May 13, 2011
Strawberry season is here!
I have always had an affinity towards strawberries. They seemed like a hands-off, once a year sort of treat. Still to this day, when I visit my grandparents home, the treasured dessert is vanilla bean ice cream topped with strawberries from their garden. In its simplicity, it speaks of freshness, family, and the coming of summer. In one of my favorite books as a child, The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, the little mouse tries to hide his ripe strawberry from the big hungry bear. (It is another that I think my father had memorized due to reading it over and over and over again.) I love this!
While the berries are best enjoyed when ripe, simply on their own, there are also many great ways to bake and cook with them. My sister and I transformed the lovely berries into a simple galette to complete a fresh spring dinner. The strawberries baked down with butter and sugar, nestled into a classic tart dough making a warm treat reminiscent of strawberry shortcake. I like making galettes instead of pies, because the dough to fruit ratio is more equalized, and I also love how rustic it looks. The recipe for the galette is below, and here are a few other strawberry recipes I hope to try in the coming weeks:
Strawberry Galetteadapted from Martha Stewart For The Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface 1 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water For The Galette 1 pound strawberries, hulled 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 large egg yolk 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Make the dough: Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add ice water, and pulse until just combined (dough will still be crumbly). Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Make the galette: Cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Reserve end pieces for another use. Toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Whisk together yolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Dot berries with butter. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.