…with a hint of rhubarb.
Okay, okay. I know it’s probably not overly kosher blogging-wise to have two recipes in a row that are super similar, but I’ve been making this recipe on repeat for months now, and just had to share it! Plus, I can still get QC strawberries and have a monster rhubarb plant in my back yard, sooo….naturally, strawberry and rhubarb made their way into the galette, AND given how pretty my galette was, I wanted to take pictures of it. So…two strawbarb recipes in a row for you!
Next post, I promise, will be seasonal and/or savoury in nature. I’m thinking green beans…and bacon. Because bacon is an all-season type of food. Or peaches…peaches are in now…
Anywho…Like I mentioned, I’ve been working on this pâte brisée-esque pie/galette crust recipe for easily the last couple of months, and have -FINALLY- hit on the tasty combo of flours. I’ve recently discovered that chick peas don’t give me the itchies, and as I REALLY didn’t like the weird ‘green’ flavour (yes…I’m declaring that a flavour for foods as well as white wines) that quinoa flour imparts to…well…anything it touches, I decided to start playing with chickpea flour! It’s actually kind of sweet, which is perfect for pie! It’s also cheaper than quinoa flour! Double win!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with pâte brisée, it’s pretty much the best-est most wonderful-est flaky French pie crust ecer which, over the years, I’ve realized seems to be overlooked in French pâtisseries and replaced by its tough-as-nails cousin, pâte sucrée.
Now…given its flakiness, I get why pâtisseries have/choose to use pâte sucrée in their tarts. You see, alongside pâte brisée’s tougher-than-a-bag-of-hammers quality comes a butt-ton of hardiness; meaning that it’s not going to disintegrate if the tart has to sit in a moisture-y fridge for a day or two (or more…) before it’s eaten. Rather, like Wildlings north of The Wall, it pretty much gets hardier the longer it’s chilled. It’s also far less finicky to make and therefore easier to replicate day after day; well…it’s less finicky as French pastry goes…
Pâte brisée, on the other hand, CAN be a right ol’ [email protected] to make, BUT when it works out, only gets MORE tender (albeit, less flaky) as the days pass. AND…even if it turns out slightly tougher every now and again, it will still be more tender than pâte sucrée, so you’re still ahead in flakiness.
In other words, and to quote the age-old playground rhyme, pâte brisée rules and pâte sucrée drools.
Errrr…where was I?…Oh right. So, once the fresh fruit started pouring in to Jean Talon market, I started working on adapting me a version of pâte brisée-ish crust so that I can enjoy pie in the evenings on my couch while I read; something which I’ve taken up recently in an attempt to establish a better work-life balance.
You see, once classes ended (those being the last classes of my life!!!), I realized it was high time to start working on changing my whole constantly-on-the-run-sleep-deprived-stressed-AF lifestyle to embrace one where, for the first time since high school, I get 8+ hours of sleep on a regular basis. The fact that I’ve just turned 30also made me feel like it would be about time that I figure out this whole #adulting thing. Add to that the fact that I’ll be starting my first adult job in a couple of months, and just got me a new car (hello Baby BoaksWagon!!!). It was definitely time to sort my sh*t out.
So I started by regulating sleep. However, once I started getting good amounts of sleep/was no longer exhausted and on the verge of collapse every day after school/coaching/training, I found it was harder and harder to get to sleep. (Of course). It wasn’t even that I was necessarily worried about anything (most nights). My brain just wouldn’t shut off. If anything, it was going a million miles an hour.
So…I did what any blogger does…I read other blogs on how to improve your sleep hygiene, and came across several sources suggesting that getting away from a computer/tv/phone screen an hour or so before sleeping helps down-regulate over active brains. Hence, my deciding to spend an hour on my couch every night reading with a touch of classical/jazz music playing ambiently, some pie (or other delicious dessert…I’ve also been playing with Nice Cream recipes for the blog so, naturally, I have to eat the fruits of my labours…) and, depending on the night, a cup of herbal tea. Sounds pretty nice right?
Obviously, one doesn’t always have to read. The principle is the same regardless of the activity. One could do yoga or meditation, or practice some guitar; anything that just brings joy. For me, that is reading. I used to LOVE reading as a kid. I would legit spend entire weekends on the couch or vacations at my gramma’s house devouring book after book (Matilda, with all her going to and from the library with a book-laden red wagon, was pretty much my spirit bestie for much of my childhood).
Unfortunately, my love of reading was all but quenched once I got to high school owing, in large part to not only having to read a whole bunch of dystopic misery I would never in a million years decide to read (I’m looking at you The Stone Angel!), but also sitting there and taking on, what I feel is the completely arrogant task of deciphering the author’s ‘true’ meaning between the words rather than doing what I actually think the author intended most of the time; simply -enjoying- their book or learning something new about a period of time, or a people that you didn’t know about. And don’t even get me started on the stuff I’ve had to read over the years for university! Ugh.
BUT guess what I’ve learned from this hedonist (in the best sense of the word) glory? This whole ‘taking life slow’ (or at least as slow as I’ll ever probably get it) is actually pretty f*cking fabulous. Seriously! You should try it.
What’s even better is that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything or that I’m less productive during the day. (Because, really, am I actually getting that much more out of life by watching two shows back-to-back? Meh, debatable. I can always watch that second TV show the next day. And what I get from an hour of reading transcends by leaps and bounds what I get out of vegetating in front of any TV show). I’m getting an hour or so to myself to just relax and do something purely for me. It gives me time to regenerate, and makes me feel less like I’m being dragged from one thing to another. I’m also (slightly) more willing to do the crap I hate (*cough* research) because I have something to look forward to later.
Have any of you done something similar recently? What is your favourite way to unwind at the end of a busy day? Or…what do you guys do when insomnia has you counting the cracks in your bedroom ceiling…or something to that effect?
While you ponder that, or perhaps ponder finding a way to fit even 15 minutes of #livingtheslowlife in your day, I’ll leave you with the recipe for my Strawberry Thyme Galette (and a hint of Rhubarb). You know…just in case you might like a slice of pie with your (perhaps newfound) daily dose of hedonism…
Strawberry Thyme Galette
Fresh off-the-farm strawberries, and garden-fresh rhubarb and thyme wrapped in a Paleo-ish pâte brisée-ish crust! The perfect dessert to end the perfect summer night!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30-45 mins
- Total Time: 29 minute
- Yield: 8 servings
| Pâte Brisée Things |
- 1 cup arrowroot starch
- 2/3 cup oat flour
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp xantham gum
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup lard, cut into 4 pieces
- 4 tbsp Nutiva Buttery Coconut Oil (or regular coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup ice cold water (I usually put two ice cubes in my measuring cup and add water until the line hits the 1/2 cup mark)
| Galette Things |
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled
- 2 cups rhubarb, leaves removed, and sliced into 1/2″ pieces
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp agave syrup or honey
- ~ 1 tbsp water
| Pâte Brisée |
- Combine flours, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk until uniform.
- Add the lard pieces and Nutiva buttery coconut oil. Using a fork or, ideally, pastry blender, cut in the fats until chickpea sized (at most!) and uniformly distributed/coated in flours. DON’T OVER CUT the fats. This causes the dough to get tough.
- Slowly, add ~1/4 cup of the ice cold water and, fold into the dry ingredients with a spatula. Continue to add water slowly slowly and fold with the spatula until a semi-dough-like ball forms in the bowl. Quickly finish combining the dough with your hands (the less the heat of your hands touches the dough, the better).
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Place each dough ball on a piece of saran wrap. Quickly flatten the dough balls into 1/4″ thick rounds (I used my finger tips dipped in flour and move quickly).
- Finish wrapping the dough flats in saran wrap. Place on a flat surface in your fridge for ~20 mins. You don’t want the dough to get too hard or it will crumble when you roll it out. It should have the texture of a well done steak when you press your finger into it; a bit squishy, but not too much give.
| Galette |
- While the dough is chilling, combine your strawberries, rhubarb, sugars, arrowroot starch, vanilla, thyme, and lemon zest in a bowl, and stir until sugar and arrowroot starch are evenly distributed amongst the fruit.
- Set fruity mix aside to macerate while you roll out the pie dough.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll individual galette dough pieces out until ~ 1/8″ thick. If you flour your rolling pin as well as the top of the dough piece, your life will be MILES easier. Also, if you have a marble rolling pin, use it. You can even put it in the fridge when you chill your dough pieces to avoid melting the fat in the dough as you roll it out.
- Using a long cake spatula, bench scraper, or any long flat implement, scrape dough piece onto a baking sheet. Each baking sheet will hold 2 galettes. Set aside while you repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the other pieces of dough.
- Spoon the fruit filling into the middle of each of the galette dough pieces, leaving about an inch (or a bit more) around the edges. Be careful to leave most of the fruity liquid in the bowl (for now).
- Using a butter knife or your fingers, start folding the dough edges up and over the fruit filling. Gently press overlapping pieces of dough together to form a bit of a seal.
- Mix the agave syrup/honey and water in a bowl or ramekin, and brush on the dough.
- Once all galettes have been folded and brushed, you can spoon a couple of tablespoons of the fruity liquid in the centre of the galettes. You don’t have to use it all.
- Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for 30-45 mins, or until the tops of the galettes are a nice golden brown. It usually takes 45 mins in my oven, but I start checking them at the 30 minute mark.
Tender Crust Tips:
- As I mentioned above, the cooler you keep the dough as you work with it, the more tender it will be. That, and making sure the fats don’t get too well blended into the flours before adding the water are the trick to yielding a lovely tender dough. What this means is using a fork or other implement to blend the flour and fats. Some recipes will tell you to use a blender. DON’T…neither my mum, nor I have ever ended up with an equal or better result using a blender.
- If you have a marble work surface as well as a marble rolling pin, then you’re really in business. If you don’t, no worries, just work fast and make sure you really flour your work surface before rolling your dough out. If you have air conditioning in your kitchen, even better!
- Work with the doughs individually; meaning that while you’re rolling one, keep the others in the fridge.
- IF you accidentally keep them in the fridge too long, no worries. Let them sit on the counter for a few mins before rolling them out.
- Oat flour is technically gluten-free but, as I’ve mentioned before, oats are often grown in fields beside wheat and can become cross-contaminated. SO…people with severe gluten intolerances/allergies may have trouble with regular oat flour if they don’t get certified gluten-free oat flour like Only Oats Pure Whole Grain Oat Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour.
- If you’re a lucky gluten-ivore looking to use regular flour for the crust, simply substitute the arrowroot starch, oat flour, chickpea flour and xantham gum for 2 cups of regular all-purpose flour, and keep all other ingredients and dough-making methods the same.
- Similarly, if you can tolerate dairy, you can use 1/2 cup of chilled butter cut into 1/2″ pieces instead of the lard and Nutiva buttery coconut oil. As with the flour, keep everything else about the recipe the same.
- You can also combine these two substitutions and keep everything else the same!
- IF you have leftovers, you can perk the crust up a bit before eating it the next night (or two) by putting it in the oven at 350° F for about 5-8 mins. I would only reheat what you’re going to eat the next night though. Multiple re-heats will make the crust dry and brittle.
Alright…that’s about that for this post guys! Little Garden Project/Hobo Pig Update: The hobo pigs seem to have moved out (or been forcibly removed)! I’m not sure which (and frankly don’t really care), but I’m quite happy that I don’t have to worry about my garden being eaten by ground hogs or have the buggers run through my feet as I work on my back patio, scaring the bejeezus out of me each time. Woot woot!
And as for the garden…things are growing like crazy out there! I know that shouldn’t be a surprise, but if you guys had ever seen my previous attempts to keep plants alive, you would understand why I’m excited (and surprised). I actually had to rehabilitate my tomatoes today. Now I understand why they say they’re selling “tomatoes on the vine” because tomato plants grow like vines. They grow out and up and wrap themselves over everything, strangling their verdant neighbours unless stopped. So…lesson learned for next year. Otherwise, it’s pretty glorious out here in my back yard. Tomorrow, I’m having friends over for a BBQ and to just generally enjoy my lovely oasis tucked away in the city.
I have pictures and will include them in my next post which I’m putting together as a celebration of the summer (what we’ve had of it) and finishing my yard, in general! But that is all for the next post!
Per usualy, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by commenting below or shooting me an email.
Ciao for now!