Thursday, July 27, 2006

Humble Pie

I’ve tried to make pies. But it is just not in my blood somehow. And I just don’t care. Plenty of others make great pies. I’m happy to eat theirs.

It’s not that I haven’t tried. I’ve had bursts of craziness in which I was determined to make some sort of pie. Never had success. Not once. Mainly because of the crusts.

I’ve had them crumble in my hand.

I’ve burned the crusts beyond recognition.

I’ve had the dough fall to a million pieces on the floor as I tried to transfer it from the board to the pie pan by draping it over the rolling pin. Which was funny only in retrospect. After we had cleaned up all the pieces of dough stuck to the walls and ceiling and floor. After we had thrown it all around the room in disgust and frustration. After it had hit the deck. For like the third time in as many tries.

I’ve had pie crusts so hard they shattered when I tried to cut them.

I’ve had pie crusts that just never cooked.

I’ve tried traditional crust recipes, butter crusts, cookie crumb crusts, nut crusts, I’ve tried margarine and lard and butter and who knows what all, crusts with baking powder, and those without, crusts that you bake first with weights, lots of crusts.

But they never turned out. And to be honest, I’m glad.

Because I eventually found something I like better. Better than pie. Better, even, than apple pie.

I found Pâte Brisée. A wonderful dough.

And I make galettes with it.

Pâte Brisée has just three basic ingredients. Flour, butter and water. I add some sugar for sweet galettes, and leave it out for savory galettes.

Just to be clear, I am not referring to the specialty from Brittany that is made with buckwheat flour and is in essence a savory crêpe, although they are also called galettes and I make those as well, and they are good too.

I am referring to basically a free form pie, made with a Pâte Brisée crust, and filled generally with fresh seasonal fruit.

The beauty is in the simplicity. A rich butter dough, baked till crisp, filled with fresh fruit. Maybe served with a dollop of Crème Fraîche or unsweetened whipped cream.

I actually served this one with the Goat Cheese Ice Cream I had made a few days ago.

The filling is fresh and clean tasting, being that it’s just fresh fruit, not glopped up with unnecessary sugar or starch. The crust is similarly fresh and clean tasting.

And, for some reason, it turns out nearly perfect every time I make it. Whether filled with apples, cherries, figs, apricots, whatever.

So I’ve eaten my humble pie. And I leave the real pie making to those who can pull it off. I’m happy with my galettes. A dollop of something creamy on top, and maybe a sip of Calvados on the side. Enjoy!

The recipe for Galettes and Pâte Brisée are found here:

The recipe for Brittany style buckwheat galettes can be found here:

Tags : : : : : :


Blogger ilva said...

Thanks! You're a pal!

11:32 AM  
Blogger surfindaave said...

My pleasure! I just had to wait until the heat let up a bit. For this fig one, I used about 2 pints of quartered figs, and brushed the fruit with warm honey after backing. Delicious!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it! Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing this wonderful site with us.

4:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home