Monday, February 11, 2008

A dessert that only a Mother could love...

When I first began writing my food blog, I had honorable intentions of sharing messes and successes with you. I didn’t realize the pain that I would endure having to divulge first rate blunders, with pictures no less!! So here goes…

Jamie and I were invited to the home of very dear friends for dinner. They are a lovely couple and when we get together we share the same passion and love for wine. They always prepare a wonderful meal, and we always manage to enjoy copious amounts of the most fantastic wine with them. This evening was to be no different. I only had one small task – to bring dessert. Now, how hard is that?

My first mistake was attempting a dessert that I hadn’t made before. A dessert that is all about its crust. But honestly, I’m pretty good in the dessert department – so I wasn’t worried. Famous last words…..

How hard could it be to bake a rustic berry galette? The very idea of a free form pie with a homemade crust sounded heavenly. So, I pulled out my trusty food processor and began to make the pastry dough. It was incredibly easy. So easy, it made me wonder, “why don’t I do this more often”?

The dough came together nicely, and I refrigerated it to allow the gluten to relax. Note, this was an important fact based on how the day unfolded. As I waited for the dough to chill, I prepared my mixed fruit - I sweetened blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I basically rolled out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch. The beauty of a galette is that it is free form and doesn’t have to look perfect!! The assembled galette looked beautiful, with fruit heaped in the center. I was so proud of it, so I stuck it in the oven.

About 20 minutes later, I took a peek and my heart sank. My cookie sheet was full of berry juices seeping (more like running) out of my galette. I did not do a good job crimping the dough, I failed. It sounds simple, something I should have done with more care. Lesson learned.
The berry galette tasted good, so I wanted to salvage it. So I scooped it up and finished baking it in a casserole dish. BUT, I couldn’t take it dinner!! Not that dessert. I was in a pickle, I still needed a dessert and the clock was ticking.

So, in a pinch, I whipped up another pastry crust to make a mixed berry tart. The pastry dough was easy, I hope to never buy store bought again!! To reduce the risk of another free form galette, I took the easy road and pressed the dough into a tart pan. I was ensuring no seeping!! I didn't have enough time to go for dessert number 3. So, I prepared the fruit the same way and baked the tart.

I didn't have enough time to adequately refrigerate the pastry dough before rolling it. Normally, I would like the dough to remain in the refrigerator for about an hour. I only had 15 minutes. Because the dough wasn't completely chilled, the tart suffered a little shrinkage. The berry tart still came out beautiful and tasted great. By the way, I literally took the tart out of the oven, glazed the top, and off we were to dinner. The berry tart was still piping hot. I couldn't even take off the tart pan ring until we arrived at our friends house. I barely made it under the wire. Whew!

As for the sad sad original galette, all crumbling in a pie dish, I took it to my Mom’s house. She loved it. She didn’t even notice how pitiful it looked. It was a dessert that only a Mother could love. And loved it she did!

What to Drink: We had bottles of red wine with dinner, so it only seemed fitting to end the night with a port. We drank a 2004 Shafer Port. This is a wine that we bought at the winery, and it is not readily available. If you can get your hands on it, you must try it.

Until we can visit again, raise a glass and Cheers to You!

Mixed Berry Galette

Pastry Dough:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, cut in 1/2-inch cubes, chilled
1 egg yolk
3-4 tablespoons ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt until mixture resemples coarse meal with some small pea-sized lumps of butter. Add the egg yolk and the ice water and pulse on and off until the mixture comes together but does not form a single mass. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide into 2 portions. Smear each portion once with heel of hand to distribute fat. Gather dough together using a pastry scraper, form into a ball, and flatten into a disk. Cover it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

For the Berry Filling:

2 cups of blueberries
2 cups of blackberries
2 cups of raspberries
1 /3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Lemon zest

Toss the fruit with the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest, careful not to bruise the berries.

Assemble and Bake the Tart:
Roll out the dough and press into a tart pan with removable sides. Place the fruit filling in the tart. Bake at 375 degrees until done, about 40 minutes.

Once the tart is done and cooled, I like to apply a fruit glaze to make the fruit shine. Simply take a jelly, such as Red Currant or Apricot and heat it up in a sauce pan with a tablespoon of water. Once the jelly has melted, simply brush on top of the baked tart with a pastry brush. Enjoy!

1 comment:

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Those berries look magnificent! I am sorry your galette didn't stay formed, but the pie looks beautiful!

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