Strawberries and pie plant, take two

In the interest of space, I decided to write a separate post for last night’s dessert, a strawberry-rhubarb galette. A really, really outstanding strawberry-rhubarb galette. While waxing poetic about the shape and color of rhubarb yesterday, I forgot to mention that it is commonly known as pie plant, giving this post it’s title.

I’ve mentioned that I am a better cook than baker, but galettes are an exception. Free form tarts are pretty forgiving, and I love their rustic look. My friend Caroline says they're elegant, and I think she's right. There's great beauty in simplicity.

This galette was a smashing success. Reviewing the recipe, you'll notice it doesn't contain unusual or fancy ingredients. This is honest food. Freshness and quality of the components make all the difference, so please don't use over-the-hill supermarket berries and limp rhubarb and expect to be thrilled with the results.

The breadcrumbs or crushed cookies absorb fruit juices and keep the bottom of the galette from becoming too soggy. I used vanilla cookies last night, placing them in a sandwich bag and pulverizing them with a few quick strikes of a rolling pin. Don’t even think about using prepackaged canned breadcrumbs here. Or elsewhere. In fact, don’t  buy them.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette
Yield: 1 medium tart, serves 4-6

This galette would be wonderful with vanilla or strawberry ice cream. I served it with freshly whipped cream flavored with a drop of vanilla extract and a few teaspoons of sugar.

The tart dough requires at least 30 minutes of rest prior to baking. It can be frozen for about one month, so you may want to make more than you need and stash some away for future use. I always do.

On baking day, take the dough from the refrigerator or freezer, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and prepare to roll the dough. One of the (many) great things about galettes – perfect symmetry is unnecessary.

I memorized this tart dough recipe years ago, and can't remember the source, but I owe someone a big thank you. Quick and easy, it uses a food processor. If you don't have a food processor or are a purist, a pastry blender will cut in the fat.

Very cold butter is important — the butter cubes should remain separate as they are processed and combine evenly with the dry ingredients.

NOTE: I used half the tart dough recipe below to bake a medium galette. The recipe makes enough dough for one 9-inch tart when baked in a tart pan. I used all of the filling listed for a medium tart. Taste your berries for sweetness; they made need more sugar than noted in the recipe.

Tart Dough:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed
1 tablespoon ice water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the flour, sugar and salt into the food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and toss it with your fingers to coat each piece with flour (watch out for the blade!). Pulse again to break the butter into pea-sized pieces.

With the motor running, add the ice water and vanilla and process for just a few seconds. You should have a shaggy mass in the bowl, with a few loose bits here and there. Turn the contents onto a clean work surface and press them together, forming a rough disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.

After resting, roll the dough into a thin disk — perfect circles not required. Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and proceed.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling:

3 large stalks of rhubarb
1 quart whole strawberries, about 3 1/2 cups when trimmed and quartered or halved
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
a scant 1/4 cup homemade white breadcrumbs, amaretti cookies, or vanilla cookies, finely crushed

Cut the cleaned rhubarb into pieces about 2-inches long and 1/4 inch wide. Strawberries should be halved or quartered, depending on size. Tiny berries can be left whole. Toss the rhubarb and berries with sugar and flour in a bowl.

Sprinkle the bread or cookie crumbs over the (rolled out) dough, leaving about a 1 1/2-inch border along the edge. Mound the fruits in the center of the dough. They will cook down and the galette will spread out a little, so a tall pile is a good idea.

Fold the dough border up and over itself at regular intervals. This creates a rim to keep the fruit and juices inside. Check for tears or holes when you've finished, and pinch them back together or cover with a little more dough.

To glaze, combine one egg with a few drops of milk or cream. Paint this mixture on the outer border of the galette and sprinkle with a few teaspoons of sugar. Melted butter can be used in place of the egg mix.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes, rotating the pan a few times to ensure even browning. Slide it off of the baking sheet onto a rack and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Leftovers make great breakfast food.


  1. I'm only sad that I could not have it with my coffee because I was in a hurry. However, it was a delicious treat this afternoon when I took a break from my taxes. I'm thankful that I have no more to have after dinner. Thanks for sharing and for the recipe! It may be the perfect dessert for Big C's Mother's Day meal.

  2. You make it sound so simple...I think I can do it! What are your plans for that extra flat of strawberries you're getting from the farm? Can't wait to read about it.

  3. CCM - So glad you enjoyed the leftovers, and I hope you will try it this weekend.

    Cathy - Of course you can do it! And you with your inside info, re: the extra flat of CSA berries. Some will morph into preserves, but I'm not sure about the rest.

  4. This sounds spectacular. I can almost taste it.

    I love love love rhubarb. And strawberries. My gramma used to make rhubarb strawberry jam. And amazing rhubarb meringue pie that I still think about to this day, and I'm not a pie person.

  5. LG - Rhubarb meringue pie sounds divine. Any chance you have the recipe?

  6. It is. I will ask my mama to look for it this weekend. I believe she has her mom's cookbooks.