Super Easy Fruit Galettes


I love a good dessert, but if I’m going to expend the calories it better be a DAMN good dessert. No donuts or office birthday cake for me. Gotta be something clutch. 

I made these galettes last week while my book club girlfrans drank wine and gathered around my kitchen island. A galette is basically a free form pie, which effectively solves the crust-to-filling ratio problem we all bemoan. It was an easy dessert that looks disproportionately gorgeous compared to how fast it comes together. Seriously, if you use fruits that don’t require prep (raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries) it’ll be ready to bake in 3 minutes. This is also one of those recipes that’s great if you have a bunch of fruit that’s passed its prime. The pie application will give them new life!

Borrow one from Sandra Lee’s book and pick up a pre-made pie crust from the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I’ve included a recipe for insanely delicious whipped goat cheese, but no shame in using a tub of Cool Whip or a scoop of Bluebell. This is about getting maximum impact while expending minimal energy. I have lots of gatherings the rest of this 4th of July weekend, so I plan on making about 8 more of these in the next few days.

(Recipe makes 2 galettes. Each galette serves 4 non-dieting people).

You’ll Need

  • 1 package of pre-made pie crusts (should include 2 crusts in the pack. Buy the kind in a flat box, not the ones in a pie crust). 
  • 4 heaping cups of fresh or thawed frozen fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, or a combo (highly recommended) will be good
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz of plain or honey goat cheese, set out for an hour or so, so it’s room temperature
  • 3/4 a cup of heavy cream
  • Fresh mint (optional)

Method

  1. Thaw pie crusts if they’re frozen. Unroll on a lightly floured surface.
  2. If your chosen fruit needs prep work, go ahead an hull strawberries and cut into fourths, rinse berries, sliced peaches into 1 inch pieces, or de-pit cherries. I didn’t have a cherry pitter so I did a whole pint by hand. It was super fun. Put the fruit in a mixing bowl and toss with the sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Divide the fruit mixture in two and plop them in the middle of each of the pie crusts. Some of the powdery mixture will be leftover in the mixing bowl, which is totally fine. Take the edges of the pie crust and gently fold them over each other going in one direction, so it makes kinda a pinwheel with about half of the berries’ total surface area covered. This is supposed to look super rustic, so just go it! No need for do overs.
  4. Beat an egg with a splash of water and brush over the top surface of the pie dough with a brush. If you don’t have a brush, be ratchet and gently drizzle and rub it on with your fingers. You don’t want to skip this step, trust me, your pies will come out all pale and pasty looking. Not great. Bake at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.
  5. While the pie bakes, whip the goat cheese, heavy cream, and a pinch of salt in your fancy pants Kitchen Aid mixer (or use a hand mixer. If all you have is a whisk I guess you’re fucked). It should be soft and luscious but not super airy, kinda like Cool Whip, and taste like the most delicious thing you’be ever tasted. You can use this goat cheese crema in a million different applications–its light tang tastes amazing with sweet berries, but it would taste amazing in savory dishes like beet salad, on a baked potato, dolloped over a soup, or with any roasted veggie you can think of.
  6. Cut the pies in quarters and serve with the crema and mint leaves for garnish.

*Note: when you bake, it’s almost guaranteed that some of the berry juice will overflow, jacking with the instagram-worthiness of your final product. This my friends is why mint sprigs are you BFFs. Artfully cover them up and you’re good to go.

Remix The Dish: this would be so clutch if you omit the sugar and use cherry tomatoes or carmelized onions as the filling instead. Garnish with basil!

Girl and the Goat Roasted Cauliflower, and a little chat about flavors

I had the pleasure of visiting Girl and The Goat one week after the chef/owner Stephanie Izard won Iron Chef Gauntlet. That’s right, the first person to win Top Chef and become an Iron Chef is a woman, and her food is just as stunning as you’d expect.

We went family style and tried everything from goat belly to escargot ravioli to “pig face” to the most delicious shishitos I’ve ever tasted, covered in a crunchy layer of sesame and parmesan cheese. Stephanie is ballsy AF and understands how flavors work together.

When it comes to cooking on the fly, the most valuable skill you can possess is understanding what each component brings to the party. Knowing what an ingredient is supposed to accomplish empowers you to substitute with what you have at hand. Here are the flavor profiles we’re looking at in this dish:

Roasted Cauliflower = earthy, vegetal, soft

Parmesean = salty, umami, rich

Mint = fresh

Roasted Nuts = crunch

Pepperocini = acid, brightness, heat

Next time you take a bite of a dish with several components, think about how they all play off each other–how the sweet meat of a burger plays against a soft and buttery bun, crunchy lettuce, and tangy pickles, or how funky blue cheese works with fresh iceberg, salty bacon, and sweet tomatoes. A great plate combines several different flavors and textures, and this week I challenge you to contemplate this as you eat.

You’ll Need

  • A head of cauliflower (or be lazy and buy one pre-cut from the salad section, no judgement here)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • A handful of mint, chopped (can sub flat-leaf parsley or any leafy green herb)
  • 1/4 cup of roasted almonds (can sub whatever you have in the house–walnuts, pistachios, or even peanuts would accomplish the same thing. Stephanie used roasted pine nuts! Seeds or even crushed croutons work too)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (pecorino, manchego, or and hard and flavorful cheese would work fine)
  • Pepperocini rings (banana peppers, peppadews, jalapenos, or any spicy pickled pepper would work great)

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Break the cauliflower down into 1-2 inch chunks. If you’ve never cut up a cauliflower before, I promise it’s way less scary then you’d think. They’re significantly softer than a spaghetti squash or even a cabbage, so no need to say your hail marys or feel like your fingers are living on borrowed time. I like to slice the thing into 4 big pieces then gently separate the florets from the leaves and thick center, using my hands or a small knife. The leaves and stem are edible (and delicious), but that’s for another post.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with about a couple good glugs of olive oil and a few big pinches of salt. Place on a baking sheet (cut side down for maximum browning) and roast until tender, 20-25 minutes. TIP CITY: when roasting veggies, in addition to tossing in olive oil, I also like to hit the baking pan with some Pam spray, as well as spritz the tops of the veg with it before popping it in the oven. Oil promotes browning, and browning = flavortown.
  3. While the veg roasts, rough chop the nuts and the mint. Have some ziploc baggies handy for the leftovers–the nuts and mint would taste awesome tossed with berries, sprinkled over a salad, or mashed into some goat or cream cheese.
  4. Remove cauliflower and toss in a serving bowl with the parmesan. Taste for seasoning, and add more cheese or a little more salt if necessary. (If your nuts are salted, keep this in mind! Nothing shuts down a party like too much seasoning). Sprinkle the mint and nuts on top. Finish by garnishing with the pepperocini.

Remix The Dish: try this cauliflower with peppadews and manchego cheese for a Spanish take, or use basil or cilantro, peanuts, pickled jalapeƱo, and omit the cheese for a Thai spin.