Have you seen the news? Here in Australia, people aren’t buying enough strawberries lately. Recent lockdowns have significantly reduced strawberry purchases as much as 50 per cent, forcing some farmers to sell below cost and others to spray out whole blocks of fruit. Strawberry farmers are pleading with Australians to take advantage of the low prices and buy them by the basketful. So, I thought I’d do my part by creating the easiest strawberry recipe I could – this five ingredient strawberry galette.
Before we begin – five weeks into lockdown has taught me to not sweat the small stuff. That’s good advice for life generally, but also recipe wise. Don’t worry if your tart isn’t perfect – it will still taste delicious.
This recipe uses pantry staples, with extras listed as optional. Which means great if you have them, but don’t sweat it if you don’t. Your galette will still taste great, and if you serve it will a big ol’ scoop of ice cream, well, that’s a bonus!
With so few ingredients, a good strawberry galette relies on managing two elements; the pastry and the strawberries as best as you can.
The pastry: tips for shortcrust pastry
This is the simplest version of tart dough. For beginners, it’s a really approachable way to learn how to handle shortcrust pastry. It’s very forgivable because there’s no blind baking, and no tart case to line.
For starters, if using a food processor – only process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (like the photo above. It’s best to not process until the dough completely comes together. This reduces your chance of overworking the dough.
The key to mastering shortcrust pastry is temperature management.
Rolling out tart dough is about making sure the dough is not too cold, nor too warm. You want your dough to be cold enough that it is easy to manage, but not so cold that you’re wrestling a pastry brick. Too cold and it’s hard to roll, too warm and it will start to stick to the bench.
To backtrack a little, this means chilling the pastry enough so that the gluten in the dough has an opportunity to relax, making it easier to roll. Cold dough also sticks to the bench less.
When rolling the tart dough into a circle, use enough pressure to gently push the dough into the shape that you’re aiming for – here a circle. If you fight the dough too much, it will shrink back when baked (less of a problem here – more of an issue if you’re filling a tart shell).
If your dough has been in the fridge for too long and is hard to roll, let it warm up a little so that it is easier to handle.
On a warm day, if your dough is too warm, you can roll it out between two sheets of baking paper, then chill it again before baking.
It’s good practice generally to briefly chill tart dough before baking. Chilling tart dough allows the fats to re-solidify and helps pastry retain its shape during baking. Don’t chill it for too long here though, or it’ll crack when you fold the edges up for this free-form galette.
When ready to bake, bake on baking paper on a preheated tray so that the bottom has maximum opportunity to get golden brown.
The fruit: getting a not-too-sloppy tart filling
The key here is not mixing the sugar and cornflour into the strawberries until you are ready to place them onto the tart and straight into the oven. If you mix strawberries with sugar, they’ll start to weep and may be overly juicy by the time you’re ready to use them. I forgot this, which is why my galette looks a little leaky – whoops! Oh well, clearly I could do better with reading recipe instructions. Remember though, lockdown is about not sweating the small stuff – the galette was still very delicious.
Now, go support those Aussie farmers, buy yourself the best in-season strawberries and bake up this show-stopping strawberry galette!
For the tart dough
- 210 g flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 115 g cold butter diced into cubes
- 90 ml iced water 6 tbsp
For the filling
- 3½ punnets 450g strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 75 g sugar
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- zest of 1 orange optional (lemon works here too)
- 3 tbsp almond meal optional (see note)
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- sugar preferably granulated, for finishing the tart
- To make the tart dough, add the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the cold butter and process until the butter pieces are the size of peas. Add the ice water and continue to process until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Tip the mixture out onto a bench, then press together with your hands until it forms a dough. Shape it into a flattened disc, wrap it plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the tart dough by hand, place the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Rub in the cold butter cubes with your fingertips, until they are the size of peas. Sprinkle the iced water over, and continue to mix with your hands just until the dough comes together. Gather the dough with your hands, shape it into a disk, wrap it plastic, and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes, but no more than 2 hours or it will be difficult to handle when rolling.
- Put the hulled and halved strawberries in a medium bowl with the orange zest. Do not mix the sugar and cornstarch into the strawberries together yet. (If you do, they'll start to juice and may be overly juicy by the time you're ready to use them.)
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out a 36cm/14” circle. For an indepth instructional on rolling out tart dough – see my tips above.
- Transfer the rolled out pastry dough to a sheet of baking paper.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 5 minutes – this is not essential if you’re really pressed for time, but is good practice. Chilling tart dough allows the fats to re-solidify and helps pastry retain its shape during baking. Don't chill it for too long though, or it will crack when you fold the edges over.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), ensuring that the tray you are going to bake the tart on is in the oven to heat up.
- Remove the tart dough from the fridge, and centre it on the sheet of baking paper – the overhang will be folded back onto the tart later. If using almond meal, sprinkle it over the tart dough, leaving 8cm/3” of space around the edges of the dough.
- Add the sugar and corn starch to the fruit, then gently mix together with your hands. Working quickly, Place it onto the center of the tart dough, piling it slightly higher in the middle, and leaving 8cm/3” of space between the fruit and the edge of the dough.
- Fold the edges of the dough up and over the fruit filling. Brush the crust liberally with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the tart until the filling is cooked and bubbling, and the crust is golden brown, 35-45 minutes.
- Remove your pre-heated oven tray and slide the baking paper sheet with the tart on top onto the tray. Bake the tart until the filling is cooked and bubbling, and the crust is golden brown, 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and slide the tart off the baking sheet, onto a cooling rack.