July 15, 2013
It’s blueberry season here in the Berkshires, and the berries are fantastic this year. At first I just ate them by the handful, stopping to scoop up a few whenever I passed through the kitchen.
But once I’d gotten over my initial infatuation – local blueberries! – I began wanting to do something more impressive with this beautiful fruit.
My feeling about blueberries is that you don’t want to do too much. Blueberry muffins are swell. So are blueberry pies. But my favorite blueberry confection is this simple galette: the easy crust makes a very fine frame for their wonderfully robust flavor. What you end up with is juicy berries in a crisp, buttery crust.
For the pastry:
1 cup flour
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cold and chopped into cubes
4-5 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
2-3 cups blueberries, rinsed and stemmed
½ lemon juice & zest
3 teaspoons sugar
1 egg for the egg wash
Make the pastry by putting the flour into a bowl with the salt and sugar and cutting the butter in with a pastry cutter. (If you don’t have one, and you like to bake, I’d advise indulging in this simple tool. There’s something so satisfying about the way it works that you’ll wonder why you ever used two knives or your food processor.) Then add the ice water, tablespoon by tablespoon, stirring with a fork and taking care to not overwork the dough. It should just come together and not be too wet or sticky. Wrap in wax paper and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile wash the blueberries and toss them with lemon juice, zest, and sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to approximately ¼ inch thickness and transfer to a baking sheet. You could put this back into the refrigerator for a brief cooling off period, but it’s not completely necessary.
When you’re ready to bake your galette, make a small mound of the mildly macerated blueberries at the center of the pastry, leaving enough of a border to fold the pastry over the edges. Like a crostata, perfection is not the goal here – the rougher the better. Paint the outer crust with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the blueberries begin to break apart in the middle. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve with ice cream or yogurt.
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