I usually skip the baking section of most food magazines. Pies with flaky crusts, light and airy cakes topped with glazed fruits, rich and buttery cookies, macarons made exclusively for well-lit Instagram photos, mocking me with their all-knowing glossy stare: “You can’t bake for shit”. And to be honest, that’s mostly true. A co-worker once gave me a supposedly fool-proof recipe for sugar cookies with less than 5 ingredients and the whole mess looked more like a lumpy, rectangular Sicilian flatbread pizza instead of the homey, round circles of rustic sweetness they were intended to be.
And so I usually forego recipes that even involves yeast, rolling, or proofing for something…meatier, vegetable-ier, anything entree-ier! Until I couldn’t. I had promised to bring a dessert into work and I was running out of meringue-based, no-bake ideas and every food magazine I had subscribed to was extolling the virtues of a warm pie. In a fit of pie-ophobia, I opt for the cop-out solution: the Galette. No exacting crust pleats, no mishandled lattice tops, no possibility of fruit exploding through the top in a volcanic mess of burnt sugar…just a rough, quick, almost child-like creation of fruit in baked dough. Pair that with fresh whipped cream (all those meringue-based desserts trained my whipping arm well after all!) and the wrath of the Baking Harpies is assuaged for another day. Thanks Bon Appetit (with some tweaks)!
(30 mins. prep, 1 hour chilling, 1 hour baking)
*Serves 4 (Bon Appetit must think we have an aversion to dessert thinking this serves 10)
1/2 c. pecans
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, roughly diced
~2 c. (err on more) blueberries
1.5 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1) Toast pecans in a skillet on medium-high. They’ll darken slightly and start to make the room smell warm and homey…just make sure you don’t burn them into blackness (totally did that before).
2) Toss the pecans into a blender or food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. I don’t have the latter so unfortunately this also meant continuously stirring the mix so it doesn’t get too packed in the bottom of the blender. Add flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and pulse to combine. At this point, the recipe called to pulse the butter in to combine until only a few butter pieces are visible. Given the fact that I only had a blender, I actually just poured the whole thing into a big bowl and mixed it with a fork or both my hands to tear the butter pieces and mix. Worked out just fine!
3) Transfer to a bowl (if you used the processor), drizzle with 1/4 c. cold water and mix to combine. Add more if necessary until well-combined. Pat dough into a 6″-diameter disk, wrap in plastic and chill for an hour.
4) While waiting, toss blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl.
5) Roll out the chilled dough into a 12″-diameter disk and preheat the oven to 375. Mine was just a tad bit wider as I wanted a slightly thinner crust.
6) Mound blueberries in center, leaving about 2″ off the sides. Fold the sides up and over (no it doesn’t have to neat…guess why I chose this recipe?) ensuring that you don’t tear the dough else the berries will bust through.
7) Brush the dough with the cream, sprinkle the top with sugar, and bake for ~50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the berries bubbling. Let cool.
8) Serve with ice cream while warm or with whipped cream when cool. The pectin from the berries sets nicely as it cools so you can definitely enjoy it warm or cool.