My son has developed the very un-foodie habit of eating the same thing for breakfast every day. He simply won’t start the day – won’t tie his shoes, won’t do his 5-times-table, will not even lift a colored crayon – until he’s had his plain, full-fat, Greek yoghurt topped with a mound of berries and drizzled with honey. From a bear-shaped honey dispenser, of course. I have heard this same sad tale from friends but usually the child in question will only eat plain elbow macaroni with butter or frozen pepperoni pizza, so I can’t complain that much. Yoghurt with fruit and honey is pretty good for a 7-year-old boy. The problem is that he wants this not in the summer, not in the spring but in the dead of winter. When strawberries taste like unripened lemons. When blueberries bounce off the floor. When fruits don’t smell nice. They don’t even look nice. It doesn’t matter to him though. His breakfast: yoghurt and berries.
I try so hard to eat seasonally, which isn’t easy with the cleverly curated bins at Whole Foods piled high with bananas, pineapples and coconuts year round, but Teddy, our son, simply refuses to admit that fruit has a “season.” My husband is an even worse season snob than me, abstaining from asparagus 51 weeks of the year, while mumbling under his breath something about them not being ‘the asparagus of his childhood.’ So for the both of us Teddy’s year-round love affair with berries is akin to treason.
I have great news though! Last week while making Rainman his breakfast, I absent-mindedly popped a few berries into my mouth. People: Spring is here and, at least in the South, the berries are starting to taste GOOD. Not just acceptable, this isn’t just coloured foam, it’ll be OK with some sugar kinda good – but succulent, fulsome, outwardly-crunchy-but-inwardly-squishy, properly sweet kinda good.
Still, there has to be a little more than yoghurt and crayons going on to get me really interested. And I’m always keen to channel my inner baker. So here to get you into berry season is a Blueberry, Raspberry, and Blackberry Galette.
A galette is just a freeform French cake; the most famous version being Galette des Rois, a flaky cake eaten around Epiphany, from which our New Orleans King Cake derives. The most striking thing to me about this recipe is how little added sugar there is – the pastry is sweetened somewhat, but really you want the natural sugars from the berries to speak for themselves. The pastry dough is pretty basic, and I prefer the consistency if it’s left to rest overnight; otherwise the dough can be a little, well, doughy. But treat the pastry as the backdrop and the berries as the main event and you’ll do just fine. Serve warm with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream, and keep the whole family happy!
- One portion of galette dough (see below)
- all- purpose flour, for dusting
- 2 - 6oz. containers blueberries
- 1 - 6oz. container raspberries
- 1 - 6oz. container blackberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch salt
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon white or light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse 3 times to whisk together. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
- Now, with the machine running, add 1/4 cup of the ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Continue to run it for about 20 seconds or until it just starts to stick together. To test whether it is done, squeeze a small amount together between your thumb and forefinger. If it sticks together, you are fine. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Form the dough into a disc on a floured surface wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour but up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375F / 190C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to about 16-inches across. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Add the blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to a large glass bowl and sprinkle the 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice over them. Stir gently and thoroughly and let sit for 2 minutes.
- Place the berries in the middle of the chilled dough leaving a 2-inch border all the way around. Then fold the sides up, creating the crust and pinch folds together to secure. Brush egg on top of the crust and sprinkle with the tablespoon of white or light brown sugar. Bake galette for 50-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.
- Let cool on the counter and serve either plain or with a dollop of fresh whipped creme or vanilla ice cream.