My house is a mess, a maze of boxes and dust and things-to-be-discarded; laundry needs to be done; I have dinner guests coming tomorrow night (my parents, but still); DW is running a marathon on Sunday; next week is full of plans and movers and last gasps; and, I’m baking??? Yes, that makes lots of sense. But I’d bought a pound of rhubarb thinking I’d make another batch of jam and when an entire week flew by without my touching it I knew those ambitious plans would not happen (alas). And yet I couldn’t let that gorgeous, glorious rhubarb go to waste simply because I didn’t have time to address it properly.
Enter a rhubarb galette, the perfect way to make good use of all that bounty. (Yes, I’m still stuck on rhubarb and I can’t seem to mind.)
I dearly love a galette because at its heart it’s so forgiving — I mean, look at it! A galette is supposed to be a bit messy, a bit juicy, a bit all over the place, which was certainly in my favor this extremely warm afternoon when the crust didn’t want to cooperate and I gnashed my teeth and may or may not have shed a tear of frustration (perhaps the frustration was due more to my inability to locate a certain item I’d placed carefully on a shelf for safe-keeping — groan — but then couldn’t find when I wanted it than the pastry dough). (I also will admit I didn’t take the time to make this ultra pretty necessarily; still …) In the end, thanks to the inherent loveliness of the galette principle, it didn’t much matter if it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing dessert going. It sure tasted good.
The crust is flaky and sweet, the filling tart and jammy, just as I like. I am eating a a mouthful right now as I type and am seriously contemplating going back for another (wee!) slice despite the reality I may have a piece of pie later when we go for dinner up the street. Oh well — did I mention we have movers coming in 5 days to pack up the bulk of the apartment for shipment? Have I mentioned this has caused just the tiniest bit of angst whilst I try to think about what I’d like to have in 3 weeks, 3 months, or, yes, 6 months from now and when I’d like to specifically have those things arrive? Yes. Another slice it is, then. Perhaps with a cuppa, to tide me over.
It seems funny to go on about the crust of a dessert when its obvious attraction is the rhubarb filling but I’ll say it: the crust for this galette is dreamy, tender and flaky and just a touch sweet. It’s the perfect balance to the admittedly fairly tart rhubarb; I like this tartness but if you like your fruit a bit more sweet, add about 2-3 tablespoons more of granulated sugar when preparing the rhubarb stalks.
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1 pound trimmed rhubarb, cut into 2-inch-long 1/4-inch-thick matchstick-size strips
1/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend
1 8-ounce container crème fraîche
To make crust
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; stir until dough clumps together, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften 10 minutes at room temperature before rolling out.
To make filling
Combine rhubarb and 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon honey in medium bowl; let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
Place a large sheet of parchment on work surface; sprinkle parchment with flour. Roll out dough on parchment to a 12-inch round. Transfer dough on parchment to large baking sheet. Starting in center of dough round, arrange rhubarb strips in concentric circles and slightly overlapping atop dough, leaving 1-inch plain border at edge. Gently fold dough border up over outer edge of rhubarb topping, folding and crimping dough to create decorative edge. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of sugar over rhubarb. Dot rhubarb with butter. Brush dough edges with beaten egg. Sprinkle edges with 1 tablespoon sugar.
Place in oven and bake galette until rhubarb is tender and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Cool galette at least 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.