Black & Blueberry Galette Galore!

I’ve tried to explain exactly what a ‘Galette’ is, as its not a PIE per se’ although I can see how it can be mistaken for one. And if it’s NOT a pie, why in the world am I even making it – usually the next question that comes barreling out. So, because I am just as new to the concept of a ‘Galette’ as the next aspiring baker, I ventured out to find a more appealing and understandable description to exactly what these tasty desserts are!

What is a Galette?

Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat, round cakes, usually made with a flaky pastry dough of some kind. The term is very broad and can actually encompass a wide variety of different desserts, including a type of buckwheat crepes popular in parts of France and even types of cookies in French Canada. More often than not, despite the fact that it can refer to a number of different baked goods, the term galette typically refers to a free form tart that is made with a flaky pasty crust. These tarts are not molded in tart pans. Instead, filling is placed directly on top of a sheet of rolled out pastry and the edges of that pastry are folded up and around the filling. The tart becomes crisp during baking and the dessert, as a whole, manages to be both rustic and elegant at the same time.

Galettes can be sweet or savory. When you fill the tart with ingredients vegetables, sausage and cheese can turn a sheet of pastry into a beautiful main course. It is more common for galettes to be filled with fruit, chocolate or other sweet elements and served for dessert, though. For a basic galette, you really only need three ingredients: pastry dough, fruit and sugar. Simply roll your pastry out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (flaky pie pastry will work well) and pile thinly sliced, lightly sweetened fruit in the center of the pastry, leaving a border around the edges. Fold up excess pastry to cover the fruit slightly, then bake until the pastry is brown and crisp. Stone fruits, such as the peaches used in this Easy Peach Galette, make excellent galettes, but so do apples, berries and even grapes. [Courtesy of BakingBites]

As you can see, NOT a pie, but since it has flaky crust and fruit, I’ll allow it!

The Boise Color Run

Boise Color Run

The wife, ever expanding and broadening her health and fitness ambitions, had me up early to. A five-kilometer, un-timed race in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners” as they are called, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. The race has only two simple rules – Wear white at the starting line and finish plastered in color!

Boise Color Run

I was the designated camera man for her and her intrepid band of merry women, as they excitedly and with much enthusiasm subjected themselves to salvo after salvo of colorful BLASTS from eager race volunteers. The women had a great time, got really REALLY colorfully-dirty, and it was a great experience to be had from participants and spectators alike.

Boise Idaho Color Run

A Blackberry & Blueberry Galette For You!

I had been pining to bake a Galette ever since I first happened upon them one day while browsing through Pinterest (my favorite pie and pastry recipe hunting grounds).
blueberry galette
I had some frozen blackberries I had stocked up on a week or so ago and some leftover blueberries from a recent, hearty breakfast of bacon and blueberry pancakes we just had, so the first thing I did was run a search for a black and blueberry Galette recipe.

One of the first galette recipes I came across was a Berry Galette from Williams-Sonoma. The photograph struck me first then then the simplicity of the prep/cook time and ingredients required. This was not only do-able but was going to get DONE!

I quickly gathered up what supplies I had on hand, which for this particular recipe was basically everything except a little more butter, so after a quick jaunt to the local supermarket I was back at home and lining it all up!. Go time folks!

The prep time was a spot on, such a quick recipe to whip together its almost scary that you could whip up something so freakin’ delicious in so little time. And the cool thing about these Galette dishes is the fact that you can use such a wide variety of fruits in them. Stay tuned for more Galette dishes that’s for sure.

blueberry galette

When it was all said and done, to be honest, a Galette wasn’t much different from say a blackberry or blueberry pie. The difference being, and I think many will like this, is that you essentially only have one layer of crust and not as much filling, which makes for a thinner and LIGHTER dessert? At least it feel that way when you slice it up (like a pizza) and have a slice.

Galette recipe

Of course, when you dump a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a heap of coool whip on it, that seems to add a bit of ‘heft’ to it, but I think if you’re looking for something that by feel and appearance helps you NOT feel so guilty having a slice, a Black & Blueberry Galette like this one may do the trick?

blueberry galette

All in all, a delicious recipe and dessert that did not disappoint, was quick and easy to make and may even lessen the guilt for my more health-conscious readers.

So if you don’t mind giving it a shot, here is the Berry Galette recipe at Williams-Sonoma. Happy Baking!

Who Says Americans Don’t Love Pie?

I don’t think I truly remember a time growing up where I wasn’t either scarfing down or begging my mom to bake her famous Apple Pie. I mean, some of my fondest memories of eating good food, when growing up involved mom’s apple pie. Not cake, not cookies, not cupcakes, but sweet, flaky-crusted apple pie. So when I embarked on this ‘adventure’ in pie baking, imagine my surprise when all I seemed to see online were food blog after food blog of cupcake, cake and cookie bakers and no pie? Did Americans really not like pie? Well, as it turns out, American DID love pie, but mainly around one very important time of year….

HOLIDAY & THANKSGIVING PIES

You know? That wonderful time of year, where families get-together and celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas and of course, being able to eat any and everything under the sun, because they know they’ll be working their asses off come the first of the New Year! Holidays it turns out are HUGE PIE FREE DAYS where everyone casts aside their biases and dislikes and consumes pie like its the only thing on the planet. Cookies, cakes, cupcakes? What the Hell are those? It’s all about Thanksgiving pies and pie season come November and December and not just ANY pies but Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Strawberry Pie it turns out.

According to this very delicious looking inforgraphic, over 50% of the population craves these three pies over all others. Twenty percent crave Mom’s Apple Pie, 19% want Strawberry Pie (actually surprising, though I can’t blame ’em) and 16% look forward to diving into a Thanksgiving classic – Pumpkin Pie.

All smiles on this side of the screen, but I won’t lie, if its the last thing I get accomplished with this website, I WILL elevate the popularity of pie YEAR-ROUND by any means necessary! So let it be written….SO LET IT BE DONE!

The Perfect Raspberry Cream Pie

The ‘Fellowship’ (Me, The Wife and Baby Girl) didn’t have much planned for the weekend, other than taking a Saturday morning bike ride, so the next couple days were open and free for the taking! I had a bag of fresh blackberries in the freezer, courtesy of a family friend, that was just daring me to thaw them out, but I had other grand schemes! I had just baked a blackberry pie for the kids last weekend, so I was done with blackberries (for now anyways…) and decided to tackle a Raspberry Cream Pie Recipe I had been eyeing for some time.

Raspberry Cream Pie

The Raspberry Cream Pie wasn’t too tough, with a buttery graham cracker crust, cream cheese/cool whip infused cream and raspberry filling, it definitely was very do-able for this PIE ADDICT!

Raspberry Pie

I hadn’t put together a graham cracker crust in a while, always changing it out of recipes for a shortbread or cream cheese crust, but since I hadn’t thrown one together lately I figured I might as well stay in practice.

Making the raspberry filling was actually pretty cool though, as the mixture of corn starch, corn syrup and sugar, bubbling in a saucepan ‘broke’ down the whole raspberries into something consistent to a ‘jelly-like’ filling. It was great to watch it happen.

cream pie

I’ve made a number of cream pies over the Summer and each one different in the ingredients I used, which is really quite neat. Before I got into making pies and was just devouring them from Marie Callender’s or wherever, I never gave much thought into HOW exactly cream fillings were made.

This particular filling had me mixing cream cheese, cool whip and powdered sugar, and when it was done, it was a creamy smooth and sugary sweet delight!

Raspberry Cream Pie

Raspberry Pie

With the raspberry filling now cool, I spread this atop the cream now resting nicely within the graham cracker crust I baked earlier. Into the fridge it went, for several hours and then…BOOOM!!!

The cream and raspberry filling together was great. Either one by themselves would of tasted good but having the sweetness of the raspberries mingled with the cream was both explosive and smooth.

Raspberry Cream Pie

cream pie

Thanks to Holly Lofthouse and her wonderful Raspberry Cream Pie Recipe. Check out more fine recipes on her website – Life in the Lofthouse

Lemon Sour Cream Pie With Cream Cheese Crust & Whipped Topping

Just when we thought we were out of the proverbial ‘frying pan’ in Boise, temperatures soared into the low 100s over this past weekend, all but assuring that I wouldn’t be stepping outside until well after dusk. My two sons were out an about, probably at work, my daughter was in her room, probably whipping together the latest in high-rise architecture in Minecraft, and the wife was at the gym (her 2nd home). I was alone and free to let my pie baking passions run rampant so I decided to amp it up a notch with a Lemon Sour Cream Pie. Perfect for a hot (more like sweltering) Sunday afternoon in the City of Trees.

Lemon Squeezer
Amco Enameled Aluminum Lemon Squeezer

I should take that back actually. The WIFE is the one who ‘planted’ the notion in my feeble, pie-addicted mind, that SHE would even be willing to try out one of my pies if I made a Lemon Sour Cream Pie. I had been trying and trying over the last year, nearly, to get her to try one of my pies, but burning calories and building muscle always persevered….until NOW!

So, with a little more incentive and ‘pep to my step’ with this project, a Lemon Sour Cream Pie became my priority for the day.

Cream Cheese Pie Crust
Cream Cheese Pie Crust

Oh, and I didn’t stop there! I had been wanting to try out a cream cheese pie crust recipe , so I thought I’d build that into the project as well. It was a lot simpler to make than I thought and very very quick compared to a standard flaky butter pie crust, which has to rest in the refrigerator for a period of time. With the cream cheese crust, you essentially make it, press it into the pie dish, bak it for 10-11 minutes and you’re done! Time to move along!

cream cheese pie crust
Cream Cheese Pie Crust

The Lemon Sour Cream filling was where the fun really got started, as I had never made a filling quite like it before. Sure I had become pretty good at creamy fruit pies, but this was a bit different, and more of a ‘process’ to get right.

The Lemon Sour Cream Pie recipe I used was from Lauren over at Tastes Better From Scratch.

With a cream pie like this, the beauty was all in the ‘process’, mixing sugar and cornstarch, milk and freshly squeezed lemon juice into a hot, bubbling goop! Then adding in egg, lemon zest and butter to complete the transformation. Watching the ingredients come together visually and chemically was fun to take in. And, after spooning up a small smidgen of the filling and tasting it, after I adding in the sour cream and letting it cool, I knew I was putting together something wholly different but uniquely special!

Lemon Sour Cream Pie
Lemon Sour Cream Pie

The whipped topping was thrown together almost second nature after having been down this path on many past fruit cream pies.

The cream cheese pie crust was cooled and ready….

The Lemon sour cream filling, was ready….

The whipped cream topping was ready…

…a few hours in the fridge, would finish it off, chilling and setting the pie for later consumption.

Lemon Sour Cream Pie
Lemon Sour Cream Pie

I cut a single slice. The knife almost literally ‘fell’, lightly through the fluff of the whipped cream topping and creamy lemon sour cream filling, until it gently, and without little effort pushed through the now slightly-hardened cream cheese crust below.

I took a good-sized mouthful and let the lemon just zing around the insides of my mouth. It was wonderful, and RICH. My daughter, having been drawn to the kitchen earlier, was up next, and she made short order of the rest of the slice. Obviously..she enjoyed it.

The Wife was next, having just returned from a workout that would of made Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson envious. Hers would be the test of ALL TESTs, as this would be the first time she had EVER tasted any of my lovely pies. She loved it and though she proclaimed that she would have to ‘step up’ her workout regime (whatever the Hell that means), she vowed to have another slice, maybe even two in the coming days. Mission successful!

LEMON SOUR CREAM PIE RECIPE RUNDOWN
TASTE: The lemon was wonderful, just as you’d taste in a lemon meringue pie. You could barely taste the distinct flavoring of the sour cream as a short after taste, with the lemon lingering on with each delightful chew.

TEXTURE: The creamy filling was smooth and fluffy soft. Not hard or thick as you might think. ‘Biting’ down into this is a bit of a misnomer, as you could literally ‘gum’ this pie to death! The cream cheese crust, was crumbly, but not like a graham cracker crust, which tends to crumble all over. It was a softer crust than a shortbread cookie crust but held together much better than a graham cracker crust.

PROS:The fresh lemon gave it a bitter first taste that was evened out with the sour cream and whipped topping. The cream cheese crust kept it all together and shaped nicely when you cut out a slice. The pie is fairly simple to make and relatively quick as well.

CONS:The pie is RICH in taste which will limit the size of the slice you take, which may be a good thing since this will probably add some minutes to your gym time as you try to burn it off.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Lauren at Tastes Better From Scratch for a wonderful recipe