Monday, June 10, 2013

Rhubarb Peach Galette and a Confession

Pretty, eh?  Well, let me tell you the whole story.  It begins with a confession: I am terrible at making pie crusts.  Truly and repeatably terrible at it.

I only make pie crust once or twice a year because the amount of butter that goes into it is alarming to me.  I always follow the directions and I always think to myself, "Self, this looks way too crumbly to hold together."  And then I reply to myself, "Well...but you've already put in more ice water than the recipe says to, so you should probably trust them and stop adding water."  Then I say, "Okayyyyy, but I don't feel good about this."

Then, I turn the crust out on to the counter and desperately try to make it stick together into "discs" like the directions tells me it should be able to.  And, of course, it doesn't work.  So then I get creative and find some way to add more moisture (most of the time this means flicking water all over the place and gently kneading it in).  Then, when I am finally able to coerce the dough into a disc-like shape, I tell myself, "Don't worry, Self.  This dough will rest in the fridge for an hour and come out perfectly balanced and ready to meet its future as a beautiful pie crust."

These are lies, of course.  The dough comes out of the fridge more crumbly and less hospitable to my rolling pin than when it entered the fridge.  At this point, I generally stop caring about how "light" and "flaky" my crust is and I just manhandle the heck out of it.  It usually involves more water flicking and more kneading.  Then, I roll that sucker into a roughly roundish shape.  Normally at this point, some of the edges start to crack.  You know what fixes that?  A little smear of water and some smooshing.  Eventually the crust and I reach a truce and I transfer it to the pan.

Now, for this particular pastry item on this particular day, I have chosen to make a galette.  Galettes do not have pans.  They are free form and are baked on a sheet.  I now know how important it is that you start with a well formed and solid crust when making a galette.  Because, see, when you put a bunch of fruit and their juices into a pie crust and your pie crust is NOT well formed and solid, you get a leaky, charred mess.  Little did I know that the pie pan has been saving my pie making butt all of this time!  The pan hides my failure at proper pastry technique with aplomb.

Horrid looking, eh?  In this case, I was able to salvage the galette but it did lose a lot of valuable and flavorful juice/sauce in the baking process.

Strawberry, raspberry and blueberry seasons have yet to come this year.  Maybe they will be my inspiration for improving my pie making skills.  I think I need to trust my instincts from the start so as to avoid the slippery slope of crumbling crust. Or, maybe I just need to start using store bought crust.

For those that might want to tempt fate with a galette of their own, the recipe I followed was this Peach Rhubarb Galette recipe. I added the beans from half of a vanilla bean pod.  This would also be good with minced candied ginger and some nutmeg.


  1. It sure looks delicious and rustic.

    A galette is a great thing to make when perfecting crust skills. I am impressed that you keep trying, so many have stop and accept pre-made crusts.

    I am a very good pie crust maker, but I no longer make them because the last one I made was part of a stressful chain of events. It is weird how we make those associations and sometimes they will not crumble despite all logic.

    I liked to do as much of my crust making by hand as possible, I know there is plenty of evidence to the contrary though.

    1. I am generally a proponent of by hand, but sometimes that shortcut is mighty alluring :) I am sorry to hear that pie making has a stressful association for you. Maybe it will lessen with time and you can resume your post as very good pie crust maker :)

  2. I'll happily admit that I use store-bought dough. Whole Foods carries a good one that we like a lot, I can't remember the brand name, but I'll let you know if we have some in the freezer, I'll look when I go home. We actually make savory galettes quite a bit, usually with kale or chard and tomatoes or whatever else we have that needs to be used up. We also use these crusts, and a spelt crust that Whole Foods carries, to make quiches.

    1. I found the pie crusts I use!

    2. Thanks, Beth! I know that my coop has that brand, so I will definitely keep that in mind should I continue to be thwarted in my pie making attempts. It hadn't occurred to me to use the crust for savory foods...that is an exciting idea.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...