Okay, so obviously I love to cook, but baking, that's a different story. I love to try to bake, and I love to eat baked goods, but I have in no way mastered baking. I'm not sure if it is the exactness of the act of baking, or not understanding, fully, the science of baking, but try, try I continue to try. For those of you "Baking Challenged" among us, a galette is a great choice. A galette is a free formed, fruit pie. My advice is make several pie crusts in advance and freeze them so you will have them ready when you get to jonesin' for a fresh baked pie, especially when the fruits are at their peak. You could use store bought crust, but I really think a good homemade one is worth the effort.
I made this one with the leftover crust from my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. The recipe is for a standard pate brisee, I used the one that is in the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. The recipe can also be found here at her website. It says the recipe can be frozen for 1 month, oops, guess I never read that part. I found it to be perfectly fine after all that time. To defrost, I left it in the fridge overnight and then out on the counter for about 1 hour. When ready to make the galette, roll the crust out on a lightly floured surface into the best circle-like shape you can, about 1/8 " thick. My circle was about 11" in diameter, but this will vary. Place the disc like shape onto a parchment lined baking sheet with a rim, and place in the fridge to chill.
For the filling, I used about 2 cups of fresh blackberries, about 1 cup of frozen blueberries and about 1 cup of frozen, halved strawberries. I picked up the blackberries at Costco and the other fruit I had frozen from the farmer's markets last summer. Use whatever you have or like, be creative! In her Baking Handbook, Martha has the recipe for an Apricot-Blackberry Galette. I loosely adapted this to my recipe and I think is came out fine. Again, this does not have to be exact, thus the beauty of it!
To the berries, add 1/2 cup sugar (I used my vanilla sugar), 2 spoons of cornstarch (I used regular tableware), the zest of half an orange and the juice of half of the orange. Give the whole thing a good stir and let it sit out so the fruit can thaw a bit and all the flavors get to know each other. If you have all fresh fruit, still let them sit a bit. Feel free to use a different citrus juice, even apple if that is what you have.
When ready to bake, spoon out the fruit into the center of the crust. Spread it out a bit, then fold the edges over the fruit, overlap where you need to to get around in a circle. I gave the bottom of the folds a bit of a pinch to hold them down. Now, give the edges a wash with milk, beaten egg or even water. I used vanilla soy milk. Then sprinkle the edges with sugar. I love to use demerara sugar, gives it a great brown sugar-like taste and crunch. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until bubbly and golden. I had a bit of filling leak out during the baking, so I opened the oven and repaired the break in the crust and kept on baking. That it why you use the parchment, easier to clean up.
When nice and golden and bubbly, remove to cool. These are best served up warm. Needless to say, we ate it very, very warm. So warm in fact, that I was not able to get a picture, oh well. I also put it over the top by plopping a few dollops of marscapone cheese on top of the hot fruit. Words cannot describe, sooooo good!
I hope you will try a galette of your own. I think that fact that the recipe is so loose, except for the crust, that even the beginning baker will bake with success! Let me know how they turn out!