What do you do with wilting stalks of rhubarb and somewhat soft – if not slightly mushy – strawberries wasting away in the fridge? Well, you could make a delightfully simple compote by slowly stewing down the rhubarb and strawberries (sliced) in a shallow pan with a splash of water, a squirt of lemon juice, a quick zesting of that same lemon, and a spoonful or two of honey. Or, if you’ve also got butter, flour and rose petal jelly in your kitchen, you could make these delicious little rhubarb, strawberry & rose galettes.
rhubarb, strawberry & rose galettes
The rose petal jelly is totally optional, but I did have a jar of it in the fridge – and it makes a really pleasant, if admittedly subtle, difference to the tarts. Likewise, the size of the galettes is up to you: divide the pie dough in 2, 4, 6 or 8 identical disks for smaller tartelettes (the very “hand-holdable” ones above were from a dough divided by 8), or keep it whole for a convivial galette that begs to be enjoyed in good company.
how to make the pie dough
yields enough dough for 2 pie crusts
170g wheat flour, all purpose or whole
170g spelt flour
255g cold unsalted butter
140mL cold water
note: you could use lightly salted butter here. if so, omit the addition of salt.
1. Cut the butter into large chunks, then pop into the freezer while you whisk the flours and salt together. Add the ice cubes to the water.
2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives, one in each hand. Once most pieces of butter are roughly the size of shelled walnuts, rub each piece into the flour using your index and thumb, creating little flat-but-still-fat flour-coated tiles.
3. Start by pouring 90ml of water into the flour and butter blend, stirring it in with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, adding more water two tablespoons at a time until the dough barely comes together. Use your hand to continue forming the dough into a loose ball as you carefully add more water – you’ll better be able to tell when the dough has come together if using your hand instead of a spoon or spatula. The dough is ready when it still looks shaggy but holds together (in other words: when you can press it together without it crumbling apart).
4. Divide into two disks. If you plan on using them later in the day, they can be put into their own bowl with damp dish towel or plate placed on top like a lid before chilling in the fridge. Otherwise, wrap each tightly in a plastic bag to chill in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.
5. Chill at least two hours in the fridge, up to overnight. If in a hurry, you can chill the dough 30-45 minutes in the freezer before leaving to chill 15-30 minutes more in the fridge.
note: you want the dough and all its ingredients to be as cold as possible. otherwise, the butter will melt before the moisture inside it can evaporate and form fluffy air pockets as the dough bakes, leaving your pastry dense and crisp rather than light and flaky. tips for keeping the dough cold include: placing your bowl and all your ingredients briefly in the freezer before making the dough – rinsing your hands in very cold water to cool them before manually handling the dough – returning the dough to the fridge or freezer to firm any time it begins to warm too much.
how to make the galettes
yields enough for 8 palm-sized galettes, 1 large 22cm pie-sized galette, or any other shape and size in between
1 disk of pie dough
400g rhubarb and strawberries (you decide the ratios!*)
15mL (1 Tbsp) vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
the zest and juice of 1 small lemon
18 g oat flour**
125g sugar + more for sprinkling
up to 85g (about 60ml) rose petal jelly***
1 egg, whisked
*if using mostly or only rhubarb, you’ll need about 25 more grams of sugar to offset its acidity; likewise, cut the sugar back by at least 35 grams if using only or mostly strawberries. this recipe was written for a ratio of about 60% rhubarb to 40% strawberry.
**just whizz up some rolled oats in your blender or food processor and you’re good to go! alternatively, regular all purpose flour will do.
***no rose petal jelly? no problem. strawberry or raspberry jam make good substitutes, and skipping the jellies and jams altogether is quite alright too.
1. If making one large galette, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If making more than one, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Slice the stalks of rhubarb in half lengthwise. Then either slice them lengthwise again, and once more into little sticks, or simply cut them across their width into small wedges. Put into a large bowl. Nip the leaves off the strawberries and slice them lengthwise in half and/or into quarters, depending on size (smaller ones in half, larger ones into quarters) and add to the bowl.
3. In a second bowl, combine the vanilla, lemon zest, flour, sugar and salt until fragrant and homogeneous. Pour the mixture into the large bowl with the fruit, and toss to coat. Add in the lemon juice and rose petal jelly, and toss again to combine properly.
4. Remove one disk of dough from the fridge and, if making more than one galette, divide into 2, 4, 6 or 8 equal-sized pieces on a lightly floured surface. Roll each piece out into a round shape, until around 0.3-0.6 cm thick (it’s okay if the edges are a little thinner than the middle, but not the other way around).
5. Transfer the rolled-out disk(s) of dough to your prepared baking sheet(s). Taking care not to spoon any of the juices from the bowl, arrange 1/8th of the fruit onto the centre of each piece of dough if you’ve got 8 – 1/6th if you’ve got 6, 1/4th if you’ve got 4, half if you’ve got two, and all the fruit if you’ve got one big disk of dough – leaving a border around all sides. Fold the excess dough up and over toward the fruit, pressing the seams gently to seal. Once the galettes are formed, return to the fridge or freezer to firm up before baking, 15-20 minutes.
6. While the galettes are chilling, pour the reserved juices into a small pan and let them reduce until slightly thickened. In the meantime, position two racks in the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 220°C/430°F.
7. When ready to bake, brush the dough of each galette with the egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 15 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back, so as to get an even bake. As you rotate the baking trays, spoon the reduced juices onto each galette’s centre (we do this now to avoid a soggy bottom). Continue baking until the pastry looks crisp and is a deep golden colour, 15 to 25 minutes more (depending on the size of your tart).
8. Let the galette(s) cool a bit before serving warm, as is, with an extra sprinkling of sugar, or with a contrastingly cool scoop of quality ice cream.
note: the extra disk of pastry can be used for savoury as well as sweet purposes – for example, perfect for making a quick quiche or pot pie!