It’s been a while. Don’t get snippy. The point is I’m back.
First order of business: HELL YEAH BLACKHAWKS!!!!
Congratulations to my boys in beards! I watched you religiously all through these finals and completely missed Game 6 because I was in school. I’m bitter. For real.
Let’s not talk about it. Let’s talk about my gorgeous galette instead.
Here’s what I like about the galette (or crostini, depending on what nationality you’re channeling): it’s way less stressful than crimping pie crusts. I’m sorry, but my pie edges just never look the way I want. This is more… freeform. More rustic. And every true foodie knows that “rustic” is a fancy word for messy. Shh! Don’t tell the non-foodies. Okay, strawberry time. I macerated the strawberries in sugar and a little bit of balsamic vinegar. I’d tell you how long, but I don’t remember. Long enough to get the juices flowing.
While you’re waiting for strawberry juice you can stuff a bunch of fresh basil into a 1/2 cup measure. Really pack it in there. Great. Now boil some water. Now prepare an ice bath. Can you see where I’m going with this one? Blanch the basil in the boiling water for about 30 to 60 seconds then submerge it in the ice bath. Squeeze out all the water with a paper towel, or your fist, or both. Julienne into pretty strips- or just chop it. And throw it in with the strawberries.
The dough is another food processor quickie brought to you by Jacques Pepin. Culinary genius, that one. Roll the dough out to roughly 1/4″ and big enough to hold all your fruit with some edges left to fold over. And here’s a tip for ensuring a lovely, crisp and flaky bottom- combine equal parts (I used 2 tsp) flour, sugar and ground or finely chopped nuts (almonds in this case) and sprinkle it over the dough before you add the fruit. It will absorb the excess liquid and you won’t really taste it much at all. All right so your fruit has macerated and your dough is rolled out all big and crazy. Perfect. Now sprinkle your flour/sugar/nuts mixture over the dough where you’re going to put your fruit. It doesn’t look like a lot, I know. But it works. Add fruit! Don’t just upend the bowl though- excess liquid is not a friend to flaky dough. Slotted spoon people, you know you own one. And don’t get rid of that strawberry juice! We’ll put it to good use, I promise.
Fold the edges toward the center so you can still see the fruit, egg wash the outside, sprinkle with a bit of sugar if you like and bake! It’s done when it’s done. No, seriously. It’ll be done. Look.
The crust is lovely and brown and just perfect. For all you nitpickers: 375° for about 30-40 minutes. Don’t quote me on that. Everyone’s oven is different. Just keep an eye on it and take it out when it’s done. While it baked I threw together a little reduction of about 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, the lovely juices that came out of those strawberries and just a touch of honey. Set it over high heat and reduce till it’s thickened to your liking. I go for syrup myself. I know it’s done when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Drizzle it over your galette wedge before eating- you’ll be glad you did.
And to give you a little idea of how busy I’ve been, I made this galette over Memorial Day. I just started a cake decorating internship at a Chicago bakery, which is completely wonderful and I absolutely love it. But it does mean that I have a couple of 12+ hour days in my week now (between that and school). But fear not! Next week is my last week of school for the quarter and I’ll be all yours again. Till then- go make a galette.
Strawberry Basil Balsamic Galette
By Jacques Pepin
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp ice water
Combine flour & salt in food processor with a few quick pulses. Pulse in cold butter till dough is crumbly. Stream in water while processor is running and mix just until dough comes together. Turn out onto plastic wrap, form into a round and chill for at least two hours. (I made this 2 days in advance.)
- roughly 1 lb fresh strawberries (flexible)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, blanched, dried and julienned
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Slice strawberries into 3 or 4 thin slices each. Toss in bowl with corn starch, sugar, blanched basil and balsamic. Let sit for about 15-20 minutes, or longer if you’ve got the time.
Special Moisture Absorbing Base
- 2 tsp flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp ground almonds
Combine and sprinkle onto rolled out dough before adding fruit.
- 1/2 – 1 cup balsamic syrup
- 2 tbsp honey
- reserved liquid from strawberries
Set in medium saucepan over high heat and reduce till thick and syrupy. Drizzle over galette. Eat!