Rhubarb Birthday Galette
I turned 31 on Friday!
But this is no birthday-cake blog post.
I’m just not much of a cake person, unless the cake is livened up with layers or pockets of fresh fruit. (…or unless the cake has some delicious type of frosting, in which case, I’m just in it for the frosting.)
So in honor of my birthday, I baked myself some fruit galettes.
Before you go feeling sorry for me– baking my own birthday treats, you should know that I wasn’t alone in the kitchen. My girlfriend took off work, and we spent the day listening to music and criss-crossing each other on our way to and from the oven, as I made galettes (and took photos) and she baked cookies, baguettes, and ciabatta.
Not that we ate all that by ourselves… I had some friends over for a lovely and somewhat impromptu birthday potluck!
Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting older, but I didn’t have the energy for a full-on dinner party like the Tapas Party for my 30th. A potluck was the perfect solution. You know, a party that would free us up from having to cook all day long gearing up for it.
But then we still cooked all day long gearing up for it.
That kind of day makes me immensely happy.
Some of the birthday treats that we made– I’ll try to post recipes soon!– include:
- this rhubarb galette with strawberries
- an apple goat cheese galette with cinnamon
- my girlfriend’s latest preferred baguette recipe
- her brand new and successful ciabatta recipe
- baked brie wrapped in phyllo dough with fig jam
- fig jam that I canned the day before my birthday
- my girlfriend’s Speculoos chocolate chip cookies (Speculoos is a peanut butter-like paste made to taste like the famous Dutch/Belgian Speculoos cookies, called “Biscoff” here in the U.S.)
I also tried out a wonderful recipe for Sangria Granita from the blog Simply Scratch, adapting it so little that my modifications don’t merit a recipe post of their own, but it was a grand success, and a perfect summer dessert that I’ll be making again sometime soon!
But on to the topic at hand: the Rhubarb Birthday Galette.
I recently tried out some new variations on my Apricot Almond Galette recipe, including peaches with almonds, figs with goat cheese and cinnamon, and, most successful of all: the same with apples instead of figs.
I planned to make this apple version again for my birthday, but my galette crust recipe makes enough for two tarts. Evidently I didn’t plan that part very well, and we uncharacteristically had NO fresh fruit in the house for the second galette. Ok… other than two Asian pears (too similar to apples), several bananas (too sweet and mushy for baked galettes), and some CSA strawberries (too tempting not to just eat fresh right away).
I did, however, have some rhubarb– that I’d been surprised and delighted to find at the grocery store in August!– and that I’d planned to use for rhubarb pickles… Into the made-up galette recipe it went!
The result was my favorite variation so far. I am SUCH a sucker for rhubarb.
And while my disinterest in cake led to fruit galettes that I refused to mar with any sort of candles to wish on, my friends sang “happy birthday” to me anyway. It was a wonderful birthday.
Before I leave you with this mouthwatering rhubarb recipe, I have two more things I want to share:
I’m ridiculously excited about two new food-related birthday presents (from my three awesome sisters): an ice cream maker (!) and a copy of “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen” by Harold McGee.
On a more serious note, I can’t post this without mentioning that more than anything, I’ll be thinking of my mom today. She’s been bravely fighting multiple myeloma (cancer) for many months now, and today is the day she goes into the hospital to begin her stem cell replacement procedure (like a bone marrow transplant). I’m not sure when she’ll get a chance to read this, but since I started this blog, my mom has been one of its biggest fans and supporters. And since she started her chemo treatments, I’m always hoping that my posts will provide her with a nice distraction, even if it’s just for a little while. I wish California were closer to Wisconsin so I could visit her much more often. I love you, mom!
Rhubarb Birthday Galette
~ half of the Galette Crust Recipe
~ 4-5 stalks rhubarb, leaves discarded
~ juice of ½ a lemon
~ ½ cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling over the tart before baking)
~ ¼ cup flour
~ pinch of salt
~ dash of cinnamon
~ mixture to absorb fruit juices: 2 Tbsp. almond meal, 1 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar
~ 3 Tbsp. butter, melted (for brushing over the crust before baking)
~ several strawberries (I only used 4 stalks rhubarb, then added 5 sliced strawberries at the end, right before baking, to fill it out)
How to make it:
1. Prepare the dough for the galette crust (halving the crust recipe for one galette), and let the ball of plastic-wrapped dough chill in the fridge (step #4). Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. While the dough is chilling, chop the rhubarb into slices, around ½ inch thick. In a small saucepan, heat the rhubarb, lemon juice, and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves into a liquid (8-10 minutes). Then remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
3. While it’s cooling, prepare the mixture to absorb fruit juices, by stirring together almond meal, flour, and sugar in a small bowl. Arrange some parchment paper on a baking sheet and dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the galette crust (step #5 in that recipe), transfer to the baking sheet, and return to the fridge.
4. To the slightly cooled rhubarb mixture, add: flour, salt, and cinnamon, and stir to combine. Wait for the oven to pre-heat, then melt the butter in a small dish, and remove the chilled galette crust from the fridge.
5. Spread the almond flour mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. Then gently spoon the rhubarb mixture over that, spreading it out evenly, and adding a few sliced strawberries on top if you’d like. Fold the edges in, overlapping them, to create a rustic, somewhat-circular galette.
6. Brush the dough with melted butter, and sprinkle both the crust and the filling generously with sugar. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 375 and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the crust is starting to brown. Serve warm, or cool, possibly with vanilla ice cream!