A few weeks ago I taught a class that included making individual tarts. When I was planning the class, I suggested to my client that we make galettes (free form tarts) instead. She really wanted to learn to make a proper tart, so we made traditional apple and frangipane tart from Normandy. We had some extra tart dough and apples, so we quickly whipped up some galettes. Both desserts were delicious, but when my class saw how simple it was to form the galette, that you don’t need a special pan, and that you can easily vary the size and shape, they were sold on galettes!
Galettes are my go to dessert they are simple to make (especially if you keep and extra batch of the simple tart dough in the freezer) and it is always easy to find something to fill it with…rhubarb in the spring, stone fruit in the summer, pears in the fall and frozen berries in the winter. Don’t be afraid to use frozen fruit. Good quality frozen fruit is picked at the peak of the seasons and flash frozen so they are tastier and more nutritious than fresh out of season fruit.
The Basic Tart Dough recipe that I provided a few blog posts back is the perfect starting point for a galette. The dough is easy to work with and has enough structure to maintain its shape as it bakes. Below is a basic formula for a fruit galette filling. Use what ever fruit suits your fancy and mix and match them with your favourite spices and flavouring.
Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind for galette perfection:
· Roll out your dough and let it rest in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. This will help relax the dough so it doesn’t shrink when you bake it.
· Do not mix the fruit filling ahead of time. This will cause the fruit to start leaching their juices which will make for a soggy galette.
· Have fun and be creative with your filling combinations
· Think savoury! Caramelized leeks & gruyere; sliced tomatoes, olives, basil and feta; sautéed mushrooms, thyme and parmesan.
makes 1 – 12” tart or 4 – 5” mini-tarts
1 L (4 cups) fruit, use a single fruit or combination of fruit - berries as is, other fruit thinly sliced
50 g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
8 g (1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
1 to 3 of the following flavourings:
10 ml (2 tsp) citrus zest
2.5 ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
1.25 ml (¼ tsp) almond extract
2.5 ml (½ tsp) cinnamon
1.25 ml (¼ tsp) cardamom
30 ml (2 tbsp) honey
30 ml (2 tbsp) citrus juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) clear liquor, such as Grand Marnier, St. Germain, Amaretto
55 g (½ cup) chopped nuts
1 egg, for egg wash
30 ml (2 tbsp) granulated, brown, demerra, Turbinado, sanding or Muscovado sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Let the tart dough sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. On a well-floured surface roll dough into a rough circle about 13 or 14 inches in diameter or four 7 inch circles. Place dough on baking sheet and place in refrigerator while you prepare the fruit.
Mix fruit, sugar, flour, flavourings and a big pinch of salt in a large bowl. Taste mixture and add up to 2 tbsp more sugar to your taste. Remove tart dough from refrigerator and mound fruit in centre of the circle. Using your fingers, gently fold and pleat the edges of the dough to create about a two-inch border for a large galette or a one-inch border for mini galettes.
Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush border. Sprinkle the 2 tbsp of sugar over the border and fruit. Bake until the dough is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
adapted from Fine Cooking