Although I do miss the rain, we’re now safely in the realm of warmer weather, and with that comes spring produce!
While I live for the bountiful produce of summer (tomatoes, corn, stone fruit, berries), I have to say, spring items like rhubarb and root vegetables (like spring onions and leeks) have been pretty rewarding as well. Perhaps more rewarding for my taste buds rather than for the folks who accidentally smell my onion breath. Sorry/not sorry?
After a flurry of fancy cakes and savory pies, we are back to a simple, good ol’ fashioned galette—which happens to match my recent theme of pink desserts! How I have come up with so many pink desserts is really quite staggering considering that I’ve always thought the color pink to to be overly girly (although I love magenta/burgundy). The graphic designer in me considers light and dark shades of pink to be on complete opposite sides of the spectrum.
I discovered last summer that a galette really only needs a little sweetness and flavoring; this really allows the crust and fruit to shine. For this one, I added some orange zest, a little nutmeg, and a little sugar. Since rhubarb stalks aren’t naturally juicy like fruit, I felt that just a touch of flour was all that was needed to form a thick sauce in between the layers. While this amount of sugar seems quite minimal, remember that rhubarb is supposed to be tart and that the flavor shouldn’t be cloying sweet.
For the design of this galette, I wanted to create something that used the straight edge of rhubarb stalks. I saw lots of hamantaschen in early March and the shape of those cookies inspired the shape of this galette. While the idea of a chevron pattern sounded quite pretty, I wasn’t really up to cutting that many small pieces of rhubarb. So instead, I formed the stalks into a triangle. I’ve made a galette into a square and a circle(ish), so why not cover all types of shapes? The corners were less pointy than I imagined it in my head but I think I liked the final shape of this galette. With a light dusting of powdered sugar, it’s quite an elegant spring dessert with very minimal ingredients.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie next?
Yields: One approximately 11-inch galette
There may seem to be a lot of unneeded chilling going on in this recipe. I may be a little bit paranoid about overly warm dough but it does help to manage the dough in the warmer months by chilling it between each step.
Pie dough for one crust (See this recipe for more details. Cut your butter in half pea-sized chunks for this recipe)
Zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5-6 ~18-inch rhubarb stalks (as straight as you can find)
1 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Egg wash for brushing
Demerara sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Prepare pie/galette dough. Be sure to pat into a circle. This can be done several days in advance. When ready to make galette, roll dough out in a 14-inch circle. Rotate dough around when rolling to maintain circular shape. Keep adding flour on your surface if the dough is sticking. Place on parchment or a non-stick baking sheet in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350ºF. In the meantime massage orange zest with granulated sugar to release the oils. Add flour, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine.
To cut rhubarb, first cut an 11-inch piece with a 45º angles inward on the left and right side. This is the base of your triangle. To measure the next pieces, place another rhubarb stalk on top of the base stalk and measure where you need to make the next 45º angle cuts. Continue with the remaining rhubarb until a triangle forms. Each successive piece will need to be about an inch shorter than the adjacent piece.
Remove rolled-out dough from the fridge. Sprinkle half of the dry sugar mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Starting at one end of the circle, place the longest rhubarb stalk as close as you can to the bottom while still leaving about an inch around the border. Stack the remaining stalks of rhubarb until there is another inch of crust left. If you have remaining pieces, you can add them on the edges of the triangle of rhubarb. Sprinkle on the rest of the dry sugar mixture. Fold over the three edges of the circle and then fold over the three corners.
When ready to bake, brush edges with egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges and the bottom are golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then move to a cooling rack. Best the day of but still quite good the next day. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.