Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Nobody's Perfect

Ever found that perfect recipe? The one that tastes delightful, pleases everyone, looks impressive, and is so simple that nobody can screw it up? I did. A couple of summers ago, I discovered galettes. This rustic pie can make even a reluctant baker like me look like a pro. A blueberry version (although, I did make cherry and peach ones, as well) became a favorite dessert to whip up for any occasion. It was perfect. I made it for just Hubby and I; I threw it together when grilling with friends; I even included it as the dessert when planning the dinner that I would cook during a visit with out of town family. That is when we discovered that while the recipe may be perfect, I am not. I screwed it up. In my rush to impress everyone with the simple elegance, I forgot a key ingredient.

Let me be your warning that when you combine fresh fruit and sugar together for the berry filling, cornstarch must be included in the mix. If you are less than perfect and forget this thickener, the succulent berries will bubble in the oven and create a runny, juicy mess. If you have chosen to use a cookie sheet rather than a sheet pan, the juice will run all over the oven. Burning sugar never smells good. It really doesn't smell good when it isn't your house or your oven. Nobody wants to have a flop like that in someone else's kitchen. It was a perfect mess.

I may not be perfect, but the even-messier-than-rustic-should-be pie still burst with the sweetness of the ripe blueberries and the freshness of the lemon zest inside a flaky crust. We topped it with whipped cream and devoured hearty servings of the dessert. I was embarrassed, but all was forgiven. Mess or not, it was the perfect ending to our meal.

Today, the berries in my fridge were begging that I attempt that perfect recipe again. Today, I remembered the cornstarch and made a perfect pie. Today, vanilla ice cream was the perfect accompaniment. Today, Blueberry Galette landed On My Plate, and it was perfect, even though I am not.

Blueberry Galette

3 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon grated lemon, zest of
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar, plus
1 teaspoon sugar
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten

Stir together blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and salt until combined.
Unroll the pie dough onto a foiled lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Spoon the berry mixture into the center of the dough, leaving a 1 inch border.
Fold the edge of dough over the berries, pleating around the pastry circle.
Dot butter over top of blueberries.
Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle pastry edge with remaining sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling. (Serves 6)

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