Not Recipes

How to Make any Galette (or Crostata) in 7 Steps

By • June 10, 2013 • 48 Comments

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Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: With these 7 steps, you won't need a recipe to make rustic, free-form fruit tarts -- through summer and beyond.

Crostata

A galette is a rustic tart with hand-folded edges. The first one I made was apricot and involved an elaborate mixture of ground nuts and apricot kernels sprinkled under the fruit and was out of this world. But afterwards I thought to myself: what happens when the apricots are gone? What else can I put on top? Can't I make it even a little more rustic? The dough is so simple, so flaky, so versatile. Since then, I've basically put every fruit and a lot of vegetables you can think of on top to make both sweet and savory galettes. The small amount of effort it takes to get ga-ga reactions out of dinner guests is incredible. 

If the fruit you're using is particularly juicy, you may want to experiment with sprinkling some insurance onto the dough before arranging the fruit so that the bottom doesn't get soggy. I've used all different combinations of hazelnut flour, pecan flour, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, shredded coconut, you name it -- just a couple tablespoons of anything you think might soak up fruit juice and taste good.

One important thing to keep in mind is that toppings lower in moisture (like raspberries, goat cheese, figs -- things that can't take 45 to 60 minutes at 400° F) should be added on partway through baking instead of from the beginning.

My personal favorites have been apricot, seckel pear, Italian prune plum (absolutely gorgeous, cut in halves and laid open face up), and savory ones with potato and goat cheese. Let your imagination run wild! 

How to Make any Galette (or Crostata) in 7 Steps

1) Heat the oven to 400° F (if you have one, place a pizza stone on a low rack). Cut cold, cubed butter into your flour using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers (the ratio I use from Chez Panisse Fruit is 2 cups flour -- with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of sugar -- to 1 1/2 sticks of butter). If you use your hands, work fast; airy texture of the baked dough really benefits from cold butter pockets steaming during baking, so try to keep it cold! It's really okay if it looks hodgepodge here -- the largest pieces of butter should be about the size of a pea.

Crostata dough


2)  Sprinkle ice cold water across the dough and shake the bowl to distribute. Usually I dive my hand in here very briefly to mix in the driest patches. It's not necessary for the dough to be uniformly wet at this point, though, since the moisture will spread during resting time in the fridge and while it's getting rolled out. 

Crostata dough

3) Press the dough into a flat, round disc (or two, depending on how many you want to make), cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or so. (Supposedly the dough will keep for a couple weeks in the freezer, but mine has never made it to the freezer!)

Crostata wrapped

 

4) While the dough is chilling, prep the fruit (or veg, or whatever is going on top), taking care not to let things oxidize too much in the meantime -- apples and pears will go dark on you if they sit too long, but lemon juice can combat that. After much experimenting, my preferred composition is wedge slices arranged in concentric fans -- they hold moisture well, and look the nicest after baking. With smaller, juicier fruit like summer berries, you can just toss with a couple spoonfuls of sugar and a thickener like flour, cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca flour, etc.

Crostata filling


5) Roll out your dough. I like a roughly 12-inch diameter circle-ish shape, about 1/8-inch thick. I use a knife to slice off errant blobs and roll them back into patches where they're needed. Take care not to roll too much, since those butter pieces need to remain intact in order for the dough to stay light and flaky. 

Crostata rolled

6) Arrange the fruit on top, leaving about 1 1/2 inches clear around the edge of the dough. To fold the edges, fold the edge nearest to you toward the center. Rotate the galette and lift the adjacent piece of edge, and fold toward the center. The important part is really that there are no cracks where the juices will leak out during baking, so don't worry if it looks "rustic" ... it's supposed to! (If you do have a bad hole situation, you can always take some of the other portion of dough out of the fridge and patch it up.) 

Crostata filling


7)  Brush melted butter, cream, milk, or beaten egg thinned with water on the crust edges. Sprinkle sugar on the edge (I know it seems like a lot of sugar, but don't skip this part). Place in middle rack for about 45 minutes, possibly more depending on how caramelized you want things. You can rotate halfway through; keep an eye on it to see how it's going, sometimes different edges brown more than others and you don't want them to start burning before the rest is done.

Crostata

When it's done, lift the parchment paper with the galette onto a cooling rack. Wiggle the galette loose from the paper (it's hot, careful!) and gently pull parchment paper out while sliding galette to stay on cooling rack. This is important because it helps air out the underside, which can get soggy. Wait as long as you can until cutting the first slice, and enjoy! It's also really, really good the next morning for breakfast.

Crostata

We had a breach in the edges on this one and some juices escaped, and that's okay! Just remember: rustic, rustic, rustic.

Crostata

Still want a recipe? Here are a few for inspiration:

Leek, Fennel, and Mushroom Galette
Peach Frangipane Galette
Beet Crostata with Pepper Parmesan Crust

We're looking for contributors! Email [email protected] and tell us the dish you could make in your sleep, without a recipe.

Photos by James Ransom

Tags: not recipes, crostata, galette, pie, tart, pastry, rustic, fruit, dessert, baking, how-to & diy

Comments (48)

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9 months ago ana

I've been thinking of making a sour cherry custard galette, using the custard as "insurance". Does anyone have a custard filling recipe that might work?

Sadie_crop

9 months ago Diana B

I don't have a recipe, but would just suggest you cook the cherries enough to release their juices, drain and cook the juices down to a syrup, add back the cherries and whatever seasonings you like with them (cinnamon? cardamom? a little brown sugar?) and go from there.

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9 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

Hi ana-- That sounds great! If you're up for a pastry cream, the for "Honey Pear Galette" at kokocooks.com looks delish and like it worked out well. Otherwise, I've found many other examples for "galette" and "custard" searched together online. Would love to hear how it works out!

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

I had to share this -- check out what Dorie Greenspan uses as her "insurance" in this galette: graham cracker or Puffin cereal crumbs! http://blogs.kcrw.com/goodfood...

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

haha that's great. so many possibilities... also reminds me of the pretzel pie crust i tested. these things can turn out surprisingly well!

Sadie_crop

10 months ago Diana B

Oh, my, I just saw Joanne Weir make a mushroom and blue cheese galette with sour cream in the dough - doesn't that sound amazing? Actually, on the show she used creme fraiche instead of sour cream, and any kind of blue cheese will do, not just Stilton. Recipe here: http://www.joanneweir.com...

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

that does sound amazing! mmmm... i've been meaning to try making creme fraiche at home, sounds pretty easy (just found adrianna's "small batch" post with instructions). have you tried it with either?

needless to say, if anyone is making a savory galette of course you can just leave the sugar out of the dough. and add creme fraiche :) curious if anyone tries something that turns out well...

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10 months ago Tucker & Me

It would be fun to make mini-galettes. (Not sure about the spelling). Savory for apps, or sweet for desserts. Just thinking :-)

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10 months ago Foodiewithalife

I've only made galette once and it was a 5 on a scale of 1-10... This recipe has rejuvenated my interest and might be the next thing my kitchen turns out! Thanks for sharing!

Christina
www.foodiewithalife.com

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

great! glad to hear it

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10 months ago Lori1528

I love the sound of the savoury Galette, but just wondering how to prepare..do most of the ingredients i.e. potatoes need to be fried before putting inside? Sorry not a great cook so need the guidance. Really like the sound of potato and goat cheese for an appetizer. Thanks

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

i don't remember exactly what i did to the potatoes, but you could slice thin rounds and lay them flat on the dough, maybe some pesto or whatever you have underneath (remember, exposed pesto/goat cheese/etc will dry out so if you want it on top then add it later). i don't think the potatoes would need to be cooked... 45+min at 400F should do the job. curious to know how it goes!

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

also, if you're doing savory, may be a good idea to spray/brush things with some olive oil before they go in. sort of the equivalent of adding sugar on top of fruit.

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10 months ago Tucker & Me

Just got the first 4 quarts of June bearing strawberries today. Wonder what I'm going to do with a couple of serious handfuls.

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

;)

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10 months ago Kerryloves2travel

Wow! Tis the season of the galette. I just made boysenberry with fresh picked boysenberry. Spread a bit of homemade blackberry peach jam on bottom, filled with boysenberries (sugar, lemon & flour to thicken) fold crust,sprinkle all with sugar and bake. Smells Wonderful & will make great ending to today's Father's Day dinner with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on side.
Last week made a peach galette w/ raspberry jam pon bottom. If you spread a bit of jam on bottom, you don't have to use as much sugar on fruit & help with thickening. Crust I have been using also has ground almonds in it. Yum.

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

oooh i wish i could get fresh boysenberries around here... sounds delightful. i've never tried spreading jam on the bottom, only on top when it comes out of the oven (apricot jam on almost any fruit, nice and glossy mmm). great idea! sprinkling all with sugar gives really nice results; i usually use 1/4 to 1/2c on top right before it goes in the oven.

i couldn't see my dad today but i promised to bring him a galette next weekend :) hope you're enjoying the day!

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10 months ago J. P. Higgins

I've made this a least a hundred times in various forms. My two favorite are blueberries with a hint of fresh lavender - and what I call a BLT - tomato and pancetta filling (you have to cut and drain the tomatoes overnight with a weight) and served with an arugula salad.

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

lavender, great idea! i have a bag of french lavender i've been trying to think of things to do with. how do you use it? thanks for inspiration!

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10 months ago Tucker & Me

Love the idea of fresh lavender. Got lots of that in the garden!

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10 months ago asz

did you just use strawberries in the one above?

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

that one was done in the central kitchen, so i'm not sure... looks like strawberries and a thickener? rhubarb would be great to add while it's still in season!

Sadie_crop

10 months ago Diana B

This is great, since summer fruit is beginning to come in in abundance (at least, here in California it is - you should see the strawberries and peaches I got at the farmers market yesterday!). So does your dough recipe make one galette or two? It's a little confusing, because the recipe says to pat the dough into one or two discs before refrigerating to rest, depending on how many galettes you want to make. Thanks!

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

good question, thanks for asking. if you do the quantities mentioned in the ratio, it will give you enough dough for 2 galettes. i always split in half, rest both, and either make two at once or the other one not that long after. the dough can rest in the fridge for at least a few days; it may develop tiny brown dots, but not to worry. still good to use. yours sound like they will turn out great!

Sadie_crop

10 months ago Diana B

Thank you, Rebecca! I Googled "moondust" and found at a number of sites that the dough recipe (essentially a pate brisee) is one Jacques Pepin created at Chez Panisse many years ago - culinary history is so interesting, isn't it?

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

i think maybe i had read that at some point about jacques pepin, but i had forgotten! i saw him do a demo once of simple kitchen techniques... it was even amazing just to watch him peel vegetables.

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10 months ago mgo19991

Mmmmm. I will make this with beautiful Michigan strawberries and a little rhubarb in season now.

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

i was just reading a strawberry a rhubarb version! sounds delicious!

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

expanding on comment to arcane54 below--

chez panisse moondust was in that first galette i mentioned at the top of the article, but it's a lot of work-- and obviously requires a recipe! you can still use noyaux (the kernel inside a stone fruit pit) in your insurance dusting under the fruit even without making amaretti first.

so for anyone who doesn't throw away the pits and wants to add that soft, wonderful, bitter flavor to a stone fruit galette, i recently discovered two things: 1) even really dried-out noyaux will rehydrate beautifully in a glass of tapwater set someplace warm like a sunny window, and 2) choking up all the way to the neck of the hammer allows you to crack open a dried-out pit in one small swing. so i recommend letting those pits dry out all the way and then rehydrating!

amanda wrote a great article on stone fruit kernels for the nyt a while ago, you can google that or "moondust" for more information. and the usual caveat: don't eat the kernels raw. i toast them in the pan until medium brown, but if you're not familiar with noyaux just read a little first and see what suits you.

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10 months ago arcane54

that should be FRUIT... not what I wrote...

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10 months ago arcane54

I love the idea of "insurance" for juicier fillings. My favorite has been amaretti cookie crumbs and chopped toasted almonds underneath just about any stone fruit. Alice Waters (Chez Panisse Frutit) has a recipe that uses apples, currants soaked in brandy, sugar-poached meyer lemon slices, and a syrup made from the apple peelings. Not quite simple, but superb! I love the savory ideas just as much as the sweet.

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

chez panisse moondust is amazing! i've been collecting noyaux for a while now and have a batch of amaretti coming up... it is a lot of work, though, for how simple a galette can be, so that's why i started just using different flour/nut flour mixtures. syrup from apple peelings sounds intriguing, i will have to check that out!

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10 months ago Bari

Just made this with carmelized onions, pan seared ham and roasted tomatoes with fresh thyme, rosemary and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Outstanding!

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

what a great combination, thanks for sharing! love hearing everybody's different versions!

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10 months ago Tucker & Me

Sounds totally amazing.

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10 months ago nogaga

I just made this, with cherries and white peaches. Perfection. Wonderful. None, but not a crumb, left over for breakfast ;)

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

sounds delicious! have not tried cherries yet, now that i think about it.... next on my list!

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

hi tota,
pizza stone on a low rack helps keep heat in the oven even. you can experiment with placing the sheet tray directly on top of the pizza stone; that would help dry out the bottom for example when you're using juicier toppings. i actually just keep my pizza stone on a low rack all the time unless it can't stay in for a specific reason.

happy baking!

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10 months ago tota

You say to heat the pizza stone on low shelf but then no further mention, do you use it for the galette or ?? Maybe I missed this part. Thanks

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

(response is above!)

Stringio

10 months ago Kim Foong Foo

One word: Beeeeeeeeaaaaaauuuuuuuutiiiiifullllll!

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10 months ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

i'm sure yours will be beautiful, let us know what you try!