Friday, July 23, 2010

Pearls of pleasure--Blueberries

Think pearls. No, not the neck adornment, but instead hundreds of perfectly round orbs. Think blueberries. I know, I went a little blueberry crazy here. But, I mean, BLUEBERRIES! How can anyone not love those plump, sweet blue pearls of utter sweet and so healthy goodness? Yes, I went blueberry picking again, and in just a short time collected 20 pounds of fruit, enough to gorge ourselves and have plenty leftover to freeze for later holiday pies and winter desserts. And we musn't forget homemade blueberry ice cream. I’m so glad its summer.

Sure there are other delectable berries. Strawberries in late June and then the fragrant delicate raspberries (another personal favorite)and then the thorny, meaty blackberries of our late summer. But by far, my favorite berry of the season are blueberries! Crisps,grunts,scones,cheesecake, turnovers,cobblers, pies -- even Tuscan chicken--the list goes on and on in my kitchen when it comes to blueberries. But one thing I'd never tried is making a galette. I don't know why. I just love the rustic look and carefree assembly about them. Savory, or sweet. You get to decide what fillings will go into them.

For my first I wasn't going to pass up the chance to use up some of my fresh picked blueberries along with some fresh peaches our good friends Ann & Howard gave us, from their fruit farm along with her famous honey peach jam recipe. Thanks so much Ann for your generosity--your delicious peaches were the perfect addition to my first galette. And the jam turns out just awesome!

I ended up making two smaller galettes, about nine inch rounds and delivered the 2nd one to my good friend Lee who has a sweet tooth as large as my own. :)

Blueberry Peach Galette


2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup chilled and cubed butter
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold water

2 TBLS milk - to wash top of dough before baking
2 TBLS sugar - to sprinkle over crust

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and 1 tsp sugar until well mixed. Add the butter using pulses until you no longer see chunks of butter in the dough. Use pulses to get everything to mix together correctly,and does a better job of breaking up the butter rather than letting the machine just run.

Slowly add the ice water a tablespoon at a time while pulsing the dough until it is evenly distributed and it begins to look like play-dough. If you need to add a bit more water--add it only a teaspoon at a time. You don't want your dough to be too wet-- but it should hold together nicely.

Remove the dough from the food processor and knead for a few minutes until it begins to smooth out. Don't overwork the dough, you just want it to come together and smooth out a little bit, it should really only take a couple of minutes. Divide the dough in half, flatten into discs, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. At this point you can also freeze this dough for later use, up to a couple of months. Seldom does it last this long in my freezer during fruit season.

Preparing the filling

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 1/2 cups sliced peaches
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
pinch of cardamon powder
2 1/2 TBLS tapioca powder (I found mine in an Asian grocer) or cornstarch
2 TBLS honey peach jam
3 amaretto cookies-crushed
1 egg & a bit of milk

While your dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Place the blueberries and peach slices in a bowl. Add the sugars, cinnamon, a pinch of cardamon powder,tapioca powder (or cornstarch) and stir gently. You want the fruits well covered.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.
Remove one of the discs of dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a circle to about an eleven inch round. Don't worry if your edges aren't smooth or perfect--galettes aren't meant to be perfect, but rather rustic looking.. as you can see from my first's pretty rustic :) You’re in good shape. Take a pastry scraper and transfer the dough round to a parchment paper lined sheet pan.

Now crumble up the amaretto cookies and place in the center of your rolled out pastry disc. (I like to add these crumbs to most of my fruit pies--they help to absorb much of the excess juice that will form while baking, so I figured I couldn't go wrong here.) Yup, pile the crumbs right in the middle. Give your bowl of fruits one last stir and layer right over the cookie crumbs and spread around leaving a two inch border of dough.

Roughly fanfold the 2 inch border of crust all around your galette every couple of inches or so and give each fold a gentle pinch to hold it in place. I have to admit, I needed to do my fanfolding twice to get it to look the way I had it envisioned in my mind--but there are no rights or wrongs to doing this step. Take two tablespoons of peach jam and spread it over the fruits. Beat egg with milk and brush over the galette dough and sprinkle with sugar. Pop it into the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the blueberries are bubbly. As the first galette is baking, prepare your second one or save the dough for another day of berry picking!

Here's where the hard part comes in. Remove from the oven and cool very well before slicing. As you can see from my photos, I moved one a little too early and my dough cracked. But did this stop me from having a second piece piled high with vanilla bean ice cream? Nope! :-) Simply too scrumptious to pass up! Enjoy!


~~louise~~ said...

Hi Jady! Is it me or are you sporting a newer look? All I know for sure is, it looks fabulous here!!!

You know, I shied away from blueberries for most of my adult life and boy oh boy, I had no idea what I was missing. I must have eaten 20 pounds alone this blueberry season! That reminds me, I better freeze some today!

I confess, I tried to bake up a melding of blueberries and peaches just the other night. I made sort of a dump it cake because I am just horrible at pastry making. The cake turned out okay, not pretty to look at like yours though. Your "pearls of pleasure" nestled in that Galette look heavenly. YOU! did GREAT! Much better than any old neck adornment for sure!

Thank you so much for sharing...Enjoy

P.S. How'd that peach ice cream taste, the best I bet!

YankeeSoaper said...

Wow Louise, 20 pounds of blueberries already consumed? Now there's a serious blueberry fan LOL Thanks so much.. I was pretty proud of this first attempt. I'm going to try a peach galette tomorrow to go with that awesome peaches n' cream ice cream I'm making today!

Karen said...

I remember going blueberry picking when I was a kid - so much fun and so delicious. The gallettes are perfect and I love the addition of the peaches!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I haven't gotten my share of blueberries yet this year but I want to rush out today to get some for the freezer - and your luscious galette.

YankeeSoaper said...

Thanks Karen--I don't think anyone ever tires of blueberry picking. I'm hoping to go one last time today if the rains hold off :)

YankeeSoaper said...

Thanks Linda! Better hurry--I was told ours here will only last until Aug 1, if that. I hope you still have time to pick in your neck of the woods.