Your New Kitchen Staple? Pie Crust

raspPhoto: Courtest of Yossy Arefi.
I know it's coming to a close, but here's a hot tip for summer: Keep a batch of pie crust in your fridge or freezer at all times. Then, when you spot some pretty fruit at the farmer's market, you'll always have something to tuck it into at the ready.
Just about the easiest thing you can make with fruit and pie crust is a galette. Galettes are casual open-faced tarts and their charm is in their imperfections. It's okay if the fruit leaks all over the baking sheet and there is no futzy crust crimping for the folks who find that part of pie making frustrating. I even know someone who likes to make them at 3 a.m. after a night of drinking, so you know they are easy.
These particular galettes were born when I had lots of little bits of different fruits left over from another project; I used roughly equal amounts of sour cherries, red currants, and raspberries. This particular combination of red fruits turned out visually stunning and totally delicious, but you don't have to feel limited by these fruits!
This is more of a formula and a process than a recipe that needs to be followed to the letter, so feel free to swap the crust or the fruit or the jam for anything you like. And, it's the best kind of recipe to have in your back pocket for all those times when you need a last-minute dessert. Get invited to dinner? Galette. Going to a picnic or barbecue or rooftop party? Galette. Celebrating a birthday? Galette. Tuesday? Galette.
embedPhoto: Courtesy of Yossy Arefi.
Red Fruits Galettes
Yields two 9-inch galettes
For the crust:
12 oz all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
9 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 oz ice cold water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
For the filling:
About 2 lbs of assorted red fruits (raspberries, cherries, sour cherries, sweet cherries, currants, etc.)
1 3/4 - 2 3/4 ounces granulated sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit (for example: currants will need more, sweet cherries less)
8 oz apricot, raspberry or strawberry jam
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Pinch salt
1 tbsp flour (only if the fruit seems very juicy)
1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt for egg wash
1 3/4 oz crunchy sugar like demerara or turbinado for sprinkling
For the crust:
1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in half of the butter until it is the size of peas, then cut in the other half until it is the size of lima beans. Some of the butter will be completely worked into the flour, but you should have lots of visible pieces of butter in the dough too.
2. Add the apple cider vinegar to the water and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to mix the water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems very dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart.
3. Press the dough together, then split it in half, form into discs, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight.
For the filling:
1. Work with one piece of dough at a time and on a floured surface, roll the dough into a roughly 13'' circle, 1/4-1/8'' thick. Transfer the rounds to two large, parchment-lined sheet pans. Store in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
2. Pit the cherries and remove the currants from their stems. In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest and salt into the sugar. If you're using flour, now's the time to add it. Add the fruit to the sugar mixture and toss gently to combine.
3. Remove the pastry from the fridge and spread each round with about 4 tablespoons of jam, then divide the fruit evenly between the disks, leaving a 1 1/2'' border around the edges. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling and gently brush the egg wash between the folds to seal. Chill the formed tarts until the dough is very firm.
4. While the tarts are chilling, preheat your oven to 400ºF. When the tarts are nice and cold, remove them from the fridge, gently brush the pastry with egg wash, and sprinkle the pastry and the fruit with coarse sugar. Bake until the fruit juices bubble and ooze and the pastry is a deep golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool before serving.

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