How to make a rustic, no-frills summer fruit galette

As delicious as a pie, but taking half the work, a galette is the perfect summer pie.

This rustic fruit tart doesn’t take long to assemble. There is no meticulous cutting, blind cooking, or lattice making, not even a plate of pie involved. It’s relaxed, indulgent, and infinitely riffable, using whatever fruit you like or have on hand. Are you already convinced?

A rustic tarte, as it is called in French, has a crumbly, all-butter crust folded loosely over a simple fruit filling. It is baked on a parchment-lined baking sheet, rather than in a roasting pan or roasting pan.

The simple tart is a very popular dessert in France, especially during the summer months, to take advantage of the abundance of fresh seasonal fruit.

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All you’ll need are these two components: shortcrust pastry and a fruit filling, plus some expert tips for making a great galette.

For a reliable crust

For galettes, the best candidate for the crust is undoubtedly a pâte brisée, the French version of a shortcrust pastry. This classic French tart is made only with flour, butter and water, without sugar or eggs. It is therefore very versatile and can be used for both sweet and savory cakes, quiches or pies.

The water promotes the formation of gluten in the flour, so the pâte brisée is sturdy enough to hold any juicy fruit fillings (just don’t overdo the water, or you’ll end up with a hard crust), but still very crumbly, thanks to the generous amount of butter. This also makes for an easy-to-work and very forgiving dough, which is exactly what you want, for shaping a galette with little stress.

It is essential to use frozen butter and ice water to make the dough. The frozen butter, not at room temperature, will spread into the flour without softening and the frozen water will bind the ingredients without melting the butter. This ensures that small bits of butter are still present in the dough once it is rolled out, which makes the pâté brisée more tender and crumbly. To make frozen butter, cut it into cubes, put it on a plate and put it in the freezer for 20-25 minutes.

Although a pâte brisée can be easily mixed in a food processor, I prefer to do it by hand to get a better feel for the consistency of the dough. It is important not to mix the dough too much, otherwise the crust will be too hard once cooked. Once the flour and butter have blended, slowly add just enough water so the dough holds together when pressed into the palm of your hand.

The dough must then cool for at least 20-30 minutes before being rolled out. If the dough is too cold and firm when you try to roll it out, let it sit at room temperature for five to 10 minutes to warm slightly.

For a fabulous filling

Make sure you rinse your fruits under cold water and dry them gently, but thoroughly, before starting.

Don’t worry about sugar and cornstarch. If you are using berries like berries and stone fruits, you may be tempted to cut back on the amount of sugar, but if you do, you will get a runny filling. Both the sugar and the starch will absorb the moisture and create a deliciously jam filling.

For firm fruits like apples and pears, which hold their shape better when cooked, you can reduce the amount of sugar and cornstarch by up to half.

Ace the Assembly

To prevent fruit juices from making the crust soggy, sprinkle some chopped almonds, oats, or chopped biscuits in the center of the rolled out crust before adding the filling.

When placing the filling in the center of the crust, be sure to leave a two-inch border all around. This way you will be able to easily fold the edges over the filling later on. Don’t even accumulate the fruits; distribute them in a single uniform layer, so that they too cook evenly.

If the edges of the dough crack a bit when you fold them over the fruit, simply wet your fingers under warm water and scrub the slits to tie the dough again.

Summer fruit galette

A galette invites all kinds of fruit fillings, be it berries, stone fruit or a combination. Summer favorites include strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, and apricots. Come late summer and fall, apples and pears are the staple foods.

The key is to always dice or thinly slice the fruit to a uniform size. You can simply toss the fruit filling into the center of the dough or arrange the fruit slices neatly to create cute patterns.

You can also add your own touch of flavor with citrus zest (try orange zest with berries), fresh herbs (basil with strawberries, lemon verbena with stone fruit) and / or spices (cinnamon with apples).

It serves 8

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of ice water

For the stuffing

  • 4 cups of berries and / or stone fruits, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (or tapioca starch)

To assemble

  • 4 tablespoons chopped almonds (or quick oats or chopped biscuits, such as graham crackers)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

Prepare the shortcrust pastry: Mix the flour, salt and butter with your fingers or blend in a food processor until crumbly and pea-sized bits of butter are still visible. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough comes together into a rough ball (about 1/4 cup of water). Don’t mix too much, or your crust will turn out tough. If you think the dough is too crumbly, add a few more drops of water, but try to keep the water to a minimum, as too much will also make the crust hard. Wrap the dough in cling film and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about 20 minutes.

Combine the flour, salt and frozen butter into cubes. (Audrey Le Goff)
Galette - step by step 2
Stir with your fingers until crumbly, with pea-sized bits of butter still visible. (Audrey Le Goff)
Galette - step by step 3
Slowly add ice water just enough so the dough holds together when pressed into the palm of your hand, then wrap and refrigerate. (Audrey Le Goff)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with a grill in the center. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prepare the filling: Put the sliced ​​or diced fruit in a large bowl. Mix with the sugar, salt, vanilla extract and corn starch until coated evenly.

Galette - step by step 5
Season the fruit with sugar, salt, vanilla extract and corn starch. (Audrey Le Goff)

Assemble the galette: Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a circle about 16 inches in diameter (about 1/6 inch thick). Roll out the dough on the rolling pin and transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Galette - step by step 6
Sprinkle quick oats or chopped almonds in the center of the rolled out dough, leaving a 2-inch border. (Audrey Le Goff)

Spread the chopped almonds in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Evenly arrange the fruit filling on top, always leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the edges of the dough over the fruits to create a 1 1/2 to 2 inch folded edge, folding the dough as you go. If the edges of the dough break, wet your fingers with lukewarm water and scrub the crevices to re-tie the dough.

Galetta 7
Spread the fruit mixture evenly over the oats or almonds. (Audrey Le Goff)

Whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Brush the folded edge.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges of the crust appear dry and golden and the fruit filling appears soft.

Apricot Galette (4)
Fold over the edges of the dough, brush with beaten egg and cook until the crust appears dry and golden. (Audrey Le Goff)