9.3.13 Raspberry Peach Galette
After stocking up on Door County peaches at the farmer’s market, and spending some quality time picking raspberries over the weekend, it seemed that some pie making was in order. Like pizza, when it comes to pie, it’s all about having a good crust. Which is actually not as hard as you might think.
What pie crust really boils down to is a basic ratio of ingredients (if the word ‘ratio’ freaks you out, don’t worry - there’s practically no math involved here). If you remember the ratio and a few simple tips, you’ll be spinning out delicious crust in no time. And of course, since no discussion on pie crust would be complete without something delicious to go into it, I’m including the recipe I just concocted for a raspberry peach galette.
So as I mentioned before, pie crust dough is made up of a basic ratio of components. Three main components to be exact: flour, fat, and liquid. I’m being general here because in theory you could substitute any type of fat or liquid in the same ratio and still have some sort of pie crust. You can play around with this recipe later, but for starters, we’ll use the basics - butter and water.
The basic pie crust ratio is a simple one - 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat (butter) to 1 part liquid (water). See that was easy! I would suggest adding a pinch of salt in there too, especially if you’re like me and cook with unsalted butter.
Now, that you have the ratio down, there are a few more things to be aware of. When you make pie crust, you want the dough and its components to be as cold as possible. This means using very cold butter right out of the refrigerator, and very cold water. If the butter warms up too much and becomes too soft, it won’t hold its shape when you mix it, resulting in less than stellar pie crust.
The other important thing to keep in mind is that we want to keep the dough as soft and flaky as possible. This means adding as little water as possible - add only as much as is needed for a good cohesive dough. Too much water, and the flour starts to form more gluten, which results in a more chewy dough. Same goes for working the dough - be as gentle with it as possible and don’t knead it to mix. This also promotes gluten formation, which, while great for bread, is not going to result in a nice flaky pastry dough. So there you go. Let’s make some pie already!
Basic Pie Dough
Makes 1 9-inch pie or tart crust. Double it if you want a two crust pie
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 oz of water
- a pinch of salt
1. Measure the flour into a large bowl.
2. Being careful to handle the butter as little as possible (we need to keep it cold, and body heat will warm it up), cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the flour.
3. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour until the pieces are small (about the size of a pea) and the mixture has a grainy texture.
4. Add the salt and the water (very cold) a little bit at a time, mixing until the dough is all incorporated into a ball. If 1 oz of water doesn’t seem to be enough, you can add a bit more, but add it a little bit at a time, and use the least amount of water possible to hold the dough together. Note: Butter already contains water, so we don’t need as much as if you were using a different fat (i.e. lard or shortening). If you used something other than butter, you would probably need to add closer to 2 oz of water.
5. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15-20 minutes before working with it further.
Raspberry Peach Galette
- 1 pie crust, unbaked (recipe above)
- 1 pint raspberries
- 2 large peaches, thinly sliced
- ½ c brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp granulated or turbinado sugar
- 2 T sliced almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Take the pie crust out of the refrigerator and roll out to about 12 inches on a floured board. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Mix the raspberries, peaches, brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon together until fully combined.
4. Place the filling in the center of the rolled out pie dough, leaving a 2-3 inch border around the edges.
5. Fold the edges of the dough up over the filling, pleating to make it form a circular shape. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar. Cover with 2 Tbsp sliced almonds.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is browned and filling is bubbling. Cool, slice, and serve.