RECIPE: I was going away for a weekend and wanted to bake a dessert on site, but didn’t want to carry half my kitchen with me. This meant it was important to find a recipe that minimised the amount of equipment I needed.
PREPARATION: While the butter and dry ingredients were in the freezer getting cold, I prepared the Amaretti crumb and the fruit mix. Using a food processor is such a quick and easy way to prepare a pastry, I might have to use it in other recipes too. I didn’t overwork the pastry dough. By the time you get to your chilled pastry ready to fill, you’ve had plenty of time to finish everything else. Definitely lay it out on baking paper or silicone because you really need it to lift the pie into your baking dish. I used one with sides. Don’t forget the glaze because it gives the pie it’s delicious browned crunchy finish.
IMPRESSION: This was a perfect winter dessert that was served up after a day of kayaking. Everyone was hungry and keen for a warm feed. It looked beautiful when it came out of the oven, but I forgot to take a photo – fortunately I’d taken one before glazing and baking and grabbed a plate before it disappeared.
Recipe from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
Cream cheese pastry
120g unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut into 2cm cubes
185g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
85g cream cheese
2-3 tbsp double cream
2 tsp cider vinegar
50g Amaretti biscuits
45g caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
220g rhubarb, trimmed and washed, halved lengthways (if thick), cut into 5cm lengths
120g fresh blueberries
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp tapioca flour (or cornflour)
finely grated zest of 1 small orange (1 tsp)
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 tsp water
1 tbsp demerara sugar
To make the pastry, wrap the cubes of butter in cling film and place in the freezer for about an hour for the butter to freeze solid. Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a re-sealable freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Tip the flour mix into the bowl of a food processor and process for about 30 seconds to combine. Add the cream cheese and process for another 20 seconds, or until the mixture has the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse to form crumbs: they’ll be uneven in size – some the size of peas and some a bit larger – but that’s fine. Add the 2 tablespoons of double cream and the vinegar and pulse until the dough starts to hold together: add the extra tablespoon of cream if the dough needs it. Tip on to a clean work surface and use your hands and knuckles to press the mixture until it holds together in one piece. Wrap the dough loosely in cling film (or put it in the bag you used to chill the flour) and press to flatten it into a disc. Place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes (for up to two days). Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celcius (190 fan).
For the base, roughly crush the Amaretti biscuits into a small bowl. Add the sugar, flour and cinnamon and set aside.
For the fruit filling, place all the ingredients in a medium bowl, toss gently to combine and set aside.
Remove the disc of dough from the fridge 10 minutes before you want to roll it, so that is has some malleability. Place it on a large sheet of baking parchment which has been lightly dusted with flour. Roll the dough out evenly into a large circle, about 38-40cm wide and 2mm thick. Trim the edges to create a rough circle, then transfer it, along with the parchment paper (it is too soft to transfer alone) on to a large baking tray. Sprinkle the Amaretti biscuit crumb mix in a 25cm circle over the middle of the pastry. Spoon the fruit filling on top of the crumbs, then carefully draw the pastry border up and over the fruit, roughly pleating it as you go, and leaving a small area of the fruit-filled centre of the galette exposed. If the pastry has become too soft or warm during this process, place the galette in the fridge to chill for up to 1 hour before baking.
Beat the egg with the water in a bowl and brush all over the outside of the pastry. Sprinkle with the sugar, then bake for about 40 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, or until the galette is golden. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool before serving, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream alongside.
The pastry can be made two days in advance or kept in the freezer for up to 2 months wrapped in cling film.