Would you believe it, I only got introduced to galettes a few months ago. Now I feel like I missed out all my life! Especially when it’s this not so sweet strawberry galette 😀
I’ve made many pies in my life, in many different moulds, but it just never occurred to me to make a free form pie. Then I saw one on Instagram and really liked the rustic look of it, and a new baking passion was born.
Normally I like using sour cream in my pastry dough, similar to Maggie Beer’s beautiful sour cream pastry recipe, but I tried it once for a galette, with mixed results. You know, the sour cream adds a lot of flakiness to the pastry, and while I normally love that, it turned out a little too flaky on the bent edge of the galette, so much that cracks formed and the filling spilled out. So I went on a quest to find a good mix of the essential pie crust ingredients, flour, butter and water to make a crispy but not too brittle pastry.
Great tips for great pastry
Here are the essentials, non-negotiables for a successful galette dough:
- Pick a regular plain flour. Pastry gets too heavy and chewy with bakers flour.
- Use butter that has a high fat content. Think of the best French croissants you’ve ever had. The flakiness comes from the steam the melting butter produces in the oven, puffing up the dough. To a degree, we want this happening to make our pasty, crispy and light.
- Make sure your butter is super cold. Work quickly. With cold hands.
- Make sure your water is super cold. We don’t want the butter to melt before it hits the oven.
- Add salt. It enhances the flavour
- Optional: for a sweet galette, add a little sugar if you wish. A tablespoon is plenty.
Choose how you want to mix
Mixing the dough can be done two ways:
- In a food processor (not a mixer). Just blitz the ingredients together until they are just coming together, then quickly form a ball with your hands.
- With your hands, but make sure they’re cold and you work quickly. Cut small pieces of butter into the flour and rub it between the palms of your hands until the clumps break up and the mixture resembles very coarse sand. Add water and quickly bring it all together to form a ball.
Get creative with your filling
I used strawberries because they are currently in season, but feel free to use whatever fruit you like for a truly seasonal filling. I like to just cut up my fruit and sprinkle as much sugar on top as I want sweetness. In this case, it wasn’t much, because I wanted a galette that was more tart than sweet. This is where you can get creative. Add some vanilla, or balsamic vinegar (like I did), maybe some honey? Or nuts? Really, whatever tickles your fancy.
Just remember, fruit has a high water content. Once in the oven, all that water will ooze out, so adding more liquid to the filling is not advised. Also make sure you wrap the dough around it tightly, any gaps or breaks, and it will leak.
I recommend brushing the dough with egg wash before baking it and, if you do like it sweet, sprinkling it with sugar, coarse sugar, not castor sugar. It adds a little crunch and a hit of caramelly flavour. Enjoy!
I made a little stop motion video of the whole process. Enjoy!
Not so sweet strawberry galette
- 175 g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 125 g butter
- 40 ml cold water
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
- 250 g strawberries
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 egg scrambled
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
- In a food processor, add the flour, salt and butter and blitz until it resembles coarse sand.
- Add the water, blitz again until it starts forming clumps.
- Remove from the food processor and quickly form into a ball. Wrap the ball in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (fan forced).
- Roll out the chilled dough to about 3mm thickness. Use a bit of flour to prevent it from sticking to your workbench. Carefully place it on a lined baking tray,
- Cut the strawberries into medium size pieces (I quartered mine, but it depends on the size of your strawberries. Chunky is good!)
- Place the cut fruit into the centre of the rolled out dough. Sprinkle with sugar and a good drizzle of balsamic.
- Fold and crimp the edges over the strawberries, making sure there are no gaps or or tears where the juices of the fruit could leak.
- Brush the edges with the egg-wash, and if you like a bit of a sugar crust, sprinkle them with regular sugar (not castor sugar). Bake for 30-35min until golden brown.