This year we left our vacation a little later than usual. Though the reason was mainly that I had to finish my manuscript (I only sent the last chapter to my editor the night before we left (of course)), it had the added bonus of us not missing most of the berries. Because of our late spring, everything ripened later than usual and we only started picking raspberries, currants and gooseberries in July. But because we were still at home the first weeks of this month, the necessity to process the ample harvest supplied me with an excellent excuse to procrastinate my work. Apart from the berries we ate raw, I made a batch of black currant preserve and gooseberry-vanilla jam. I also made this galette.
Though I enjoy the tart flavour of gooseberries when eating them straight from the bush, when you use them in a dessert, they require quite a bit of sugar. In this galette recipe they are cleverly combined with strawberries, which means less sugar is needed. The flavours of the two fruits complement each other superbly, the strawberries mellowing the tartness of the gooseberries and the gooseberries supplying an edge for a fruit that by itself can be a little cloying when cooked. The ground almonds trap all the lovely fruit juices while preventing the pastry from turning soggy.
I baked the galette when Esther was not at home and it is a testimony to our love for our daughter that we did leave her a piece.
Gooseberry and strawberry galette
Adapted, only a little bit, from The Guardian
I used the gooseberry variety ‘Hinonmäkki’, which has small red fruits and a very good flavour. A green variety (my favourite is ‘Rochus’) would provide a nice contrast n colour.
200 g all-purpose flour
1 heaped tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Pinch of salt
120 g (1stick) cold butter
1 egg yolk
About 50 ml cold milk (or water)
200 g gooseberries
75 g caster sugar + a bit more for the crust
Finely grated zest of one lemon
3 tbsp ground almonds
1 egg white, lightly beaten
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. 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 cold milk (or 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 milk/water. Shape the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
Meanwhile prepare the filling. Top and tail the gooseberries. Hull the strawberries and half them if small or quarter them if large. Combine the berries with sugar and lemon zest and leave to macerate for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400F).
When you want to bake the galette, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface about 2 to 3 mm thick, into a circle of about 35 cm in diameter. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the dough, leaving the edge free. Spoon the fruit on top, including all the juices, leaving a border of about 3 to 4 centimetres. Fold the edge of the dough over the fruit, brush it with egg white and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake about 30 minutes, until golden.
Serve plain, with cream or ice cream.