13 Oct Concord Grape Galette
Pastry is fickle. One day you’re rolling dough like it’s a bolt of white velvet and pull a golden, bubbling dessert from the oven. The results are so fine you briefly consider embroidering “Pie Guru” on your apron. Only you don’t know how to sew, so you put that idea away for when people ask you what you want for Christmas.
The next day? You’re piecing together pastry fragments and cursing the day the words, “Sure, Mom. I’d love to make Thanksgiving dessert!” left your lips. You wipe your greasy, flour-encrusted fingers on an apron destined to always remain unlettered, and wonder why anyone makes pies. Ever.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada. Now, I’m not complaining, but I couldn’t help but notice that at dinner when the family shared the things we are grateful for, no one mentioned my pastry skills. (Although the belated Make Up Dutch Chocolate and Orange birthday cake did get a mention, as did Mom’s turkey.)
Usually, I make my no-fail pie crust and a Concord Grape Pie for this annual fall gathering. I don’t mind making the fussy filling but dislike the greasy feeling of the dough in my hands. So I suggested skipping the bottom crust —and all its empty calories — and serving the dessert crumble-style instead.
Mom nixed that idea. She wanted pastry with the filling.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. So, this year, I thought I’d ditch the streussel top and double up on the pastry. I’d make a galette. Only I was rushing. And you know what happens when you rush pastry. Right?
The hole in the centre is intentional, but the leakage? Don’t pour warm filling into a galette. Without the support of a pie plate wall, the pastry can’t take it.
Despite looking like something I’d dropped on the floor, my Concord Grape Galette was popular. My dad, who isn’t a big sweets fan, didn’t say no when offered the leftovers. And my younger sister? Between mouthfuls, she said, “Add a glob of peanut butter and you have the world’s best PB&J.” Write a blog and everyone hopes to get quoted.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 1 cup butter, chilled (if you use unsalted butter, add ½ tsp salt)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 pounds Concord grapes
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp water
- extra sugar for sprinkling
- Stir together flour, sugar, lemon zest (and salt, if using).
- Cut in the butter until it resembles small peas.
- Whisk the egg and yolk together. Add to the flour and blend until the dough comes together. On a floured surface, knead a few times.
- Divide into two balls. Cover and chill for an hour. While it's chilling, make the filling.
- Pop grapes out of their skins and into a medium-sized non-reactive sauce pan. Place the skins in a bowl for later.
- Bring the pulp to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the grapes release their seeds.
- To remove the seeds, strain the pulp through a fine mesh sieve pushing the fruit through with the back of a ladle. Discard the seeds. Add the skins to the pulp and mix thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch with the lemon juice, orange zest and sugar. Add the strained grape mixture and stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature before forming the galette. Hot filling will dissolve the pastry.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- In a small bowl whisk the egg with the water to make an egg wash.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of dough into a round about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the dough to one of the parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Spoon ½ the grape filling into the centre. Working quickly as the filing will spread, fold the edges up towards the middle. This will take 6 or 8 folds. The pasty won't meet in the middle, but the sides will hold the filling. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Repeat with second galette.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.