There has been a constant flow of mouth-watering photos of pies, galettes and tarts going on Instagram lately, it makes me realise summer is in fact the best time to bake. Markets are abundant with local summer berries, plums, apricots, peaches, rhubarb, cherries etc., they are fresh and sweet as they are, but flavour intensify after going through treatment of heat. Especially when these fruits passed their prime, simply bake them in the oven, or stew them on the stove with a little sugar or natural sweetener, turn them into something rich and luscious. I was given two kilos of strawberries the other day and as much as we love strawberries and cream, we wouldn’t have managed to finish them before they rotted away or before we got tired of the sight of cream and strawberries. Luckily with all the inspiring pictures on social medias, I decided to make a gluten-free strawberry galette which I have been wanting to try for a while.
To make a light and buttery gluten free pie crust (without the additional of special binders such as xanthin gum and guar gum) is not an easy task, but after an extensive research on the internet, I finally found a recipe which only requires handful of ingredients for the crust and I happened to have all of them in hands. Ground almond, tapioca starch, butter, sugar and egg. When I made it the first time, I found the pastry dough a bit too sticky and wet so I couldn’t help but add a few tablespoons of buckwheat flour to hold the dough together. It was experimental, but it worked out quite well and I was quite surprised that it is not as difficult as I thought it was to make. But I found the crust tasted a little bland and the texture was a little bit ‘sandy’. So second time round, I bumped up the amount of sugar for sweetness and used less buckwheat flour, the result was the crust became too wet and I could barely fold the edges over but nevertheless spotted on with the taste. After the third time, I think the recipe is ready to be written on my recipe book and here on the blog. It is just the right sweetness and the crust is buttery and light. The additional drizzle of melted dark chocolate add another layer of flavour, pairs perfectly with the silky, sweet strawberries (but it is totally optional, it tastes fantastic as it is). Now I am confident to make a good crust for galette and will definitely keep experimenting with different filling, perhaps mixed berries, pears, figs or even savory ones. If you know any good combination, I would love to hear from you.
Note: The original recipe called for blanched almond flour, but I use just unblanched ground almond. The additional buckwheat flour helps hold the dough together nicely. I strongly recommend to add the buckwheat flour tablespoon by tablespoon because you don’t want to end up having a crust that is too hard and dry. Once you find that the dough is smooth and not sticky, you can stop adding buckwheat flour.
Since the dough is more crumbly than the usual wheat flour dough, when baking, the fruit juice will burst out through the cracks on the crust and gather around the galette, but don’t worry, just simply spoon out the juice around, and once the galette has cool down a bit, the juice inside will settle nicely.
Maple Strawberries Galette
adapted from Bakerita.com
For the pastry:
- 1 cup (140g) ground almond
- 1/2 cup (55g) tapioca starch
- 100g light brown sugar (or caster sugar)
- 1 tsp. ground vanilla
- 85g cold butter, diced
- 2 medium free range eggs (1 for the dough, 1 for egg wash)
- 6 heaped tbsp. (78g) buckwheat flour
For the filling:
- 400g strawberries, remove the green top and halved or roughly sliced
- 1 tbsp. tapioca starch
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
Optional chocolate drizzle:
- 50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
To make the pastry, combine the first 4 pastry ingredients and mix well. Add butter, then use a handheld mixer with a dough hook (or food processor) to incorporate the flour and butter until it resembles large crumbs. Add 1 egg and mix again. At this stage, the dough is still quite wet, but it will all come together nicely after we add the buckwheat flour.
Add the buckwheat flour, 1 heaped tablespoon at a time, incorporate the flour to the dough using a spatula, until the dough comes together. it shouldn’t be sticky nor too dry.
Wrap the dough with a large piece of cling film and keep it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
When the dough is ready but still in the fridge, preheat the oven at 190 degree celsius with a baking sheet placed in the medium rack.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a clean, dry work surface, roll the dough out in between the baking paper and the cling film that you use for wrapping the dough. Press and flatten the dough with a rolling pin (I use a clean glass bottle) until you get an aprox. 32cm round. it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle. Remove the cling film.
Prepare the filling. Combine the strawberries, maple syrup and tapioca starch well in a medium mixing bowl. Add the filling on the roll out pastry, leaving about 5-6cm around the edge of the pastry. Carefully fold the edge up using the parchment paper to help. Beat the remaining egg and brush it all over the pastry.
Place the galette (with the parchment) on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the galette from the oven and place on a cooling rack (with the parchment paper).
Optional step for the chocolate drizzle: while the galette is cooling, melt the dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl placed on top of a pot of simmering water (bottom of bowl should not be touching the water), about 3 minutes. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl, let the chocolate cool down for a few minutes. Then drizzle all over the galette.
Serve slightly warm with a dollop of cream or ice cream or just as it is.