Saskatoon Berry Galette with Lemon and Thyme, a scrumptious dessert that lets us cling to the summer a little bit longer. A buttery, delicate, whole wheat crust envelops tiny, juicy and sweet Saskatoon berries flavoured with lemon and thyme to add some freshness to the mix.
Song of the day: Electric Feel by MGMT.
Please don’t tell me we’re the only ones with bags and bags of Saskatoon berries in the freezer. The weather was so warm and dry at the beginning of the summer season, that the Saskatoon trees at our dear friend Margaret’s acreage were loaded with berries before the end of July. Perfect timing for us, to help to harvest them before our trip to Italy. And load our freezer with these lovely jewels to enjoy for the months to come.
We try to eat seasonally as much as we can and therefore our Saturday trip to the Farmers Market is a constant in our week. We also have few planters in our backyard that produce seasonal vegetables, and my in-laws garden that provides us with plenty summer produce. We had a very bad season for tomatoes here in this part of the world, but that did not apply to zucchini and green beans, carrots, swiss chard, beet greens, and dandelions, all in great supply. Although we prefer to eat them fresh, sometimes there’s only one thing we can do: freeze them. Well, other than giving some away…
Lately, it’s been an explosion of green beans and we couldn’t keep up with them, so we blanched them first and then put them in freezer bags. But when opening our freezer door (we have a top freezer), it was mostly filled with bags of Saskatoon berries. The impulse to get a couple bags out so to gain some room in the freezer lead to the decision of making something with them. Something good, and lavish, and that spoke of the summer, that is still with us, but it is fading quickly, giving way to autumn.
And what better way, for me, than baking one of my favorite desserts ever, a rustic yet very pretty galette? Decision made, I had a few different recipes for galettes (or crostata) in our archives. But this time I wanted to use up some whole wheat flour and I just remembered among the many beautiful cookbooks we have, there was this one, “Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip”, with a Prairie cherry galette that seemed perfect to showcase another great Canadian ingredient, the Saskatoon berry.
Baking a galette might be a little easier than baking a pie, but it still requires some of your time and patience. While the dough comes quickly together in a food processor and needs a very gentle and brief kneading, it needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. I started the making of this Saskatoon Berry Galette in the morning and had it ready for the early afternoon because the 2 hours wait is not the only waiting time required. In the meantime, you can prepare the filling, lay parchment paper on a baking sheet, prepare the egg yolk/cream mixture to brush on the edges and go on with your daily tasks. I assure you that the end result will compensate for all the time spent making this galette!
Before coming to Canada I had never heard of Saskatoon berries. And how could have I, coming from Italy? Saskatoon berry is a “deciduous native shrub that grows from western Ontario to British Columbia and the Yukon” (The Canadian Encyclopedia), so maybe, even to some of you, they might be an unknown fruit. Their color, when ripe, is a deep purple; their taste is quite unique: sweet, nutty and a bit floral and they are a good source of antioxidants just like other dark color fruits. If you don’t have Saskatoons, you can replace them with other berries, just adjust the quantity of sugar (you might need more) and lemon (you might need less).
In this galette, the addition of lemon and thyme is just right to counterbalance the sweetness and nuttiness of the Saskatoon berry and a great accompaniment to its “floral” flavor.
When it comes out of the oven, you look at your creation and a sigh might escape your mouth. It is so pretty! Even though some of the juices might have spilled from the sides, the edges are uneven and the round shape is imperfect, this Saskatoon Berry Galette holds a bucolic beauty and can hold a candle to even the most decorated desserts.
The crust is delicate and tender (as you can see from the picture) and just melts in your mouth. The filling is moist, rich, robust in Saskatoon flavor with just a hint of herbaceousness from the thyme and a spark of brightness from the lemon.
We served it with quite an interesting ice cream flavor from a local ice cream company Revolution: a blood orange sour, that married well with the flavors of this galette.
Keep the summer alive with this Saskatoon Berry Galette with Lemon and Thyme, while listening to the song of the day: Electric Feel by MGMT.Print
For the crust:
- 1 cup (150 g) whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cup (188 g) flour 00 (or all purpose)
- 1/3 cup (35 g) almond flour
- 1/4 cup (50 g) organic cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (227 g) cold organic unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 egg yolks, organic free range
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) ice water
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup (122 g) organic cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp (14 g) corn starch
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 1.6 pound (650 g) Saskatoon berries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) cream
- organic cane sugar, for sprinkling
- ice cream or whipped cream
For the crust:
- In a food processor, pulse the flours, sugar, and salt a few times to blend.
- Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse until you get a pebble-like texture.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and ice water and add to the flour mixture.
- Pulse a few times, just until the dough comes together, adding more water if it seems dry.
- On a lightly floured surface, gently and briefly knead the dough, then pat into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes (it will be easier to roll).
- Dust the work surface with flour and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough in a circular shape to about 1/4-inch (6 mm) thickness. Don’t worry about the uneven edges, it is a rustic galette!
- Gently roll the dough on the rolling pin and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. It it breaks (and it might, it is so delicate), just patch the dough together, it will be fine.
For the filling:
- In a large bowl add the sugar, cornstarch, lemon and thyme and mix together. Add the Saskatoon berries and stir to combine.
- Pour the Saskatoon mixture onto the center of the crust, leaving some border around the edges.
- Fold the edges of the crust over the berries toward the center.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400° F (200°C).
- In a little bowl whisk the egg yolk and cream.
- Take the galette out of the refrigerator, brush the egg mixture over the crust edges and sprinkle the organic cane sugar.
- Bake the galette for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
- Remove the galette from the oven and let cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before slicing.
- Slice and serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream on top.
If using frozen Saskatoon berries, like us, let thaw and drain any excess water.
- Serving Size: 6-8 servings
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