Who doesn’t love blueberries? For me, the sight of fresh berries in the markets really heralds the start of summer – nothing better than fresh berries and cream or ice cream for an easy summer dessert, right? Over the winter, we are lucky in Canada to be able to purchase frozen Canadian blueberries fairly easily, but nothing beats fresh!
Blueberries from British Columbia (the largest “highbush” blueberry region in the world) are in season July and August and distributed throughout Canada – how fabulous that we can buy Canadian (or local if you live in BC) year-round!
In the winter, I use frozen blueberries in pies, smoothies, cakes and muffins – it really is like a little burst of summer when the weather is not so nice out. During the lazy days of summer, I’m less likely to take on complicated desserts (mostly because I don’t want to spend too much time in a hot kitchen!) but there is one dessert I am always happy to make because it’s the perfect showcase for all of summer’s bounty, especially berries: galettes.
A galette is a free-form, single crust pie (so, a tart with a fancier name!) that was my introduction to making pastry-based desserts. Its free-form is forgiving (of both the baker – if you are not skilled at crimping pastry – or the baker’s tools – if you find yourself on vacation in a not-very-well-equipped kitchen you can still make this dessert!) and the possibilities for filling are endless. Galettes are also wonderful “entry level” desserts for kids (precisely due to their rustic appearance) so it’s a perfect recipe to try over the summer holidays when everyone has al little more time on their hands. For novice adult bakers, it’s also the perfect entry into pastry. I swear that once you’ve made your first galette and served it to and wowed your friends (who will inevitably ask you “Did you make the pastry too?”) you’ll be hooked.
Take advantage of blueberry season to make these mini galettes – with a scoop of vanilla ice cream they are perfect for afternoon tea or dessert. Or even, you know, brunch. If you have some pastry on hand, they won’t take much longer than 30 minutes, too. All the better so you can get outside and enjoy the other great things about summer (though fresh blueberries are pretty hard to top!).
- For the pastry
- 1 ½ cups (240g) all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 115g (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) very cold butter, cut into tiny cubes
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2-3 tablespoons ice cold water
- For the filling
- 1 ½ cups (250g) blueberries
- 2 tablespoons (30g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, sifted
- juice and zest of 1 small lemon
- To assemble
- 1 egg beaten for egg wash
- granulated sugar, to sprinkle
- For the pastry:
- Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
- Add the cubed butter and, using your fingers, lightly rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs with some pieces the size of small peas (you can do this in a food processor as well)
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and add the beaten egg.
- Mix the flour into the egg until it just starts to come together.
- Add the water and mix until the dough is firm enough to form a ball - it might be a little crumbly but press the dough into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum.
- For the filling:
- Combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice in a small bowl and set aside until you are ready to use.
- To assemble:
- Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.
- Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, divide into eight portions and roll between parchment or wax paper or on a lightly floured surface until each piece is about 6” in diameter (this does not need to be a perfect circle).
- Place the pastry rounds on the baking tray and divide the blueberry mixture between the rounds.
- Working with one pastry circle at a time, fold the uncovered edges of dough up and around the filling, working your way around the galette. You'll end up with pleated edges that are a little rough and you might need to trim some uneven parts to ensure you don't end up with a thick area of just crust.
- Brush the edges of the galette with a little egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the berries are cooked.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
What about you – what’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh blueberries?
Find more than 100 blueberry recipes on the BC Blueberry Council site: www.bcblueberry.com
About the British Columbia Blueberry Council
The British Columbia Blueberry Council represents over 800 blueberry growers, located in some of Canada’s most rich and fertile farmland. Plantings of premium quality highbush blueberries top 11,000 hectares in British Columbia and produce upwards of 77 million kilograms of blueberries annually. With more than $1 billion in sales in the past five years, Canada is the third largest national producer of sweet and juicy highbush blueberries in the world. Available fresh in B.C. from July through October, BC blueberries are also frozen, dried, juiced, puréed and powdered, available for year round-distribution throughout Canada and around the world.
Disclosure: I received compensation in exchange for promoting BC Blueberries and recipe development. All opinions 100% my own and I only write about products I use and love myself.