Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Season Special: Herbal Galette

100906_CPE_strawberry galette

Here's our second strawberry celebration.
I still remember its taste and texture: The marriage of fruit and herbs is just perfect in this beautiful dessert or tea treat created by Darienne. As she described, this is "It is a celebration of summer, a last explosion of bright berry flavor tucked into a here-comes-fall pastry crust".
Believe-me, it's so easy to make and guests of all ages will be delighted by its charm.

Herbal Strawberry Galette

A simple sugar paste with lemon verbena leaves added a lovely touch to this simple dessert. You can use the same technique with any herbs you like. Like yesterday's fig galette, this makes a small pie to feed six comfortably. Double the recipe if you wish.

1/2 single pie crust (use a refrigerated crust, your favorite recipe, or this pâte brisée recipe)
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons herbal sugar paste
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine strawberries and sugar paste in a large bowl, and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough into a roughly 8" round or square and set on the parchment paper. Lay out strawberry slices in the center of the dough, leaving a 1 1/2- to 2-inch border. (With a round, you can invert a bowl in the center and press lightly to mark where the fruit will go. With a square, try marking the corners with pieces of fruit.) Carefully fold up the edges, pleating where necessary.

Lightly brush the edges of the dough with water and sprinkle with sugar (or rub with additional sugar paste). Bake for 20 to 28 minutes, until dough is golden brown and crispy.

Herbal Sugar Paste

I started off with lemon verbena sugar paste from Jerry Traunfeld's The Herbfarm Cookbook. The technique would work well with other herbs such as mint, lemon balm, and basil.

1 part lightly packed leaves
2 parts sugar

Process sugar and leaves in a food processor until they form a paste. Store any leftovers in the freezer.


Myrna said...

This looks really attractive, and the pie crust in the picture promises delights suited for a king. It reminded me of an old English song:
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?

Darienne said...

Thanks, Myrna! That singing rhyme was one of of my favorites when I was younger. I'm glad Anna is reposting these -- now that strawberries are beautifully in season here, I need to make this again!

Cindy Rowland said...

Thanks for teaching me something new today. herbal paste. :-)

Darienne said...

It's good stuff, Cindy!


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