behold! another guest post from my buddy-in-arms, Hannah Mae, who now and then will be and has been posting here. keep an ear out.
j. “crooked mouth” campbell
You know what word I like? “Galette.” You know why I like it? Because when you get to that point of making a pie where you’re all I made the filling I made the crust I just wanted to eat some pie I don’t care what it looks like why in the damn hell would I want to sit here crimping edges forever etc. etc., and you just want to throw it all in the oven like it is – you can just throw it in the oven like it is, more or less, and then instead of apologizing for your funny-looking pie, you can present it proudly to whatever ungrateful dinner guest would object to something called a “funny-looking pie” (seriously, dude, you need some new friends, that guy sucks), and say “voici la galette!” It’s French, so you know it’s good cooking, right?
So: here is how you make a galette: do up some pie filling, make a double-crust pastry recipe, and then roll all the dough out at once. Do not divide. Do not worry about symmetry, as long as it’s ever so vaguely circle-ish. Take your rolled dough, bundle it into your pie pan, pour the filling in the middle and then just flap the edges of the dough over the top of the filling. Voici la galette! Vive la revolucion!
(Another note of awesome: if you are one of those people who dislikes the slightly-underbaked center of crimped pie edges, 1. why are we friends and what is wrong with you 2. this solves that problem, because as long as you roll it out properly, all the dough is of the same thickness and will bake at the same speed.)
You can make any pie recipe you want this way – except maybe chocolate pudding or key lime or whatever, though I would love to see you try – but in case you need more guidance, from me, here is what I made the other night for a special birthday:
3 cups (4-5 stalks) rhubarb, chopped up
2 cups strawberries, ditto (not too small now)
1 cup sugar (a little more if your fruit is particularly sour)
1/4 c all-purpose flour, for thickening
2 tsp rosewater (this will seem like way too much, but it mellows in the baking)
small amounts of whatever other flavorings you feel – it’s hard to go wrong with sweet red things and things related to oranges – I used blood orange juice, marsala, and orange blossom water, but try orange zest, or Grand Marnier, or hibiscus/jamaica/red sorrel, or everything at once
Mix all these together in a bowl. (Or on your countertop, or in the trash can, what do I care?)
Make a double recipe of your favorite pie crust – this one is allegedly from Julia Child, and you know she’s always good:
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut in tiny cubes
about 5 tbsp ice water
Mix flour and salt, cut in butter til it’s just mixed through, and mix in the ice water til the dough just holds together – don’t work the dough more than you absolutely have to, or it will turn all leathery. (Marginal note: my former roommates just moved out with the pastry blender, and I was irked until I tasted the crust that I made just with my fingers – probably the best pie crust I’ve ever made. Just mash in the butter as quickly as you can, so the heat of your hands doesn’t start melting it – kind of smear it, but quickly – I think the whole mixing process took me about three minutes, including the water. Err on the side of shorter mixing. I’m not doing a very good job explaining this, I don’t think, but you’ll get it when you do it.)
Wash the counter or the table or wherever, sprinkle it with flour, and roll out all your dough to a thickness of like 1/6 of an inch, and do as above – slide crust into a pie tin, fill with filling, flap edges over (if, by chance, they meet in the middle, make a steam hole – but they probably won’t), and bake! Try 20 minutes at 400F and a further 20 minutes at 350F, checking often in the last half – you want the crust to be golden brown. Et voici la galette!