There’s something about the flavourful fusion of sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb, that invokes summertime for me. Knowing that cooler weather and shorter days are just a few weeks away, it’s time to maximize the bounty of seasonal fruits and berries while they’re still here. A rustic galette is the perfect, fuss-free way to wrap up all that summery goodness in one neat little package. Heating up your oven is worth it just to have the vibrant, fruity flavours wafting throughout your home. Take time to relax and celebrate the last weeks of summer with a Strawberry Rhubarb Galette with Cornmeal Crust.
I’m happy that the local Duncan Farmer’s Market still has a few stalls selling strawberries. One of the farmer’s always offers a taste tester, which is the best sales technique for me. I simply can’t resist ripe, ruby red strawberries. Luckily the little rhubarb plant in my parent’s garden is still producing narrow stalks (it’s not a typical plant). If you managed to freeze some fruit during peak season, a Strawberry Rhubarb galette (or other flavour) is an awesome way to use it up. I like to pile up to six cups of fruit on top of my rustic cornmeal crust.
While I don’t profess to be any kind of pie making pro, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks from my Grandma (the ultimate pie guru) to help me out. Galette is basically a freeform pie, so it uses the same type of crust. After making a few galettes over the summer, here are my top tips for getting a good cornmeal crust:
- Get your ingredients as cold as possible. I actually freeze the butter and shortening, and use iced water. This keeps the crust flaky, and also eliminates the need to chill the dough before rolling it out.
- Adding a bit of cornmeal helps to keep the crust from getting soggy. I’ve played around with adding more or less cornmeal. 1/4 cup of cornmeal makes the dough easier to work with, however 1/2 gives the crust a more rustic, crisp texture. You can play around with how much cornmeal you use, but take out or add more all purpose flour accordingly.
- Add the iced water slowly, but make sure the mixture actually comes together to form a dough. It helps to take the flour/fat mixture out of the food processor (if using), before adding the water, to get a better feel for how much water you need to add. I usually don’t add enough water and the pastry ends up cracking, but find the dough can be remixed with a bit more water.
If you’re a newbie to pastry making, be patient with yourself. Making pie crust is an art, and it takes a lot of practice to find the right touch. My crust making has improved a lot since the first blackberry galette I made this summer, but there’s still lots to work on. For example, my Galette sprouted a leak during baking. All was fine for the final product, but I should’ve trusted my instincts before baking and patched up a corner that looked a bit fragile.
With my latest Strawberry Rhubarb Galette, I had a bit too much crust left on the edges (it would’ve covered all the pretty fruit). I just trimmed the edges up and used the remnants to make a mini pie. Depending on how thin you role your crust and how much fruit you pile into the middle of your galette, this might not be necessary.
You can arrange the rhubarb in strips on top of the strawberries like I did, or simply add slices of rhubarb in with the strawberries.
With the bounty of fresh fruit at this time of the year, there’s no reason to limit yourself to only making Strawberry Rhubarb Galettes. Experiment with other fruit combinations, using up to a heaping 6 cups of fruit per galette.
Other excellent Galette flavour combinations include:
- Blueberry and peach
- Mixed berry: ex. blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry
- Raspberry and rhubarb
- Pear and nectarine
- Apple and cranberry (for the Fall)
If you’ve got frozen fruit, there’s not need for thawing. I find it’s easiest to toss the fruit in a large bowl with the flour and sugar mixture, before arranging it in the middle of the cornmeal crust.
Have you made a galette before? What’s your favourite flavour combination? Let me if you try my Strawberry Rhubarb Galette (or any other variation) in the comments below.
Looking for more ways to use seasonal fruit? How about trying:
- Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes topped with fresh berries and maple syrup
- Summer Berry Oatmeal Muffins with White Chocolate and Mint
Strawberry Rhubarb Galette with Cornmeal Crust
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour + 1 tbsp (reserved)
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 5-6 tbsp iced water
- 3 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp (reserved)
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4-5 cups sliced strawberries
- 1-2 cups rhubarb
- 1 egg, beaten or 1 tbsp milk
- Cut butter and vegetable shortening into small cubes and freeze on waxed paper for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In food processor (or use pastry blender), combine dry crust ingredients. Add butter and shortening, pulsing until mixture is crumbly (like breadcrumbs). Dump mixture into mixing bowl and incorporate water, enough to form dough into a uniform disc. Flour surface and roll dough into a rough circle (about 12 inches). Transfer to parchment-lined pizza or cookie sheet. Sprinkle reserved tablespoon of flour over top.
- Combine sugar and flour for the filling in a small bowl. Arrange a layer of strawberries in a circle, about 2-3 inches from the edge. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the flour/sugar mixture over top. Add the rest of the strawberries on top and sprinkle the remaining sugar/flour over top.
- Arrange rhubarb over the top of the strawberries, however you wish.
- Begin gently folding edges of pastry crust inward to cover the rhubarb and berries. Brush crust with beaten egg or milk. Sprinkle reserved 1 tbsp of sugar over top of crust and rhubarb.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and crust is golden. Allow galette to cool for one hour before slicing.