Galettes are the country cousins of pie. Prized as much for their casual rustic presentation as they are for being versatile and forgiving, you can ‘fill’ them up with almost any assortment of fruits, vegetables, or meats that you can imagine.
That said, we should back up a bit. Every good galette starts with good pie dough and the idea of "homemade pie dough" is often enough to scare someone off in itself. Sure, no one will fault you if you head to the refrigerated aisle in your grocery store and grab some ready-made dough; the galette will still be tasty, your guests will still have happy bellies. But if you're looking to push yourself into a little more adventure, just remember a good pie dough can be made from just four ingredients: flour, butter, salt, and water.
A basic dough recipe is written out below, and to help you out we've synthesized some of the best advice we've found to make the process go more easily. So pop your butter in the freezer, make a cup of tea, and contemplate interesting combinations that will make your galette fun.
Whisk together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add cubed butter and toss with your hands to coat. Squish the butter cubes in your fingers into pieces roughly the size of walnut halves. Point of note: The bigger the pieces after squishing the flakier the dough.
Make a well in the center of the mixture and add ice water a few tablespoons at a time. Toss lightly with your fingers so that the dough comes together. Try to avoid over-working. For final mixing, fold rather than knead. Form ball into a 1-2"H disk. It will have cracks and creases, and might feel like it is just on the verge of falling apart. Wrap the disk in plastic and chill for a minimum of an hour, or preferably, overnight.
It is important that all ingredients remain cold. If your fingers warm and melt the butter at any time, place the whole mix in the freezer for 10 minutes to re-chill. Some cooks like to chill the rolled out crust once on a baking sheet or even the fully prepared galette prior to baking.
This will make your dough very sticky when it’s time to roll it out. Ideally your dough ball won’t be as uniformly moistened as something like cookie dough batter. Instead the dough ball might feel like it could come apart as you’re wrapping it in cellophane.
You can double wrap your dough disk and freeze for a few days. You can put it in a freezer bag or aluminum foil for extra protection.
*Don't fret if it's not perfect. The galette can still be tasty and fun. Over time you'll get a feel for each stage of pastry-making.
You have just come home from your local orchard and in your exuberence you have littered your kitchen with sacks of apples. Autumn is in full swing. You're excited about the flavors of the season and you don't want to pass up an opportunity to make something with pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Here's a way to combine these fall favorites. Make a galette that combines the fall-time requisite pumpkin and, of course, pumpkin pie spice with the sweet, caramel-like flavor of cooked apples.
This recipe uses a thin layer of pumpkin puree spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice for that pumpkin pie spice flair. It is then topped by a thin layer of sliced sugar and spice coated apples. The marriage of these two flavors delivers a worthwhile mash up of texture and taste that makes the pairing seem natural, if not fated.
In addition to not requiring fussiness, another great thing about a galette is that the filling is revealed. Sure, a 'revealed filling' can gives you an opportunity to dive back into that fussiness and obsess over making beautiful patterns with your fruit filling. However, the vibrant red of strawberries and cherries, complete with the gloppy sheen they'll get as they bake, means that a more haphazard approach will still yield visually impressive results to make you and your guests swoon.
This strawberry and cherry galette recipe pairs the sweetness of the fruits and sugars with the spicy warmth of cinnamon, and the licorice-like flavor of star anise. Together they add complexity and a touch of something exotic.
Peaches are the embodiment of southern summer sun. Complemented with the warmth and spice of ginger, this sweet peach fruit filling has a subtle heat and kick. If it's a bit cooler out and you still want to reminisce about summer sun, with the flavors of your porch cocktails and sweet refreshments, this filling is for you. It is a great way to ease into the fall and winter baking flavor of ginger. So, get ready for the snaps, houses, breads, and beers so ubiquitous during the holidays with a salute to summer that's sure to shine.
Also remember, as with most things, peach filling is even better with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Like serving your friends English Breakfast Tea on a doily, adding lavender to your blueberry and lemon galette filling will lend sophistication and elegance to your table. Lavender's musky sweet smell and subtle floral flavor notes will accentuate the sweetness of your blueberries and soften the citrus tang of your lemon. In fact, this is the perfect galette filling to choose if you want to sip a cuppa and raise a pinky with friends.
Whole lavender buds are delicate in appearance, but can be deceivingly powerful when used in cooking. Be sure to remember that when flavoring with this botanical, less is more.
If you are still drinking your tea and want to research a bit more before diving in, here are some folks we like learning from. *Note: All of the resources linked below will take you to a different website, not affiliated with Selefina. Use your back button to navigate back to us.
FOOD52: If you like butter and appreciate charming, effervescent personalities, this video tutorial is for you. Author and baker Erin McDowell put together this step-by-step dough making video with FOOD52 (a recipe community turned shopping paradise for cooks). A word of warning: Erin is so good at her explanations she'll make you believe you are an expert. But she'd be the first to agree: good pie dough still requires hands-on practice.
Serious Eats: An excellent description of the difficulties of getting the right consistency when cutting fat (butter/lard) into the flour (see our squishing instructions above). The domino effect that results in tough pastry—starting with just how the fat is cut and running through adding too much water to compensate—is expertly explained. If you like knowing the "whys" behind the "hows,"" this post by author and culinary consultant J. Kenji López-Alt on SeriousEats is an excellent guide.
New York Times Cooking: Food writer and columnist Melissa Clark breaks down ingredient choices in making pie dough and uses the popular food processor method to keep her hands from heating the fat. In addition to her own thoughts on cutting consistency—pea-sized fat nuggets vs walnut (or lima bean) sized pieces—she also provides tips on rolling out the dough, blind baking, as well as fluting and lattice work if you're tempted to just go ahead and make a pie.
King Arthur Baking: This website has a rich and helpful library for all things baking, including this thorough recipe from author and chef Claire Saffitz for All-Purpose Flaky Pastry Dough. There's also a Claire's video tutorial for her stiffer all-purpose pie dough should you prefer more visual cues. While making her dough you'll see Clarie underscoring the need for proper hydration, and keeping the mixture cold by working quickly. Interestingly she employs a technique where she finishes her cutting on a surface versus the mixing bowl.
Blueberry Thyme Galette by self-described baker, home chef, neuroscientist, world traveler, and mom, Zainab. On her food blog A Classic Twist she describes how baking has been a hobby she began in grad school.
Chai Spice Apple Galette by Seattle-based chef and food blogger Aberdeen on her website Aberdeen's Kitchen. She attended culinary school at Le Cordon Blue and uses her talents to develop accessible recipes for the whole family.
Five Spice Plum Galette with Cardamom Earl Grey Tea Crust There's definitely a lot going on in Peter Som's version of a Jacques Pepin classic. Peter is a master of flavor—having contributed articles to Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, and The Purist—this recipe is no exception. With our roots in tea, it's easy to see how we also appreciate recipes that incorporate this favorite plant.
Pear Galette with Goat Cheese and Walnuts by passionate home cook Andreea Farcas from Bucharest. On her food blog Romandian Masala she has created and posted this delicious savory fruit galette with pears and sage.
Heirloom Tomato Galette Recipe by chef and food blogger Krista from her In Krista's Kitchen blog. Her beautiful galettes have a variety of fillings, this one complements heirloom tomatoes with fresh garlic, thyme, chives, black pepper, and basil.
Simple Savory Leek Galette by baker Alie from her blog Baking for Friends. She specializes in classics and, true to her blog's moniker, enjoys bringing folks together through food. Classic savory spices garlic, salt, and ground pepper add pop to the leeks, spinach, and feta.
Miso Mushroom Galette with Black Tea Crust, Sigit Reserve, Thyme Oil It's another Peter Som dish, complete with his signature sophistication and knack for flavor.