Cranberry Walnut Galette

Hapy Boxing Day, everyone! I owe you a couple of Dark Days posts, but as usual, I’m procrastinating until the last minute. So instead, I’ll tell you about this wonderful cranberry galette that I made for our annual Christmas party a couple of days ago. This may well be the perfect holiday dessert: it’s beautiful enough for a fancy dinner party yet rustic enough for a simple family meal; it is gourmet without being fussy and wihout making you search for outlandish ingredients; it’s quite simple to put together and both the crust and filling can be prepared in advance, meaning the final assembly and baking takes about an hour; and most of all, it’s delicious.  The tart cranberries, bitter walnuts and flaky, flaky pastry combine with just enough sugar for a not-too-sweet yet still richly flavorful tart that is a nice foil for the sweet, chocolatey desserts that abound at this time of the year.

I’ve made this recipe before but I’ve never managed to get it up on the blog (as it is usually made in the Holiday Crazy Time). Because a galette is free-form, the recipe is nicely adaptable to however much pastry dough, or cranberries, or walnuts, you have on hand and you can adjust the galette to your preference: pile the filling high for a thicker, fruit-filled slice or spread it thin for a high pastry-to-filling ratio. Baking this on a pizza stone makes for an amazingly flaky and crisp crust and the dusting with a bit of powdered sugar is the perfect finishing touch. Add this one to your holiday baking arsenal – you won’t be disappointed.

Adapted (barely) from Christmas Cranberry Galette in The Pie & Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

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Cranberry Walnut Galette

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe Rose’s cream cheese pie crust
  • 3 cups (10 and 1/2 oz) organic cranberries, picked through & sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (3 and 1/2 oz) granulated sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) brown sugar, packed
  • powdered sugar, for topping

METHODS

  1. Make dough and allow to rest, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cranberries and sugars and mix well. Allow to macerate, at room temperature for 1 hour, or preferably, refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (400 degrees F convection). If you have a baking stone, place it on the bottom rack at the lowest setting. If not, preheat a large (at least 12-inch) baking sheet or pizza pan on the lowest rack of the oven.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to warm up a bit for easy rolling (when you push on the dough circle with the heel of your hand, you should not see large cracks at the edges of the dough; this takes 15 – 20 minutes in my house). Roll out the dough, keeping it as circular as you can, to about 1/8-inch thickness, for a diameter of approximately 14 inches. Transfer to the dough to a piece of parchment on top of a pizza peel or baking sheet (you’ll then slide the parchment + galette into the oven on the baking stone or preheated baking sheet).
  5. Add the walnuts to the macerated cranberries and mix well. Evenly spread the filling onto the middle of the dough, leaving a couple of inches of bare dough at the edges, then fold the edges of the dough up over the filling. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect; galettes are supposed to look rustic & homemade, after all. Cut a circle of foil large enough to cover the cranberry filling while leaving the crust exposed (about 10 inches) and place over the filling.
  6. Slide the galette, on the parchment, onto a baking stone or the preheated baking sheet/pan. Bake the galette until the crust is a golden brown, about 45 minutes. Replace the foil covering with one that is large enough to cover the entire galette if the crust starts burning in parts.

Serves 8 to 10.

OPTIONS

  1. You could of course bake this filling into a regular pie or tart crust if a galette is not your thing (but the ability to bake directly on the stone makes for a really flaky crust). 
  2. The only change I made to the original recipe was to decrease the granulated sugar by 1/4 cup. Rose calles for a slightly larger amount of pastry dough (14 oz of dough vs the 12 oz that I used above) but I don’t see that it makes much difference.
  3. I haven’t been tempted to gussy this recipe up with additional spices, or citrus, or anything, really, as it is quite wonderful as it is. But I am somewhat curious as to how a little booze would do in the macerated berries (because, really, there’s always room for booze); maybe I’ll try out 1/4 cup of amaretto, whiskey, or Cointreau one of these days.
  4. Please, if you can, use organic cranberries; conventional cranberries are farmed with a really nasty pesticide with which I have personal experience. You really don’t want it on your food.

STORE

At room temperature, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for up to 5 days.

SEASON

Christmas! (Or, year round with frozen cranberries.)

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