Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Easiest thing I've ever made...

The John-Jules-Christina Family is gearing up for a big traveling adventure soon (details to be revealed eventually...) and we've been diligently eating through the contents of our fridge, freezer, and pantry; trying to consume as much random food as possible before we leave.

Our dear friend Arryan (of Freeman's Alley fame) is celebrating his birthday tomorrow with a potluck dinner and-- of course-- my first instinct was to bake birthday pie. Yes. Birthday pie has become somewhat of a speciality of mine.

What sets birthday pie apart from regular pie is the pool of melting candle wax that forms when you put stripe-y little birthday candles into a piping hot pie, straight out of the oven. Believe it or not, I've made birthday pie twice, with identical results, and have decided now to embrace it as a "tradition".

So with this exciting birthday upon us, I thought, "What better opportunity to make another birthday pie-- this time using the frozen fruit and puff pastry packet I have in the freezer!!" Five google-search-seconds later, I found this easy-breezy recipe, and whipped up a slight adaptation of this Mixed Berry Galette in almost as much time.

Follow the incredibly easy instructions below-- and track down a jar of Devonshire Clotted Cream or Creme Fraiche if you really want to impress your guests. They'll be so wowed, they'll never guess that you're just blowing through the contents of your fridge!! : )

  • 1 pkg. puff pastry, thawed, or pastry for a single-crust pie
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 cups of assorted berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and quartered strawberries will all work perfectly! 
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, cut into bits
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or a silpat mat.
  2. Divide pastry into two pieces. Roll puff pastry into two circles, about 8-inches each. Place on baking tray (it's okay if they are touching) and place tray in the fridge to chill the crust while the oven preheats.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch and get rid of any lumps. In a large bowl, stir together the berries, sugar-cornstarch mixture, lemon zest and salt. Juice lemon over the mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Once oven has preheated, remove puff pastry from the fridge and divide the filling between the two crusts. Using a slotted spoon, mound the mixed berries into the middle of the dough, leaving an inch or two around the edge. Fold the edges over the filling, just enough to keep the berries from sliding out. It should overlap and will look rustic, don't worry about evenness or neatness.
  5. Brush the pastry with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Dot the fruit with the butter cubes. Bake two galettes until golden, 25-30 minutes. If the middle of the galette puffs up in the oven, just pierce it with a fork.
  6. Remove tarts from the oven and cool for a few minutes before sliding out onto a cutting board or serving plate to cut and serve.
  7. Serve warm, preferably with creme fraiche or clotted cream if you really mean business. 

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