With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I figured I would share a few recipes this week that would be excellent for all the mamas out there. Typically, Mother's Day for my family entails some sort of mimosa-filled brunch followed by either shopping and/or going to the beach. Brunch seems to be a tradition that many other families partake in for the holiday, so today I'm providing a brunch "dessert", but let's face it, you can eat it at any time of the day you wish (hello breakfast).
The dessert that I'm referring to is a galette. Galettes are my secret weapon in the baking world that I pull out when I want to impress people but most importantly, they are insanely easy to make. If you aren't aware of what a galette is, it is basically a freeform version of a pie: you do not bake it in a dish of any kind and form the shape of it yourself. With that said, a galette is rustic in nature and that's what makes it so cool; every one is unique in and of itself and there's no right way to do it necessarily.
But in order to have an amazing galette, we must back track a bit and learn how to make the foundation of it - the pie crust, or what we will refer to as the pâte brisée ("pie crust pastry" in French). To me, the pie crust is the single most important aspect of any pie or galette. The filling could be mediocre at best, but as long as the crust is flaky and buttery, I am happy as can be.
For today's galette, I decided to keep it simple and provide you with a blueberry and lemon filling. But honestly, you can do whatever filling you want to! In the past I've taken the pâte brisée recipe and made a strawberry galette, a nectarine and blackberry galette, and even a lemon cheesecake (for this I used a pie dish). The recipe provided gives you two 8-10 inch pie crusts depending on how thin you roll it out, but you can make about a dozen hand pies with it or one gigantic galette. The sky is truly the limit with this recipe.
With that said, the pie crust recipe that I am giving you today has been adapted to be on the sweeter side (1 tablespoon of sugar as opposed to 1 teaspoon) so feel free to scale back. I personally think the crust is perfect, but just know that there is room for adjustment. Also, if you want to use the pie crust for a savory pie, I would omit the sugar fully and leave everything else the same.
Lastly, I want to stress how easy it is to make both (pâte brisée and galette) of these recipes. I've made the pâte brisée countless times and just about every one of those times, I could have sworn that I did something wrong like adding too much ice water or over-mixing the dough, only to find that it still came out PERFECTLY. It really is a fool-proof recipe that I promise beginners can achieve. And once you get to forming the galette, that's honestly the fun part and shouldn't cause you any stress.
So for Mother's Day, make the pâte brisée and choose something to bake that your mother will love. Whether that be a berry galette, a rhubarb strawberry pie, or a dozen hand pies, make it for her and I promise you that you'll get more bonus points than your sister who only gave her a card.
Makes 2 8-10 in. pie crusts
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. course salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cold water
In the bowl of a food processor fixed with the s-blade, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.
Add in the butter, and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger chunks of butter.
With the food processor on low, pour the water through the feed tube until the dough holds together, but is not sticky or too wet. You can test this by pinching the dough between your fingers - if it holds together, the dough is ready. If it's still too crumbly, add 1 tbsp. of water at a time until you've reached the right consistency. Do not over mix! This ensures a flaky crust.
Turn out the dough onto a clean surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a disc and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, if using soon. If not, the dough can be frozen for up to 1 month (allow the dough to defrost in the fridge overnight if frozen).
Makes 1 galette - about 6-8 servings
1/2 recipe pâte brisée (one of the pie dough halves from the recipe above)
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg, beaten (for crust)
Raw sugar, to sprinkle on crust
Confectioners' sugar, toasted sliced almonds, vanilla ice cream, to finish (optional)
Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and roll out the dough into about 12 inch round, flipping the dough over every once in a while as to prevent it from sticking. Transfer the parchment paper with dough onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
While the dough is refrigerating, work on making the filling. In a bowl, gently mix the blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and salt. Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes to allow the juices to release. Stir it occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit for about 5 minutes or until it is workable. Spoon the filling into the center of the dough, being careful to leave about 2 inches of a border. If you're worried that not all of the filling will fit, take some out.
Brush the 2 inch edges with the egg wash, and begin to push and tuck the dough inward over the filling, so that it provides a border. Once again, brush the border with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the blueberries are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
Transfer to a cooling rack, and if desired, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, sliced almonds, and/or vanilla ice cream.