It is officially summer! We all know what that means...IT'S STRAWBERRY SEASON!! We bought a whole flat and still almost didn't have enough for the recipe - truthfully, they almost didn't even make it home. There is nothing better than a fresh, actually ripe, red all-the-way-through strawberry.
For years I grew my own strawberries. I had careful plant spacing and watering techniques, I even had methods for sprouting new starts. My strawberry garden was pristine, not just one of those patches that are allowed to run wild all over the place. And you know what? It produced the best berries. They were bright red, juicy, and plump every time.
One of the biggest (and potentially only) downsides of moving out of the suburbs into the city is that I lost most of my gardening space and my beautiful strawberry patch. Fortunately, there are lots of people that are willing to grow delightful produce for me here that take just as much care and attention as I would with my plants.
We met the delightful folks from Hayton Farms (yup, from Mt. Vernon) at the Ballard Farmer's Market. At the booth they had two varieties of berries the soft, red all the way through pie berries and the firmer, gorgeous for photos lighter berries. (In case you didn't know - there are several varieties of strawberries. Some are firmer, some are juicer, some get deep red all the way through when ripe, and some are lighter in the middle when ripe.)They got us set up with a half & half flat of the most delicious berries - seriously, go check them out. Words can't describe how tasty these fresh berries are!
Once we got the strawberries home, and after a snacking free for all, we followed the sage advice given to us at the farmer's market. We took all of the berries out of the little paper baskets and put them into a large bowl lined with dry paper towels and covered them loosely with saran wrap. Don't wash the berries until you are ready to use them though. The berries lasted so much longer than they would have in the little paper baskets.
I would definitely recommend this method next time you pick up your next batch of strawberries!
Honestly, it might not have made much of a difference for this batch due to how quickly we ate them, but we also didn't have a single one go moldy like they usually do when I just stick the flat in the fridge. It made the biggest difference too with the type of strawberries that we bought because the flesh was more tender and mashed easier.
Okay, now back to the recipe!
Looking back at the photos I am literally starting to get hungry again because I am remembering how delicious every phase of this was. I like making pies and tarts because a lot of the prep can be done the day before and then on actual baking day you end up with a clean kitchen and a beautiful pie (or galette).
For this recipe, I actually made the dough and filling the day before so that the flavors of the filling could have time to meld together. I find that this produces a much richer flavor overall. One thing to remember is that if you make the pie crust the day before you will need to let it warm up for a little bit before you can roll it out. Believe me, this time I forgot, and when I unwrapped it to roll it out even with my granite rolling pin the dough remained unmoved.
The strawberry rhubarb filling will have quite a bit of juice run off after it sits over night. You absolutely want this juice in your galette, but if it is in with the berries when you pour them onto the flat crust it will all spill out. I took the dough out of the fridge (yes, a second reminder) and let it sit on the counter. At the same time I put the berries in a strainer to let the juice drain out into a pot, once the juice was drained I added the tapioca starch (because it will keep the liquid clear) and cooked it down just a little bit to make more of a glaze rather than just the runny liquid. This is a lot easier to work with and produces a much nicer pie in my opinion.
If you look in the photos of the uncooked filling you will see 'cheese' hiding in the background. This is actually shredded apple which acts as a sweetener and also has natural pectin which helps thicken the filling. I shredded it on the larger grating side and I think that is why it ended up looking more like cheese but truth be told, it only shows up in the uncooked part, you can't even see it once the galette done.
I added black pepper essential oil to this recipe, which may be a surprise to you. I was surprised the first time someone told me to add pepper to my pie; but, like in other foods, the pepper really draws out the flavor of this recipe. Make sure you add either the essential oil or a little bit of ground pepper and you will also find that it enhances the experience. I have carried this over to a lot of my fruit based sweets!
For a galette, you want to roll the crust a little thicker than you would for a standard pie because it needs to be able to support itself and the filling without having the pie pan to reinforce it. I typically roll my pie crusts to about 1/8 of an inch and for a galette I roll it to about 1/4 of an inch. I added lemon zest and the wild orange essential oil for this crust which adds more moisture to the dough (as you probably know pie crusts can be really finicky!) and to compensate for this I added and extra 1/4 cup flour. If you are not adding the zest omit the 1/4 cup of flour. For this recipe that will be about a 13" circle, don't make it too round though because you will want it to look kind of rustic!
Once the crust is rolled out, add 1/2 of the filling to the crust and spread to about 2" away from the outer edges. At this point I drizzled/poured the thickened juice over the fruit and then added the second half of the fruit mixture. You don't want to just pour the thickened sauce on top or you can end up with a jellied layer on top of your fruit. Adding it to the middle makes it so you get the glaze throughout but don't have a layer just floating on top and it makes for a much prettier pie.
Speaking of pretty pies, one other "trick" that I use when making an exposed fruit pie is to make my standard filling that has everything in it and then a smaller batch of top fruit. In the case of this pie, I sliced some extra strawberries and rhubarb and just tossed them in sugar. I reserved these until the galette was folded up to put on top so you didn't see any of the apple filling. It is a little more work, but the final product is so worth it!
Ok, the filling is in place, now it is time to fold up the crust. The best part about a galette is that it is a free-form tart. I always apply the Bob Ross motto when I am folding them up - 'no mistakes, just happy little accidents.' The crust at this point will be fully warm and pretty pliable, when you lift it. This is perfect! Just go with it and let it pleat where it does. I usually do about 1 - 1 1/2 inches between the pleats and it ends up looking pretty nice.
After it is all folded up, add the pretty strawberries you have set aside to the top of the filling. For brushing the crust, you can use a whole egg, but using the yolk exclusively will give it a much more golden glow. I also added a raw demerara sugar to the crust to add just a little bit of extra dimension to the crust. This is not necessary, but lets face it, making something look extra delicious is never a bad idea!
You can also use this recipe and switch out the fruit and essential oils to get totally different experiences. Go wild with it!
strawberry-rhubarb and wild orange galette
serves about 8 to 10
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (omit 1/4 c if not using lemon zest)
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup cold unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup cold water
2 lemons, zested
5 drops doTERRA wild orange essential oil
For finishing crust:
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp cold water
3 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, thinly sliced
1 medium apple, cored and finely grated (or 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp tapioca starch
5 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops doTERRA black pepper essential oil*
pinch of salt
Combine together flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest, orange essential oil, and baking powder in large bowl. Stir or whisk to combine evenly. Toss butter in dry mixture and smash/knead the butter into small pieces mixed throughout the flour and it looks like course crumbs. If you prefer this can be done with a pastry knife or blender, but I like to just do it with my hands.
Fork together cold water and egg yolks and pour over mixture. Use fork to incorporate the liquids into the dry mix until a ball begins to form. Hand knead to form a soft dough that holds shape, be careful not to overwork the dough or you will end up with a tough crust.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Combine strawberries, rhubarb, and apple gratings in large mixing bowl and toss in sugar. Add tapioca starch, essential oils, and salt and toss again. Set aside and/or refrigerate overnight to let flavors combine.
Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to soften. Flour a working surface and roll dough out to approximately 13 inches in diameter, about 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet, the crust will hang slightly over the shorter edges.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Strain juice from berries and collect in sauce pan. Reduce juice over medium heat until slightly thickened, add an extra tablespoon of tapioca starch as needed.
Add 1/2 of filling mixture to the middle of the galette and spread to cover crust leaving 2" border around the outside unfilled. Pour/drizzle the thickened sauce over fruit and add the remaining half of the filling on top.
Pleat the edges of the crust up and over the filling. The pleats should take it about 1 - 1 1/2 inches in from the edge of the crust leaving most of the filling exposed.
Combine the egg yolk and water in a cup and beat lightly with a fork. Using a basting brush, coat all exposed crust lightly with the mixture. Sprinkle demerara sugar lightly around crust.
Bake for 55 - 60 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Allow to cool completely before serving (about another hour). Add a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
*We use doTERRA essential oils for cooking because of their high quality and purity. You do not have to use essential oils for this recipe but if you do make sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption. Check out my recipe notes on how to make this recipe without essential oils if you so desire. Enjoy!