Berries would have to be the prettiest food around. I love when they’re baked and they gently split open to reveal their delicious juices, pouring colour all over the pastry they are encased in. I often write about how my grandmother would send my Mum off into the forest to forage for berries before she baked, I think that’d be a very delightful chore for a child.
Speaking of my Mum’s childhood food stories, I have finally decided to draft my first cookbook. It’s very early days (ie I am still on the contents list) but I am moving on it, slowly. I have had an idea rolling around in my head for the better part of a year, maybe two, and recently my dear and very creative friend Emma gave me a gentle nudge to start getting it down on paper. I emailed my Mum and told her I need Finnish recipes (a slight hint) and I will also need family stories (another slightly bigger hint), so she promptly sent me a list of recipes off the top of her head, about 40 of them. I see 2014 being a year of baking, baking and more baking. And eating.
I am very happy about this.
One thing I love about baking is making my own pastry. I don’t mind buying things that will make baking easier and quicker at times however pastry is something I just prefer to do myself. Even with the shoulder injury that one incurs by kneading Finnish pulla dough, I still prefer to do it by hand rather than with a mixer. I just enjoy the entire process, gazing out the window as I knead away drifting into my own little daydream world. The thing about making galette is, there is no kneading required and the dough takes five minutes to make. It’s way too easy. You can be a little more diligent that I was and fashion the pastry to look neater, but this galette is meant to be rustic so I slapped it together with careless abandon.
You can obviously fill this galette with whatever berries you like. I considered doing a mixed berry version, however raspberries are crazy expensive right now so I made it a blueberry one instead. The blueberries I bought were a tad tart, so my galette was on the slightly bitter side with the addition of lemon juice. I imagine sweeter berries would’ve resulted in a sweeter galette, although I am not complaining.
For the crust:
1½ cups plain flour
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg combined with 1 tsbp cold water
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Scatter cubes of butter over the top of the flour and pulse a few times until you have little butter balls about the size of blueberries.
With processor running, stream in egg and cold water and pulse until mixture starts to come together. Pour out onto bench, use your hand to bring dough together into a ball. If it doesn’t come together add another tablespoon of cold water, and more if you need to until it starts to form a ball. I only needed to add the first tablespoon of water and the dough formed beautifully.
Flatten dough into a flat disc, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*Dough can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
500g fresh blueberries
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp milk or cream
2 tbsp muscovado sugar to sprinkle on top
1 tsp lemon rind to garnish
Preheat oven to 200C. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Place sugar, lemon juice and cornflour into a bowl and whisk to combine. Add blueberries and coat well using hands. Set aside.
Roll dough out on a floured surface to desired shape at 5mm thickness. You can make your galette round or rectangular, whatever takes your fancy.
Move dough onto parchment paper on a baking tray prior to filling.
Pour blueberries into the centre of the pastry, leaving a space of about 2” around the edge without filling. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the outside of the berries while crimping the dough to encase the fruit. Brush top with milk or cream, sprinkle muscovado sugar all over and sprinkle lemon zest on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. If crust starts to darken too much before the berries are bubbling, turn oven down to 175C.
Once crust is golden and puffy, remove galette from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing and eating before the family even know it is out of the oven. Share if you must.