Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Rhubarb and almond galette

I never had rhubarb when I was growing up. My father recently remarked to me, when I served him some, that his distinct memory of eating it was feeling like his teeth had been stripped, which could have accounted for my mother striking it from the family repertoire. My guess is that he had been served it without sugar, which mellows out its squeaky sourness and transforms it into a sticky, syrupy, radiantly rosy delight. It's not often you get such strident red in fruit, at least not one that retains its shape in baking: strawberries and raspberries dissolve into a gloopy (but delicious) mess and tomatoes - though a fruit - don't hold much dessert appeal. This recipe - from Alison Roman's Instagram phenomenon of a cookbook - Dining In, showcases the very best of this fruit, which is, incidentally, a vegetable. Galettes are great - basically a pie that requires no top crust, crimping or special tin to bake in. What's more, their appearance is actually enhanced by imperfection - the pastry simply rolled out then pulled up and over the rhubarb, which rightfully claims centre stage.

Rhubarb and almond galette
Adapted from Dining In by Alison Roman via Delicious Magazine

Planning a trip to IKEA? Pick up some marzipan in the food section there! Otherwise, grab it at your local deli or in the international section of your supermarket. Just a note of caution - the pastry requires refrigeration of at least two hours, so factor that into your schedule before starting. If you make the pastry the night before, it's ready to go when you are and the assembly and baking of the galette will take no time at all.

1 large egg, lightly beaten
flour, for dusting
1/4 cup store-bought marzipan
1kg rhubarb, leaves trimmed, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 15cm pieces
1/2 cup (110g) sugar

1 1/4 cups (185g) flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
140g cold unsalted butter, chopped
2 tsp apple cider vinegar 

Vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional)

To make piecrust: place the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse til mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Combine the vinegar with 2 tablespoons ice water and drizzle it into the flour mixture while pulsing. When it forms a shaggy mass, remove dough from bowl of food processor and knead briefly on floured surface. Pat into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  
Preheat the oven to 190°C. 
Beat egg with 1 teaspoon water and set aside.
Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a round about 35-40cm in diameter. Transfer to a baking-paper-lined baking tray.
Flatten pieces of marzipan between your palms until they are very thin and place them on top of the dough, leaving a 5cm border. Pile the rhubarb pieces on top of the marzipan. 
Fold the edges of the dough up and over the rhubarb, then brush exposed pastry with the egg wash and scatter the sugar over both pastry and filling, throwing most of it on the rhubarb.
Place the galette in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown - 50-60 minutes. Let it cool slightly before serving with vanilla ice-cream.

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