For the record, I take photos of the food I share here before we all dive into it; it’s not styled in a studio, and more often than not people are sitting around while I snap, waiting to eat it. Such was the case this evening, when a handful of family came over for pizza in the back yard. Because there are so many berries in the city right now (the benefit of breaking all records for heat and sun this year) I made a pie.
A galette, actually – a free-form pie you assemble and bake on a baking sheet rather than in a pie plate (although a pie plate works well too, and contains any leaks), which is one of my favourite things to do with a chunk of puff pastry. It was one of the items that got ejected from my overstuffed freezer in order to make room for the ice cream insert (priorities) – almost like it was meant to be.
The thing about pie is, you find yourself making it when you have a plethora of summer fruit in the kitchen, and often the varieties of berries, stone fruits and the like are random. Rarely do I find a pie recipe and seek out ingredients in the quantities listed – it’s always backwards, inspired by what I have. Because all summer dog walks begin with coffee and end with a coffee cup full of saskatoons from the dog park (I pick them high), I had saskatoons to use, and raspberries from our CSA box (with more in wait in my sister’s back yard across the street). There are some who don’t love saskatoon pie (true story!), and I suspect it’s because the berries, a hardier form of blueberry, can be a little more one-dimensional than blueberries. They benefit from a but of acid, and tart raspberries do the trick.
Free-form it here – add a little more sugar if you like to veer away from the tart side (I like fruit pies tart, and not overly sweet), and a little less cornstarch if you have more saskatoons than raspberries, which are far juicier. Don’t be too tied to precision – it’s impossible with fruit pies, when fruit of all kinds has a range of sweet, sour, tart and juicy. I like to err on the side of less starch – I prefer a juicy pie to a thick, stodgy one.
This whole galette project is about imperfection, really – fold the sides of the pastry up to roughly enclose the berries, but don’t worry too much about escaping juices. No matter how wonky it looks going into the oven, it will look fabulous coming out, and be easier to slice and serve than a fully deep-dish pie. In fact, it’s more like a giant fruit-heavy danish – I’d say it’s as perfect a candidate for breakfast as anything. Wouldn’t you love a wedge of this for breakfast? Hold the ice cream (or not) and add some coffee.