Crisp, flaky, and bursting with blueberries: this blueberry galette is a new summer staple. (Jump to Recipe)
Truth: unbaked pies/galettes photograph better than baked ones. Just look at the shine on those blueberries!
One of the best parts about summer is that you can throw any in-season fruit into a pie crust or under a crumble with some sugar, bake it, and call it dessert. I love how laid back summer desserts are. The fruit is the star, and everything else is just accompaniment.
July brought cartloads of blueberries to the stores here in Chicago. I’m sure they were at the farmer’s markets too, but truth be told, I didn’t even make it to my normal farmer’s market until THIS PAST WEEKEND for the first time all summer. Like, the first weekend of August. We have been so busy and traveling every single weekend that I couldn’t fit in one of my favorite summer rituals, and it makes me sad. I guess I just have to make up for it as often as I can until October when they close down again. Where has this year gone?
I love blueberries and usually have them with granola or oatmeal in the mornings during the summer, but I’ve often been foiled by them when it comes to pies and galettes. Every recipe will tell you to use raw blueberries and just toss them with sugar and cornstarch or flour for the filling. The problem is, no matter how much cornstarch or flour I mix them with, no matter how long I bake them, I still wind up with un-set blueberry soup in the end. I think raw blueberries are too watery and take too long to break down in the oven, so they don’t have time to set. I also don’t really like how chunky they still are, even after an hour plus in the oven. I want my pie filling soft and broken down!
Enter my solution: cook the blueberry filling first.
It doesn’t take long! About 5 minutes or so. But it makes a world of difference. The blueberries actually get a chance to break down and release their juices, the cornstarch gets a chance to actually do its job and thicken the mixture because you bring it to a boil, and the sugar gets fully incorporated. I also add lemon juice and zest to bring out the flavor of the blueberries, and man is it good. I could just eat the filling, to be honest.
But, flaky pastry. We must have it. And cooking the filling helps with that too, as less moisture means less chance of a soggy bottom. And as Mary Berry says, nobody wants a soggy bottom.
Some tips when it comes to making a good, less-leak-prone blueberry galette:
- Make sure your pie dough is SUPER COLD when you roll it out. I actually had mine in the freezer and waited until it was barely warm enough to work with before rolling it out, and the resulting flaky factor was insane compared to when the dough is just barely cold. You don’t have to freeze it, but have it in the fridge for at least a couple hours before you roll it out, and then you could always fridge or freeze it after you’ve filled it for a few minutes just to make doubly sure.
- Speaking of, it helps to double the pie dough recipe and keep one batch in the freezer for last-minute galette making (I love that that can be a thing).
- Fold the edges of the dough far enough over the filling. If you look at the picture above, this was from the first test I did when I only folded it about 2 inches over the filling. It looked fine before it was baked, but after…well you see what happened. The filling is barely held in. Compare that to when I folded the dough at least 3 inches over, below. The galette still leaked a little (this is why we use parchment paper and a rimmed baking sheet) but it held the filling much better.
- Don’t stress yourself out about making it perfect. It won’t be. But it will be delicious.
- Sprinkle coarse or turbinado sugar on the crust before baking. It gets crunchy and unbelievably delicious.
I love galettes because they are a low-stress version of pie. I’ve already talked about my pie aversion on here, which I am working on day by day. But galettes – they’re approachable, accessible, humble, and really good no matter what kind of leaks you may have. And always improved by a scoop of ice cream.
No blueberry soup here!
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold (1 stick)
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk or use regular milk mixed with 1/2 tsp vinegar
For the filling:
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
For assembling the galette:
- Heavy cream or half & half
- Turbinado or coarse sugar
For the crust:
- Combine all ingredients except buttermilk in food processor. Pulse until butter is well combined with the flour mixture. Add buttermilk and pulse until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and shape into an even, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, then roll the sides to form an even edge. Refrigerate for 1 hour while preparing the blueberry filling.
For the filling:
- In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens - this should take about 5 minutes. It should be slightly syrupy and coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely - I often put it in the fridge to speed along this process. Don't put warm filling on the rolled out pie dough or it could get soggy.
For the galette:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a clean countertop or surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness in an even-ish circle. Place the circle of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour the blueberry filling mixture onto the center and spread it out to within about an inch of the edges.
- Fold the edges of the dough at least over the filling (at least 2-3 inches over), creating a freeform pie shape. This can be very rustic, and certainly does not need to be perfect! Just try to keep it even and not create any holes for filling to come out.
- Brush the folded-over edges of dough with a little heavy cream or half and half, then sprinkle with sugar. If you feel like the dough has gotten warm during this process, put the whole galette in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to make sure it's really cold when it goes in the oven. This creates flaky, crisp crust!
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. You may have some filling leak out, and that's ok.
- Serve warm with ice cream!