Living in the Valley for five years has deepened my appreciation for seasonal produce, whether it’s bought from a local farm stand ten minutes away from my house or plucked from my dad’s organic garden. Over the past year, I’ve followed an unofficial tradition of baking a galette with the season’s latest fruit harvests. I baked a tart plum galette last summer, a sweet apple one in the fall, and now, I’ve ventured out into cherry territory for late spring.
In the last five years or so, my dad has gone through a pivotal rite of passage that many middle-aged Asian immigrant fathers seem to go through: experimenting with as many fruit trees from the flea market and The Home Depot as he possibly can. After a brief (and unsuccessful) flirtation with cultivating dragonfruit, he settled on growing cherries, apples, jujubes, and plums with varying levels of success. While we’ve had cherries the last few growing seasons, most of our harvests had been ransacked by overzealous bluejays who chewed the fruit up and spat the seeds out in the rock garden.
But this year? This year we have Luna, our otherwise timid but aggressively anti-bird watchdog (breed, unknown, but resembles Google images of a Golden Chihuahua, however that worked out) who will bark at the flutter of a wing. She’s been vigilantly watching our largest cherry tree, which rests deep in our backyard by the dogs’ faux grass (and really, their de facto poop patch). This year, we’ve picked at least 10 pounds of Bing cherries, which means plenty of opportunities for baked treats!
How to make a cherry galette (or at least how *I* made a cherry galette)
With every iteration of fruit galettes I’ve made, I’ve borrowed heavily from Martha Stewart’s easy-peasy plum galette recipe. I’m very much a super casual, amateur, does-it-on-a-whim kind of baker, but I think it’s worth sharing my baking process since my family enjoys this galette recipe! And I figured if someone as completely hopeless as me in the kitchen can whip this together, almost anyone can make it. Some very informal instructions ahead:
Instead of cornmeal, I use oatmeal – I toss into a food processor 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ cup of steel-cut oats, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 stick of butter (cubed). Then goes in 2 tablespoons of cold water and 1 egg yolk. The dough then makes its way into the fridge for an hour.
For the filling, I used 1.5 pounds or approximately 3 full cups of Bing cherries, pitting them with a reusable metal straw. (Unfortunately, my nice blue linen dress shirt was a casualty during this otherwise chill process! Be careful!) I toss everything with approximately 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, a little less than a ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. (OK, confession: I dump in the vanilla extract without measuring it.) After rolling out the dough and popping it in a pie pan, I toss the filling in the center, roughly folding the sides to hold everything in. It’s very rustic, but, thankfully, not egregiously ugly!
After another hour in the fridge, I glaze the crust with egg wash and add small cubes of butter on top of the exposed cherry filling. I pop it into the toaster oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes. Et voila, the cherry galette is all ready to go!
The TLDR Cherry Galette Recipe:
(If this feels a little clunky, I sincerely apologize because I’m not super familiar with recipe vernacular!)
- Ingredients: 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ cup of steel-cut oats, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 cubed stick of butter, 2 tablespoons of cold water, 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 3 cups of pitted cherries, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and ¼ cup of sugar. Optional: 1 egg for egg wash and a few small cubes of butter.
- Blend all-purpose flour, steel-cut oats, salt, sugar (1 tbs), and 1 cubed stick of butter. Then blend in cold water and an egg yolk. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour in plastic wrap.
- Pit cherries. Toss the cherries in vanilla, cornstarch, and a quarter cup of sugar. Add the filling to the rolled-out dough placed in a pie pan. Roughly fold up the edges of the dough.
- Place the unbaked pie in the fridge for another hour.
- Optional: Add small butter cubes on the exposed cherry filling and add egg wash to the dough after taking the pie out of the fridge.
- Place the galette in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for approximately 35 minutes.
This galette leans on the tarter side, but I actually think it’s tasty this way — you can always adjust the sugar in the filling as you’d like. For the perfect summer treat, it’s delicious with a generous scoop of cold vanilla ice cream or just an iced green tea on the side.
Anyway, I’ve been trying out growing edible fruits and herbs yet AGAIN despite my faltering attention span in the outdoor garden. Watch this space for future harvest posts…