Friday, March 26, 2010

strawberry anticipation and a galette

The strawberries in my garden are just beginning to show signs of life, but the ones at my farmers market are as good as they come; small, sweet, deeply flavored and red right through, none of that ice-white core that so many of them have in the market.

These berries are so tender and juicy that they are hard to beat just piled in a dish, so full that they tumble off the edge and eaten without any embellishment.  This, I have to admit is how I usually enjoy them at this time of year.

I was craving something dessertish, and had some leftover pastry dough so I thought I'd make a simple, yet rustic galette using some of those little beauties. The sweetness of the berries paired with the rich, buttery pastry was a tasty combination and didn’t need much else. But…I thought better of it and made a sweetened mascarpone cream with some vanilla bean to give an additional layer of flavor.

I have to say, it was a good call.


Mascarpone Vanilla Cream
Makes 1 ½ cups

3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 vanilla bean split lengthways, seeds removed

Using a whisk, blend together all of the ingredients until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Strawberry Galette
serves 6 to 8

1 recipe Pastry Dough from the toolbox

1 pound strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the galette: Cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Whisk together yolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Dot berries with butter. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

Transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm with mascarpone vanilla cream

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