Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Strawberry thyme galette...

my small act of rebellion!
"Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with wild abandon, or not at all." This is a quote from the late great Julia Child. I try to cook with abandon, but more often than not I find myself not trusting my instincts and relying on a recipe or something I've made before. I had some strawberries on hand that I wanted to use and thought I'd make a pie. As I was getting everything together for the pie it occurred to me that I could make a galette instead. A galette is just a free form pie. They're quick and delicious and I love the way they look, charming and rustic. Plus you don't need a pie pan, so one less step to making them. I pulled out my well-worn copy of Baking with Julia to get the crust recipe. The recipe in Julia Child's book is for a mixed berry galette (which is superb) but all I had on hand was strawberries. In her recipe, Julia says not to use too many strawberries in your mixed berry tart because strawberries are too watery. Uh oh...I very nearly went back to my original plan for a fresh strawberry pie. However, feeling just tad rebellious at the time, I decided to  make the galette with the strawberries, in spite of Julia's warning. My berries were still firm and not overly ripe so I thought I'd just go for it. I also have a pot of the most gorgeous thyme on my patio. At the last minute I decided to throw a little of that in the crust and with the strawberries. Since I'd ignored her warning about the strawberries, I figured Julia would certainly approve of my wild abandon, devil may care attitude when it came to adding the thyme! The galette tasted wonderful, I'm quite sure that Julia would have eaten it with gusto and not minded a bit that I didn't follow her advice about not using strawberries.  

Strawberry Thyme Galette
Printable recipe
(Source: Baking with Julia)
3 Tablespoons sour cream (or yogurt or buttermilk)
scant 1/3 cup ice water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces

Stir the sour cream and the water in a small bowl and set aside.
Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt into the food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to combine. Add the chopped butter and pulse 8 to 10 times, or until the mixture is speckled with pieces of butter that vary in size from bread crumbs to peas. As the machine runs, add the sour cream mixture and stop the processor once the dough forms soft, moist curds.
Remove the dough, divide it in half. Squish the ball down flat and wrap it in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

1 1/2 cups strawberries, stems removed and sliced (don't use overly ripe strawberries, as they may be too watery.)
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)
a squeeze of lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Clean the strawberries, remove the stems and slice them lengthwise. Place the sliced strawberries into a bowl add the sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Gently stir the strawberries until the sugar and cornstarch evenly cover the berries.
Roll out the galette dough into about an 11 inch circle that's about an 1/8 inch thick. Layer the berries in center the crust leaving at least one inch from the edge. Fold the edge of the dough over the strawberries. You will have to make pleats(folds) in some places. Brush the dough with a little water and sprinkle all over with 1 tsp. sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Feeling reckless?!


Elizabeth said...

I love baking with strawberries!

grace said...

i'm really getting into this whole savory-herbs-in-baking thing. bravo! :)