How to Make Any Kind of Galette
The ‘no-recipe’ secrets for sweet (or savory!) galettes
I hope you’re familiar with the feeling of not knowing what to bake. It’s a good one—because it opens up possibilities. Having a galette recipe in your back pocket gives great confidence. I’m often ambitious, and like to start bigger cooking or baking projects on the weekend, when there is no-one but myself to impress and I can take the time to learn something new. But when I want the ease of bringing something undoubtedly delicious to the table, this rustic galette is what I make over and over again. And, it tastes different every time.
Anyone can make a beautiful galette. It’s basically a pastry dough wrapped around a fresh filling and is as simple as it sounds. Here’s how to master the perfect galette recipe—for which, once you get the hang of it, you won’t need a recipe at all. You can then apply your knowledge to any fresh fruit or vegetables you have lying around. Let’s get started!
A buttery dough with flakey layers
Galette dough contains a lot of butter to create those crispy edges with great layers that we all love so much. Once you’ve combined flour with some sugar and a pinch of salt, make sure to use very cold butter as this prevents it from melting into the flour. To help yield flaky results once it’s out of the oven, we want to make sure there are solid pieces of butter still within the dough.
You can make the dough with your hands––or use a food processor to give your fingers a break. First you want to rub the dough until you have roughly pea-sized crumbles and then add just enough ice-cold water (cold water from the tap works just as fine) to make it all stick together. Some recipes call for apple cider vinegar here as well to hold everything together, but there’s no need to buy any if you don’t have it on hand. The recipe below makes two sough, so I wrap them in plastic, stick the dough I’m intending to use in the fridge, while the other goes into the freezer for an impromptu galette craving.
Before rolling, the dough needs to chill at least 30 min., or at best an hour (I even like to prep it ahead of time, up to three days in advance). Use this time to make the filling.
What you’ll need for 2 galette doughs:
300 g flour
200 g cold butter cubes
pinch of salt
Apple cider vinegar
Adjust sugar and salt amount if your filling is savory
Add some cornmeal to your dough if you want to make a tomato filling or another quite liquidy filling. This will help soak up the water and prevent the crust from getting soggy.
The filling you have on hand
Play around and adjust with whatever you have on hand. It also doesn’t depend so much on the right amount, you should be able to eyeball it: Roughly three to four hands full of fruit is great for one galette. If you have less, just place each piece neatly next to the other, like I show in the video. If you have more, just pile them up in the centre of the dough as it will stay inside the dough snugly as soon as you fold in the pastry edges to seal it up.
Dice or slice your ingredients, add sugar to taste, and a little bit of flour or cornstarch to help absorbing some moisture and thicken the filling (it’s optional, I also make it without and it works as well) and season with some lemon zest for freshness. For ingredients like rhubarb that are already sour on their own, opt orange zest. Add some vanilla, cinnamon or other warm spices and for savory fillings, opt for pepper or chili flakes. Fresh herbs work well too, like mint or thyme and rosemary.
Some filling ideas:
x Strawberries, blueberries, or any other berries, with lemon zest and vanilla
x Rhubarb, orange zest, vanilla
x Any stone fruit––or a mix!––with vanilla and maple syrup
x Apples, cinnamon
x Pears and almonds
x Tomatoes and thyme
x Asparagus with goat’s cheese
x Potato, zucchini, lemon with ricotta cheese
Form a perfectly imperfect galette
You don’t have to roll out the dough into a perfect shape. A rough circle or rectangle is what you want to aim for, since it’s going onto a baking sheet and doesn’t need to fit a particular mould. You can also patch up any odd edges by transplanting some dough—this dough is very forgiving and it’s hard to do anything wrong. Before I put in the filling, I like adding another layer of sugar or jam for sweet fillings or some crème fraîche, goat's cheese, or ricotta for savory fillings, leaving a generous border.
Now pile up the filling in the middle and simply fold the border over the filling, press the edges a little bit (watch the video to see a fool proof method). Now you have the option of adding some more sugar, maple syrup or honey, butter, and/or fresh herbs on top. Make sure to brush the edges with some melted butter, egg wash or a mix of milk and agave syrup. I also now like to top off the edges with some more sugar for caramelization and crushed almond flakes.
Your galette should be baked once the edges are golden brown and the filling is bubbly and softened. Let it cool completely on a cooling rack to prevent the bottom from becoming soggy and to achieve the best crunchy layers possible. Or, like me—don’t—and serve it slightly warm with your favorite ice cream on top that will melt deliciously into your perfectly imperfect galette!
Published on May 29, 2020