This rustic version of a tart or pie is filled with a simple mixed berry filling and topped off with a scoop of ice cream for a Patriotic summer dessert.
Simple pastry dough is wrapped around a sweet filling composed of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries and a hint of lemon to complement the fruit. I prefer making galettes to pies because there is far less room for error. The whole point of a galette is to make it look “rustic” – i.e. made in a plain and simple fashion. More recently the term “rustic” is used to describe foods that are slightly imperfect giving them a more homemade charm. The most popular form of galette is “galette des rois” also called King cake. The filling is made with frangipane – an almond cream.
A galette is a French term to characterize freeform tarts and pastries. They’re typically made with either sweet or savory fillings encased in a crusty pastry dough. I love making galettes because they’re much more approachable than perfectly garnished pies or tarts. The pastry dough is rolled out into a rough circle (the edges don’t need to be perfect). Then the filling is added and carefully folded around the filling – no pan necessary.
What’s in mixed berry galette
Pastry dough – I just use my basic pastry dough recipe as the crust for this galette. The dough is made from all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, lots of butter and just enough water to hold it all together.
Mixed berries – In this recipe, you can use whatever combination of berries you desire, though I like the colorful combination of red raspberries and strawberries mixed with deep hued blueberries and black berries. This is a flexible recipe. Try substituting the berries with another fruit like sliced peaches or apples mixed with a touch of cinnamon instead of lemon.
Cornstarch – As the berries cook they release a lot of water, and the cornstarch acts to bind it together so it doesn’t become too runny. It works quickly to thicken the filling as it bubbles and cooks while adding a glossy look.
Lemon – I use both the lemon juice and zest in this recipe. The zest has a more concentrated bright lemon flavor.
Butter – Brushing the crust in melted butter or egg wash results in a glossy, perfectly golden brown crust.
Sugar – Granulated sugar is tossed with the fruit to macerate it. It draws the liquid from the berries and reduces to make for a perfectly sweet, jammy filling as the galette cooks.
Demerara sugar – This cane sugar with coarse crystals is used as a garnish. Since it is decorative it can be omitted if needed. The crystallized, unrefined sugar is also known as “sugar in the raw” and can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
How to make this recipe
Make the pastry dough. Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Next, pulse for a few seconds to combine. Next, add the butter and pulse until distributed.
Add the water. First, chill the water then add it to the flour, pulsing until a rough dough forms.
Knead the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough. Next, form into a square, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
Make the berry filling. In a medium bowl stir together the berries, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice and set aside.
Roll out the dough. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12” circle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then transfer the rolled out dough to the pan.
Add the filling. Spread the berry mixture in the center of the dough. Then gently fold the sides of the dough up a little at a time, making pleats as you go.
Bake the galette. Brush the pastry with the melted butter and sprinkle it with the Demerara sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
Serve. To serve, cut the galette into slices and serve warm topped with ice cream.