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Blueberry Lemon Verbena Galette

Photograph by Rina Jordan

Everyone loves pie. The mom.me team loves pie, but we sometimes struggle with baking the perfect pie, and resort to the store-bought variety. That was, until, we received a copy of Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter by Kate Lebo. Now that we're pupils in her school of pie, we've been cooking up delicious fruit and nut pies every night of the week. Her no-nonsense approaching to teaching, her poetic language, and swoon-worthy fillings make this a delightful and delicious read.

This galette owes its invention to a classic fruit pairing, and to a lemon verbena plant I adopted one summer. The result is a blueberry-lemon flavor with a trace of floral herbiness—the sort of pie that seems familiar and strange at the same time.

RECIPE: Blueberry Lemon Verbena Galette

Yields 1 galette

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Galette dough (recipe follows)
  • 4 cups (2 pints) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 lemon verbena leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • Egg white wash (1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water) or heavy cream
  • Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Make the dough. Let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour while you prepare the next steps of the recipe.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the blueberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, salt, and lemon verbena. Taste and adjust salt and sweet as necessary. Add the flour and butter and stir to combine. Set the filling aside.
  4. Retrieve the dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll it out into about an 1⁄8-inch round. It will be large— 14 inches, maybe bigger. (The dough doesn’t need to be perfectly round, but it lays better in the pan if it is roundish.) Trim the edges or patch the dough as needed to make it more round. Fold the dough into fourths, transfer it to the pan, and unfold it, tucking the dough gently into the edges of the pan. Let the excess drape over the edge of the pan.
  5. Pour the filling into the dough. Grab some of the excess dough and pull it toward the center of the galette. Grab another spot about three or four inches down and pull it toward the center, continuing until you have used all the dough to create a soft ruffle of crust surrounding a juicy blue center. Brush the dough with the egg white wash, and sprinkle it with the demerara sugar.
  6. Bake the galette in the middle of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is blistered and blond. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes more, until the crust is deeply golden and the juices bubble slowly at the galette's edge.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers on the kitchen counter loosely wrapped in a towel for up to 3 days.

RECIPE: Galette Dough

Yields 1 bottom crust

  • ¼ cup sour cream or room temperature cream cheese (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) well-chilled butter

Note: If you use cream cheese, amend my instructions for preparing the liquid as follows: In a 2-cup spouted liquid measuring cup, whisk the cream cheese thoroughly with ¼ cup hot (but not boiling) water. There should be absolutely no lumps. Whisk in the lemon juice. Put it in the freezer while you prepare the next steps of the recipe. The idea is to have the liquid at a very cold temperature, not to actually freeze it.

  1. Whisk the sour cream, lemon juice, and water in a 2-cup spouted liquid measuring cup and put it in the freezer while you prepare the next steps of the recipe. The idea is to have the liquid at a very cold temperature, not to actually freeze it.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut the butter into ½- to 1-tablespoon-size pieces and drop them into the flour. Toss the fat with the flour to evenly distribute it.
  3. Position your hands palms up, fingers loosely curled. Scoop up flour and fat and rub it between your thumb and fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl after rubbing. Do this, reaching into the bottom and around the sides to incorporate all the flour into the fat until the mixture is slightly yellow, slightly damp. It should be chunky—mostly pea-size with a handful of almond-size pieces and a few the size of cherries. The rest of the flour/butter mixture should look like coarse cornmeal.
  4. Take the liquid out of the freezer. Pour it in a steady thin stream around the bowl for about 5 seconds. Toss everything lightly a few times. If you’d like a flakier crust, stop adding liquid when the dough just coheres. If you’d like a tender crust, pour most of the rest of the liquid in a thin stream over the dough, each time stopping after about 5 seconds to toss and distribute the liquid. The dough should hold together (no puffs of dry flour) and feel a little wet. Expect it to feel much wetter than American pie dough, but not so wet that it’s like batter. The dough should hold together easily in a ball. Add the rest of the liquid, if needed.
  5. With firm, brief pressure, gather the dough into a ball. Quickly form the dough into a thick disk using your palms and thumbs. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 3 days before rolling.

Copyright 2014 By Kate Lebo. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter by permission of Sasquatch Books.

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