Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mini Strawberry Galettes

'Tis the Season


I'm very picky when it comes to strawberries- you see, when it comes to my favorite fruit, they top the list at number 1, but that's only in the summer when they're a) cheap, and b) actually taste like strawberries.  Any other time of the year (winter especially), they taste like hard, sour rocks of styrofoam.  But when they're in season, I've been known to demolish an entire flat in a day, too greedy to put them to use in a dessert.  Perfectly ripe strawberries are the bees' knees.  


My neighbors used to own a strawberry farm, and a couple times during the summer they would ring our doorbell with a flat or two of the sweetest, juiciest strawberries.  A day or two later I would return the favor with a strawberry tart or homemade strawberry pie.  



But now that it's officially summer (although the weather this past month has been quite cloudy), real strawberries are available.  When I say real, I mean the ones where I buy a pint for me and a pint for the recipe.


This recipe is pretty straightforward- the only thing to keep in mind is that make sure your berries aren't too big or else it's a pain to shape the crust around the fruit.



I also added some leftover crumb topping I had stashed in the freezer from when I made apple crisp, to add a touch more sweetness.  I love having appropriate ingredients just hanging around!

 



There are a couple methods to shaping the galettes- the first is a bit easier, where you just fold all the dough up at the same time and pinch it together into a crown with the strawberries like little gems in the center.

The second method, which gives you cute little pentagons (perfect for my ocd), involves lifting up one side of the dough, dabbing egg wash at the end, and lifting the subsequent side and pressing it onto the point you just egg-washed.  Definitely took a little practicing.

pentagons


It's imperative that you let the tarts chill for 10-15 minutes in the fridge, or else you end up with...

party foul



The end result is a crispy little frisbee of pastry that is stuffed with the concentrated flavor of pure strawberry.  The topping adds a touch of added sweetness along with a slight crunch.



It's important that you make these the day of consumption, as the juices from the berries turn the crust soggy after they have been stored overnight.  Perhaps adding more flour to the mixture would help with this problem.  In the end my tarts turned out a bit more tart then expected, but that just turned into an excuse to eat it with a scoop of ice cream.  And dare I say it... these galettes make an excellent breakfast pastry (and thus another excuse to justify eating ice cream in the morning). 

 pretend there's coffee in that teacup
    
Mini Strawberry Galettes

MAKES 16
2 pts. of strawberries, medium diced
3-4 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of orange juice
2 teaspoons of orange zest
2 tablespoons of flour
one batch of pate brisee
fruit crisp topping
egg wash 
Mix the strawberries, sugar, salt, pepper, orange juice, zest, and flour in a bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes while you roll out the pastry.  

Divide the pate brisee into 16 portions, and roll out each piece into a rough circle about 1/8 inch thick.  Use a bowl as a guide, cut circles from the dough (mine were about 5-6 inches in diameter).  Place berries on the dough, and sprinkle a couple teaspoons of crumb topping on top, and wrap the dough around the filling.  Chill for 10-15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the galettes for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden and crisp.  Let cool to room temperature before serving.

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