This galette is the perfect dessert for this time of year, when the sunshine has you feeling fruity, until suddenly it starts snowing and you decide it’s time to wrap yourself in a pastry blanket.
Of course, you can substitute any fruit you like for the rhubarb. Later in the year try stone fruits, berries, pears etc. Less fussy than a tart, less soggy than a pie, zero compromise on taste.
Much gratitude to Deb Perelman whose almond and cherry galette this is based on. Go buy her Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and put it in your kitchen.
Do try roasting and grinding the almonds for the frangipane yourself if you have the time and inclination. The taste is light-years ahead of the ready ground ones.
Yield: one 23cm galette, serving 6-8 people
For the pastry:
- 160g plain flour, plus extra to roll out
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 110g cold butter
- 60ml very cold water
- Optional, 1 tablespoon of demerara sugar for finishing the galette
For the frangipane:
- 60g whole almonds
- 60g softened butter
- 60g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 10g plain flour
- A pinch of salt
For the rhubarb:
- About 300g of rhubarb (somewhere around 3-5 sticks, depending on the girth of your rhubarb.)
- 40g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour until the largest piece of butter is no bigger than a pea. Add the cold water and mix briefly until it is just coming together (I think a palette knife works best for this). Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured piece of greaseproof paper. Form the pastry into a flattened disc. Wrap well and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
To make the frangipane, roast the almonds in the oven at 180ºC for 5-10 minutes, or until deeply toasted. Remove almonds to a bowl and allow to cool completely, and switch off the oven. Grind the roasted almonds in a coffee grinder or food processor until they are finely ground (be careful not to over-process or you’ll have almond butter). Using an electric whisk, beat the butter, sugar, and almond or vanilla extract until well creamed. In a small bowl, beat the egg well, and reserve 1-2 tbsp to glaze the galette later. Add the beaten egg to the butter mixture and beat again until well combined. Fold in the ground almonds, flour, and salt until uniformly combined. Cover the frangipane and leave in the fridge while you prepare the fruit.
Wash the rhubarb and trim the ends. Cut the rhubarb into lengths of approximately 5cm. Toss the rhubarb pieces in a medium bowl with the sugar and vanilla, and leave to macerate while you assemble the galette.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a circle approximately 30cm in diameter. Line a loose bottomed 23cm round tart tin with the pastry, allowing the excess to hang over the edge. Don’t trim anything! Spread the frangipane over the base of the galette (an offset palette knife will be your friend here). Arrange the rhubarb on top of the frangipane, packing the pieces as tightly as possible. You may need to slice some of the pieces on an angle to make it all fit in. Fold the pastry up over the filling, forming rough pleats around the top (no need to be fussy, we’re aiming for a rustic finish). Pop the galette into the fridge or freezer for half an hour to allow the pastry to firm up again.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Brush the reserved beaten egg over the pastry, and sprinkle on the demerara sugar if using. Bake the galette for about 40 minutes, or until the pastry is deeply crisp and golden brown, and the frangipane feels well set. You may need to turn the oven down a bit or turn your galette around if it is browning too much/unevenly. Leave to cool in the tin for at least half an hour before removing and placing on a serving plate. Serve when still a little warm with ice cream, custard, or my personal favourite, Crème légère.