Sunday, August 26, 2012
Streusel-Topped Strawberry Balsamic Galette
I'm kind of at that place in my head (scary stuff) where I need to use all of the most amazing in-season fruit, right. now. before, it goes away again til next summer. There are peaches on my counter crying to be put in a buttermilk cake, and cherries that absolutely must be combined with chocolate in any way, shape or form. Plus apples, just picked last week that might make a mighty fine pie. Not too mention that the nectarines have failed to make it home from the market, but I'm hoping to remedy that soon. Too much fruit! Too little time!
But the good news is that I finally made it out to the strawberry farm last weekend and came home with 4 heaping baskets (they hate it when you heap, but whatever) of strawberries, picked under the glorious blue Saskatchewan sky. Two baskets went to my mom, because I'm the best daughter ever, and one I sliced the tops off and froze for those dark winter days just beginning to creep back into my consciousness, damn them. The remaining strawberries were sliced into yogurt and cereal and just popped into my mouth. So good. Nothing compares to these local farm berries - red all the way through, sweet and juicy. The supermarket impostors should be ashamed of themselves.
At the back of my mind where all of the sweet recipes roll about, back and forth, I knew I'd turn the rest into a galette. With a little balsamic punch and a buttery almond topping, it's a great way to use the last of the season's berries. Balsamic vinegar, just a tad, really compliments the strawberries, and when they are nestled in the crust and buried under all of that buttery almond goodness, a slice of this is just what summer is about. So let's go!
Pastry, don't be afraid of it - just do it!
Ground almonds, then strawberries.
Fold over and pleat the pastry so it looks pretty. As a funny side note, Jann Arden started following me on Instagram (!!) and she liked the above photo. Neato, huh?!
Top with your buttery almond sugar goodness. Don't forget the egg wash - it makes it all golden and gorgeous.
Out of the oven, juices running, this galette is a pleasure to slice into. I might just have to make another trip out to the strawberry fields.
Streusel-Topped Strawberry Balsamic Galette
Bench notes: I followed the original recipe from Canadian Living, but felt that there was too much pastry for the amount of fruit, so I've adapted the pastry recipe from my Rhubarb Pie recipe last summer, and that should do the trick.
For the pastry:
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup cold shortening
2 tsp vinegar
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 3/4 pounds (800grams) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1/3 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup EACH corn starch and granulated sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 egg yolk
2 tsp coarse sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup sliced almonds
To make the pastry, in the bowl of a food processor, add the flour and salt and fats. Pulse until the dough is crumbly. In a 1/2 cup measure, add the egg and vinegar and enough cold water to fill. With the motor running, add the liquid to the flour mixture. Then add a teeny bit more cold water. The dough should come together and be soft, not crumbly at all. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 2 and form each into a disc. Put one in the fridge for an hour or so, and put the other one in the freezer for later use. Alternatively, you can leave the dough in the fridge overnight, and remove 30 minutes before you want to roll your pastry out.
Combine the strawberries, jam, corn starch, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.
For the streusel, stir the flour with sugar, rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Stir in almonds. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a circle. Place on a parchment lined bake sheet. Sprinkle with ground almonds, leaving a 3 inch border. Scrape strawberry filling into centre and spread over almonds. Fold pastry edges over, pleating every 2-3 inches. It's rustic, people, so it won't be perfect. Sprinkle streusel over berries. Mix egg yolk with 2 tsp water and brush over pastry. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in the bottom third of a 375*F preheated oven, until golden, about 40-50 minutes. Let cool on rack, but serve warm. Adapted from Canadian Living, July 2012.