Does making pie crust from scratch seem daunting? Do pies seem like something just grandmas and competitive soccer moms do?
No! You deserve fresh strawberries glazed in sugar and encased in a flaky, buttery blanket. It can all be yours! (Just with a lot less work than you THINK it will take.)
Living in Florida has many benefits, but the early fruit and other fresh produce is something that is really invaluable. Seeing these beauties inspired me to make a Strawberry Galette for a brunch gathering this weekend. (And galette just means pie, but without the fussy crust.)
Keep in mind that you can buy pie crust from the store, and this would be lovely. But being the slightly overwrought food nerd that I am, I wanted to make the crust myself. I used Smitten Kitchen’s Berry Galette crust and loosely adapted the filling part.
I diced Kerrygold butter and put it in the fridge to chill while I got out the other ingredients. I didn’t have ricotta so I used sour cream. I also have about 25 different salts, so I used a fine grey French salt (close to Fleur de Sel but less expensive).
I find in baking that going a little higher end on key ingredients like butter, vanilla and salt transform something good into something spectacular. (My Toll House chocolate chip cookies have stunned people, not kidding.)
After cutting the cold butter with a pastry cutter into the dry ingredients, you gently fold in cold water and sour cream with a spatula or wood spoon (or your hands!) to make a craggy, ugly ball. Then wrap it in plastic and flatten into a disk. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour and you can use that time to make the filling.
Another tweak I made: I cut up one container of the strawberries and cooked them down with a 1/2 cup of sugar (they were really tart), lemon zest, the cornstarch and a splash of Madagascar vanilla. (Instead of just tossing the uncooked fruit with the other filling ingredients as the original recipe instructs.)
While those strawberries cooled, I sliced about 10 more strawberries and rolled out the crust on parchment paper. I drained some of the cooked strawberries (about a 1/4 cup of juice) and microwaved the resulting strawberry juice with about four tablespoons of sugar to make a glaze. ( I just added sugar until it tasted like a strawberry syrup to be honest.)
The cooked strawberry mush (basically jam) went on the crust first, leaving 2 inches around the edge. Then the raw strawberry slices were added on top in a spiral until covering the fruit. Lastly, I folded the crust over, and glazed the fruit. Last step is brushing the crust with egg wash and sprinkling heavily with sugar (coarse sugar would have worked better, but I was out. )
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or golden brown.
Look at this monster! This thing smelled like sunshine, Springtime and grandma’s kitchen all wrapped up in one. The parchment paper was a lifesaver, both in the dough rolling process (had to stick it in the fridge when the butter started getting to warm and the crust became unmanageable) and in transferring the finished galette to a serving plate.
Two notes after finishing this little beaut: 1) definitely double or triple the recipe. One of these could serve 4-6 people at most (depending on how small your slices are and how hungry your guests are) and you definitely want leftovers; 2) taste the strawberries to determine how much sugar you need. These strawberries were hella tart and needed A LOT more sugar than the recipe recommended, and it still wasn’t a “sweet” pie.
You can probably tell by the picture, but the crust was sublime, both flaky and tender. Reminded me of a pie crust with smidge of biscuit in buttery texture. This is perfect for dessert, brunch, breakfast or just to celebrate fresh strawberries. (Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream.)
RECIPE: Berry Galette by Smitten Kitchen