanilla. Set aside to macerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Roll a ball of galette dough onto a floured surface into 8-inch rounds. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
4. Place ¼ of the rhubarb mixture in the center of the flattened dough, leaving 1 inch on each side. Gently fold up the crust over part of the rhubarb in an overlapping fashion. Repeat with the other dough rounds.
5. Brush the crust with buttermilk or heavy cream. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Drizzle with honey. 6. Bake at 350˚ for 30-35 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Prep Time 1 hour | Bake time 35 min