If making a perfect pie crust is intimating, try a stress-free galette using fresh fruit, and it’s the next best thing to a homemade pie. This Blackberry Ricotta Galette begins with an easy to mix pastry, and I promise, you will be so proud of yourself!
What is a Galette?
A galette is a free-form pastry. That is the simplest way to describe it. The term galette is a French word meaning smooth, flat pebble. In Fench cuisine, a galette is used to describe flat and round flaky cakes including treats such as large cookies and even pancakes. Belgium has a type of galette, and we would recognize them as waffles. They call them Galettes Campinoises. This pastry is easy to assemble giving you a variety of choices in size and shape.
The pastry is like a pie crust. You have the same ingredients: flour, salt, a little sugar, lemon zest, some fat (butter in this case) and the one different ingredient is ricotta cheese. The ricotta cheese and the larger amount of butter make for the smooth, pliable pastry that gives you the flaky crust. Yes, that’s one stick of butter that I’m separating and working into the flour mixture. The ricotta cheese is thinned with cold water and incorporated into the flour and butter.
I love how this pastry is referred to as free-form. Another term you will see used with a galette is rustic. There is no right or wrong way to shape a galette and it’s up to you and your creativity. I remember trying a star shaped galette last year for the 4th of July. The free-form pastry is different from what you would see in a tart. In Jane’s Lemon Curd Tart With Fresh Fruit posted in 2016, you’ll see that a tart is made in a pan with sides giving it a specific shape. In that recipe, a prepared pie crust was used. A pastry dough could also be used.
Yes, this beautifully colored disk is your finished pastry. I can’t wait for you to feel the texture and smell how the lemon zest and ricotta cheese come together. It really is simple to mix and roll. The pastry is refrigerated for an hour or up to 48 hours which is perfect if you’re wanting to serve a warm dessert or savory treat. The refrigeration time is very important and you do not want to miss this step. Chilling pie crust or pastry allows the gluten to relax and the fats to solidify. This will make it easier to roll and you will get very little shrinkage when baked. This is not a dough that rises, so you want the gluten relaxed and moisture in the pastry to give you a flaky crust.
Sweet Or Savory
What you will love about this free-form pastry is that you can use it for a sweet or savory treat. Of course, this Blackberry Ricotta Galette is about sweet but I promise to post a savory. The pastry is rolled and as you can see it’s positioned on my baking stone. I love my Pampered Chef Baking Stone and as you can see, I’ve had it for years. The fruit is placed in the center of the rolled pastry. You don’t want your fruit to be too wet or the crust will get mushy. Most fruits can be used. The cornstarch will keep it from getting too juicy and the dots of butter will give it the perfect glossy finish.
The folded pastry holds the filling and this is where the rustic part comes in. There really isn’t a right way to do this which makes it fun and really makes it your own creation. It’s best to keep the pastry at an even thickness so it will brown nicely and stay crisp.
Blackberry Ricotta Galette
So what do you think? Is a free-form pastry the way to go for you? If you haven’t mastered pie baking and the perfect pie shell, this might be a great first step. Working with this particular pastry will give you confidence and might just lead you to perfect a pie.
Do you bake pies? Have you ever tried a free-form pastry such as a galette? Please consider leaving a comment for the Sock Box 10 Community.
Thanks for stopping by, Rose
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon sugar
- Zest of half a lemon
- 8 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter cut into pieces (one stick)
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese (yogurt or sour cream can be used)
- 4 tablespoons of cold water
- 3 cups of blackberries or your favorite fruit
- 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- Juice of half a lemon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 teaspoons of coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Make Dough: Whisk the flour, salt, sugar, and zest of lemon together in a large mixing bowl.
- Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the butter pieces are the size of peas.
- Stir ricotta and four tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl and pour into the flour mixture.
- Stir together with a spoon or your hands and knead the mixture into a ball. You can turn out onto a board to form.
- Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or up to 48 hours.
- Assemble the Galette
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll the dough on a floured surface to about 15-16 inches.
- Transfer the dough to stone, or a parchment covered baking sheet.
- Stir together the filling ingredients until all the cornstarch and sugar are combined.
- Spread the filling in the center of the dough leaving a 1½ - 2-inch border.
- Fold the border over the filling and pleat the edge to make it fit.
- Whisk the egg yolk and water together and brush the exposed crust.
- Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake galette for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and slide the galette onto a serving plate.
- Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
- Tastes great with ice cream!
- Prep time does not include refrigeration.
- Pastry adapted from smittenkitchen.com