Now, a pie dough is temperamental, susceptible to the vagaries of humidity, moisture, and temperature. I am learning from my mistakes, but I still approach each pie with nervousness. What I learned this time is not to slavishly follow a pie dough recipe but rather, according to how the dough looks and feels.
A hint: make the whisky sugar the day before making the galette. It needs 12 hours to dry in a low oven.
Blueberry Galette (adapted from Bon Appetit)
Prep time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
1/2 cup almonds (pecans in original recipe)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 oz (1/2 cups) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1-4 tablespoons ice water
12 oz (2 cups) blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon flour for sprinkling
2 tablespoons heavy cream for brushing the crust
1 tablespoon whisky sugar (See below)
For the dough. Preheat oven to 350˚F/175˚C. Toast nuts on a rimmed baking tray until fragrant and slightly dark, about 8-10 minutes in my oven. Let cool in the tray. Turn heat up to 375˚F/200˚C
Pulse the nuts in a food processor until the consistency of coarse meal. Add flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces remaining.
Pie Baker’s Note: Chill the butter again if it softens after cutting it up into pieces. It’s too soft if you can see your fingerprint in the butter. This is a frequent hazard of baking in Bangkok where it’s humid.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Now this is where a recipe can’t tell you what to do. If the dough starts to come together it doesn’t need water. If it’s still dry and crumbly, add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time or until the mixture comes together in a ball. Lay the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and using your fingers, spread it out into a 6-inch diameter circle. Wrap completely and refrigerate for at least one hour. According to Bon Appetit, the dough can be made two days ahead or frozen for up to one month.
For the filling. Toss the blueberries in a large bowl with cornstarch, lime juice, and 1/4 cup caster sugar. Set aside.
Assemble the galette. I roll out the dough onto a sheet of parchment so then I don’t have to try to transfer the galette dough to the parchment. That’s a dicey business.
So, roll out the dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment to a 12-inch round. Mound the blueberry mixture in the center, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Fold the edges over the blueberries, tucking in the corners. Brush the edges with the cream and sprinkle whisky sugar on top.
Bake galette until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. You’ll have to watch it carefully because the almond meal has made the crust brown. Bake 30-40 minutes. Bon Appetit recommends baking for 45-50 minutes but to me that might be too long. My galette crust was golden brown and the filling was bubbling happily away after 35 minutes.
Whisky Sugar (from Bon Appetit)
1 cup demerara sugar
2 tablespoons whisky
Preheat oven to lowest setting (150° or 200° on most ovens). Mix demerara
sugar and whisky in a small bowl. Spread out mixture on a parchment-lined
baking sheet in a thin, even layer. Let dry out in oven 12 hours (or overnight)
with door slightly ajar. (Wedge a wooden spoon between the door and the oven) Mixture should feel like demerara sugar again. Transfer whisky sugar to a tightly covered jar and store in a cool dark place.