Summer Fruit Galette

This galette has escaped the camera now five times.  First I made it with strawberries.  Then with plums, then with strawberries and peaches, then with blueberries, then with peaches alone, and just this weekend with apricots.  Actually, make that six times that this galette has been eaten before I managed to photograph it.  I finish baking it in the evening usually, and then intend to take a picture the next morning.  Only by morning, it’s nearly half gone, and then I eat a slice for breakfast, and suddenly 40% of a galette seems so much less photogenic than a whole galette full of fruit and shining with sugar warm from the oven.  So I vow to make another one, and this time, I promise myself, I’ll photograph it properly to share it with you. 

summer fruit galette

I haven’t meant to hold out on you.  This recipe seems to get better each time I make it, and now I’ve hit a groove with the crust.  It’s so light and flaky that I marvel that I was the one to actually make it.  The slice I ate last weekend had a fold of crust stacked with thin papery layers that I would have easily believed came from a scientifically engineered toaster strudel.  Only the layers didn’t taste like paper, instead they instantly dissolved into an airy memory of butter and sugar and everything delicious.  So forgive me for not getting you this recipe sooner.  I meant to, I tried to, it’s here now!  Would you believe I made and ate six galettes just for you?  For the sake of quality control?  Yes, quality control.  Let’s go with that.

slice of peach galette

Summer Fruit Galette (adapted just barely from Smitten Kitchen)

Deb does some fancy folding with this recipe on her blog, somehow managing to come out with galettes that have fruit in the shape of stars.  While making this recipe with a friend, I described my technique as “making a bed the lazy way, just fold everything into the center and go with it.”  I’ve made this with all the fruit I’ve found in the farmers’ market this summer.  You may have to adjust the fruit quantities as volumetric measurements aren’t perfect (2 cups of apricot slices is very different from 2 cups of blueberries).  This recipe is informal and very forgiving.  Roll out the crust, pile fruit in the center, fold in edges, bake, and eat.

For the Crust

  • 1 1/14 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 stick (8 tbsps) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes (described below)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese mixed with 3 tbsp cold water

For the Fruit Filling

  • 2 cups fruit, chopped into uniform pieces
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, and salt for the crust in a large bowl. 
  2. Remove the butter from the fridge, and using a large knife, cut it into thirds the long way (so you now have three pieces of butter all the same length as the original stick).  Rotate the stick 90 degrees and again cut it into thirds the long way.  Now you should have a stick of butter made up of 3×3 long skinny sticks of butter.  Cut off thin slices, and drop each square of butter (made up of 9 little cubes) into your flour mixture.
  3. Using a pasty cutter or two butter knives, cut in the butter until all the butter pieces are of a small uniform size.  Because of the butter cutting method in step 2, this should not take you very long.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese with 3 tablespoons of cold water. 
  5. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour and butter mixture and stir to combine. 
  6. Using your hands, gently gather the mixture into a loose ball, and drop that ball onto a piece of handiwrap.  Wrap the handiwrap into a tight ball, and then press down on the dough to form a flat disk.  Refrigerate overnight.
  7. The next day, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  8. Chop your fruit and mix together the ingredients for the fruit filling in a medium mixing bowl.
  9. Flour the counter and roll out the dough into a large circle (about 12-14” diameter)
  10. . Fold the dough circle into quarters and transfer it to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Unfold the pastry dough back into a circle.
  11.   Pour the fruit filling into the center of the pastry dough and fold in the edges to cover the fruit filling.
  12. Bake at 400 degrees for ~30 minutes or until the pastry dough is golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbly.

Grilled Peach Salad with Halloumi Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Arugula

grilled peach halloumi salad

Our summer sun has disappeared briefly into the gray clouds of “Fog-ust” this month in the Bay area.  I cheated and made this salad on our grill pan inside, as grilling outside huddled in the dark in long pants and a sweatshirt doesn’t have quite the allure of grilling while relaxing outside in your shorts on a warm evening.  For those of you having a legitimate hot August, feel free to do this recipe all outside, cooking the peaches, chunks of red onion and the halloumi cheese on the grill and tossing them from the grill straight to bowls full … Continue reading

Mango and Ginger Smoothie with Spinach

mango_ginger_spinach_smoothie

I absolutely go through breakfast ruts.  The word rut implies an issue with the repetition though, and I revel in the repetition.  I don’t eat the same thing every day because I can’t think of something new to make, rather, I wake up each morning excited to make and eat exactly the same thing I made the day before. In the winter I can happily go for weeks eating steel cut oats with a banana and almond butter.  These breakfast tacos started off all my spring mornings, and this pomegranate yogurt bowl was a regular feature in breakfasts before that.  … Continue reading

Fresh Corn Salad with Halloumi Cheese

corn_salad_halloumi_cheese_overhead

I hate corn on the cob.  Let’s be clear, I adore fresh corn, but I require it be off the cob.  Four years of braces left me with a horror of gnawing the delicious kernels off the cob.  No discussion of typewriter or rotary style here, please let me grill my corn and slice it off the cob to happily consume with a fork.  I love this method of making polenta from fresh corn, but rarely do I approach a summer weekend with that much ambition.  Summer begs for simplicity, just slice, assemble and eat.  If you’ve been in my … Continue reading

Blackberry, Avocado, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Salad

blackberry_avocado_salad_closeup

This is my very favorite time of year.  It’s light until 8pm leaving plenty of time for long runs after work.  Every day I’m grateful for the extra sunshine, as I know winter with its dark afternoons will close in far too soon.  Not only are we lucky with all the extra sun, but the farmers’ market is full of fruit.  No sad winter markets with onions and potatoes in Berkeley these days.  The stands are full of greens and berries and stone fruit and all the best things the season has to offer. I came home from the farmers’ … Continue reading

Upside Down Rhubarb Cake

rhubarb upside down cake (2)

Last month I had dinner with friends at Heirloom Café in San Francisco.  It was a dream dinner: good friends, good wine, and delicious food.  We shared bites of everything, marveling more and more with each bite.  My meal started with a fava bean salad that tasted green in the best possible way, continued with gnocchi that were so fluffy I took each bite in delicious disbelief, and concluded with a rhubarb upside down cake that left me wanting to guard my plate from my friends’ forks.  The miniature cake was made with such care that I was certain each … Continue reading

Six Minute Breakfast Taco

six_minute_breakfast_taco

Most of my weekday breakfasts are bowls like this pomegranate yogurt bowl or this blueberry cheddar cereal bowl or even this chocolate coconut chia pudding.  Bowls are quick, easy to pack, easy to make in advance and assemble at work.  I rarely have the time or energy to cook before I’ve had my coffee in the morning, and I usually get up, work out, grab my belongings, and have biked halfway to work before I’ve really shaken off the sleep. So how’d a breakfast that requires me to actually turn on the stove end up with a prominent place in … Continue reading

Pomegranate, Walnut and Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

pomegranate_walnut_yogurt_bowl_square2

Monday breakfasts are hard.  Every Sunday night, I’m hit with a solid case of Monday-is-imminent blues, and this severe case of nearly-Monday-itis makes it unlikely that I’m going to prep tomorrow’s breakfast that night.  Then Monday morning arrives, and if I can make coffee and stand in front of the fridge blinking my tired eyes, that’s a success.  Luckily this breakfast practically assembles itself, with some earlier in the weekend prep work. This winter we’ve been picking up pomegranates at the farmers’ market or at the grocery store, depending on how much time there is in the week.  J takes … Continue reading

New Year’s Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon_rolls_closeup

I made you cinnamon rolls! Er… Hi.  Remember me?  It’s kind of been a year.  13 months if we’re being exact.  But that’s why I brought cinnamon rolls!  To help jog your memory. 2013 was a whirlwind of work, life, wedding planning, seven cross country trips, marrying my best friend, an incredibly honeymoon to Fiji, and a Sunday that was 41 hours long.  Through it all, I cooked and baked, but I didn’t share any of it with you.  I missed this space though, and I’m happy to reclaim it. So, cinnamon rolls.  I know it’s January, but if you’re … Continue reading

Race Recap: California International Marathon 2012

CIM

It has taken me nearly a week to get a handle on my race last Sunday at the California International Marathon.  All the runners who lined up at the start knew what they were getting into.  I’m sure everyone else had spent the week before obsessively checking the weather too, thinking that there was still time for the chance of rain to become something less than 100%.  By 6AM on Sunday, standing in the dark at the start with thousands of other equally crazy runners, I knew we’d be running in the rain.  I knew it was likely parts of … Continue reading