Friday, July 10, 2009

Mixed Berry Galette - A Dismal Failure That Actually Tastes Good

I am not a baker. I know. I am repeating myself, but I must in order defend how horribly this turned out...sort of.

It looks terrible, very unappetizing. It looks like a four-year-old put it together. Maybe that's where my baking skill set level is ~ pre-kindergarten. I'd like to think I'm more accomplished than that, but the results don't support it. Except for the taste. It is surprisingly good. Good enough to make me want to try again.

What went wrong? Oh, let me count down the mistakes for you.

  • First, I chose to make something I'd never done before. It sounds ridiculous to say that, but it's true. I'd never made a galette and when I saw Pam's recipe @ For The Love of Cooking, it looked simple enough. She made it sound simple, too.

  • The dough ~ the start of the fiasco. I followed the recipe exactly. Honest. I didn't waver one smidgen. I rolled the dough into a ball, covered it with plastic wrap, put it in the refrigerator and set the time for one hour. After the full hour, I removed the dough from the fridge, unwrapped it and laid it down on my countertop that I had dusted generously with flour. When I started to roll out the dough into the 11-inch round circle, it just kept cracking and wouldn't hold together. Little did I know that you are supposed to let it come to room temperature so it's more pliable. Duh!

  • The dough ~ part deux. The dough started sticking to the granite and I thought maybe I should try to get it to the pizza pan and finish rolling out there. But, I couldn't get the dough off the counter without ripping it to shreds, which I did after throwing a fit, and I wound up just throwing (yes, throwing) the dough onto the pizza pan in globs and pieces. I tried to roll the dough back together with my rolling pin, which, of course, would not work because the sides of the pan kept the rolling pin from barely touching the dough. I decided to just use my hands to gently manipulate the dough into what could only remotely resemble a circle.

  • Then there was the filling and where my stupidity kicked into high gear. The recipe says, "Spoon the berries into the center of the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border." Since the recipe didn't specifically say "drain your berries," I didn't and got this... which point I was nearly in tears and ready to throw the whole thing into the trash. Tom, bless his even tempered heart, stepped in to help clean up the juice that had spilled onto the pan and quickly fold up the sides of the pastry to try to minimize the damage. Even so, when it came out of the oven, it was not pretty.

    The galette was cemented to the pan. I couldn't even get a spatula underneath it. I gave up and decided it was time to take a break and left the kitchen.

A few minutes later, when I returned to the kitchen, the galette was no longer sitting in the middle of the pizza pan surrounded by burnt berry juice and sugar. Tom had removed the galette, intact, to a nice white serving plate and put the pizza pan in the sink out of sight. At that point, the pastry started to look somewhat appetizing. Imagine that. The moral: Presentation is just about everything.

And, it really does taste good. So, here's the recipe. By the way, I WILL try this again.

Mixed Berry Galette
Adapted from For The Love of Cooking

Pastry Dough:

1 cup of flour
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter
3 tbsp of ice cold water

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and toss quickly (and carefully!) with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


2 1/2 cups of frozen mixed berries and cherries
1/2 cup white sugar (more if the fruit is extra tart)
1 tbsp flour
Raw sugar crystals
2 tbsp butter

Mix the berries with the sugar and flour then cover and set aside for a couple of hours so they thaw.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator and roll into an 11 inch circle on a floured surface. Place on baking sheet. Spoon the berries into the center of the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border. Carefully fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge. Brush water on the exposed pastry and add a bit of raw sugar crystals (I skipped this part because I just wanted to get it in the oven.). Top the fruit with a couple of pats of butter. Bake the galette for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes.

Pam served her galette with whipped cream. I had a little low-fat ice cream with mine. I think I'll have it again tonight, too.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I'm not a baker either and whenever I try something it usually turns out like this did. I guess we just have to laugh! I'm glad it tasted good and what a wonderful man to fix it up for you :)

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