Galettes are great. They’re not fussy. They don’t care if they’re imperfect on the outside because they know it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And they don’t require the usual over-the-top latticework and crust crimping that makes you regret baking. Galettes are open-faced pies that ooze fruit juices and rustic charm – and they’re the easiest desserts to bake with fresh summer fruit.
Galettes are a perfectly portable dessert for summer picnics, afternoon teatime, birthdays… any occasion, really. And, they’re even more perfect when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. These freeform cherry galettes are a bite into summer’s best-kept baking secret.
Craving more ice cream-topped pies? Here are 45 seasonal favourites to make the most of summer’s sweet bounty.
Egg Wash and Sanding Sugar
Chill time: 2 hours 15 minutes. When adding sugar to filling, add in increments and taste. Riper fruit needs less sugar, under ripe more.
For the pastry: In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.
With a pastry blender or two forks, cut butter into flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay).
Combine water, vinegar and ice in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of the water mixture over the flour mixture, mixing or cutting with a bench scraper or spatula until fully incorporated. Continue to mix in water mixture, 1 to 2 Tbsp at a time, until dough just comes together in a ball, without being soggy (you will likely not use all of the water).
Shape dough into 5 flat discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until chilled.
Lightly dust a clean surface with additional flour and roll chilled dough into a circle of approximately 5 to 6 inches in diameter.
For the filling and assembly: In a large bowl, toss gently to combine cherries, sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt. Let cherry mixture stand for 15 minutes.
Spread a spoonful of apricot jelly (about 2 tsp per galette) on each rolled-out pastry disc. Using a slotted spoon, divide the fruit evenly between the discs, leaving liquid behind and allowing a 1-inch border around the edges. Discard liquid or save for another use (e.g. boil to cook out flour and thicken for use as an ice cream topping or cocktail syrup).
Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling to create a rustic pleated pattern.
For the egg wash, sanding sugar and baking: Beat egg until uniform in colour. Gently brush egg wash over the folds to seal and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Chill formed tarts until dough is firm, about 1 hour.
While tarts are chilling, preheat oven to 400ºF. Remove galettes from refrigerator and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake until fruit juices bubble over and pastry is a deep golden brown, about minutes.
Serve galettes warm with ice cream, if desired.