Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is an important date in the garden calendar. Besides some vegetables that are especially sensitive to day length, being better sown past this date (fennel, Oriental brassica’s), it also marks the end of the harvest season for asparagus, ground elder (though it’s a good idea to keep pulling this troublesome weed out, even if you don’t eat it!) and rhubarb. This year I have shared no less than 4 rhubarb recipes and it is thus the best represented fruit/vegetable on this site. But the days shorten (sorry to be a party pooper) and it’s time to move on.
So I moved on. To strawberries. This galette was the first strawberry recipe I made this year. It is both rustic and elegant and I served it as a dessert at a dinner party. The combination with basil was so spot on, I am begining to think all strawberry recipes would benefit from the addition of some basil. (Or elderflowers – more on that later).
I used a different galette dough this time, though the one with rye flour would certainly be great, too.
This dough recipe comes from Alice Waters, but I substituted a large part of the flour for whole wheat. It’s still very tender & flaky. Follow the method closely for great results.
Strawberry galette with basil mascarpone cream
Dough (makes enough for 2 galettes – you can freeze one)
150 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
120 g (¾ cup) whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
170 g (1 ½ stick, 12 tbsp) butter
110 ml (7 tbsp) ice water
Basil mascarpone cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
450g (1 pound) strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Make the basil cream first (this can be made in advance). In a small heatproof bowl, combine cream, basil, and sugar. Set bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours for a more pronounced basil flavor – I recommend the longer time. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add mascarpone, and whisk until medium peaks form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the galette dough, combine both flours, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add one third of the butter and use a pastry blender (or two knives) to cut the butter into the dough, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal . ( The tiny pieces of butter make the dough tender). Add the remaining butter and cut with the pastry blender again, until the largest pieces are the size of large peas – or a little larger. (The bigger pieces make the dough flaky). Dribble the ice water into the flour mixture in several stages, tossing and mixing between each addition, until the dough just holds together. Do not try to squeeze the dough together, just toss it gently, letting it fall through your fingers. If it does not come together, you might add another tablespoon of water.
Divide the dough in half and shape both halves into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
On a well floured surface, roll dough to 6 mm (1/4 inch) thickness. Cut out a 25 cm (10-inch) round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries. Slice the strawberries lengthwise into 6 mm (1/4-inch) thick slices. Reserve end pieces for another use (or eat them while slicing). Toss slices with 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 2,5 cm (1 inch) from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 F) while dough is being chilled.
Whisk together yolk and water. Brush the edges 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 or at room temperature with basil cream.