FROM THE KITCHEN – Perfectly Imperfect

by Joan Saunders | photos by Amanda Cribdon Photography –

I’m not afraid of pastry. I will also admit, however, that it has gotten the better of me on a number of occasions, but so far I’ve managed to maintain a fairly cordial relationship with this sometimes tricky baking staple.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had to throw some pastry dough out after unsuccessfully attempting to make a pie or tarts. If you manhandle pastry too much it becomes unpleasant to work with and, later, chewy and unpleasant to eat. Trying to roll out pastry one more time is not always the best option, as I’ve discovered that sometimes it’s better to toss it out and start fresh with a new batch of dough.


Pastry pitfalls can be so frustrating and are not one of the easiest baking lessons to work though. Those waiting for the promised pie just don’t care or really even want to know that it hasn’t quite turned out as planned. They just want pie!

That’s why over the past year I’ve become enamoured with galettes, both savoury and sweet. The dough is both extremely easy to make and work with and it doesn’t matter if it looks a bit rustic, as that’s exactly the point. It’s a bit rough, very handmade and very tasty indeed.

Traditionally, fruit used in a galette is seasonal, and as June is the month for strawberries and rhubarb and they magically complement each other, they make the perfect filling for this galette. Adding in some almond flour helps create even more layers of flavour and also thickens the fruit mixture.

Check out neighbourhood farm stands to find luscious strawberries and some beautiful rhubarb. Not only will you be supporting our farmers, you’ll also have amazing fruit that, just hours earlier, was growing and ripening in local fields or greenhouses. You can’t get any better than that.

And for Father’s Day? Definitely. Galettes are casually impressive and ridiculously photogenic in a sort of “Gosh, I just threw this together” kind of way. Go with the galette’s imperfections, as that’s what really works with this dessert. Add some whipping cream or ice cream to top it off and you’ve got yourself a wonderful seasonal treat that will showcase both your pastry making skills and the gorgeousness of the fruit tucked inside. Like me, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with galettes, as they’re deliciously, gloriously, perfectly imperfect.

1 cup flour
¼ cup almond flour
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp sugar
½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
3 to 4 tbsp cold water

Make the pastry: In a large bowl, combine flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Chop up butter into chunks; add to the flour mix and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, work it into the flour until the butter bits are the size of small peas. Add sour cream and 3 tbsp water to bowl; mix until it comes together in large clumps. I use a fork to do this. Add last tbsp of water if it doesn’t. Use your hands to bring it together. Press dough into flatter circle. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until firm, 1 to 2 hours or up to 4 days.

1 cup strawberries, quartered
2 cups sliced rhubarb
3 tbsp sugar
¼ cup almond flour
1 tbsp corn starch
½ tsp salt

Make the filling: Mix all the filling ingredients together in bowl;
set aside.

Assemble the galette: Heat oven to 400°F. Put parchment on large baking sheet. On floured counter, roll out dough into a large circle, about 12-13 inches across. It doesn’t have to be perfect; that’s the beauty of a galette. Place dough carefully on prepared baking sheet. Spoon fruit filling into centre of pastry, leaving 3-inch border uncovered by fruit. Fold this border over fruit, lifting and pleating the pastry as you go. The centre will be open. Big tip here: gently lift the pastry to fold it in and don’t push down, as the fruit will be mushy.

To finish the galette: 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water, 3 tbsp slivered almonds or coarse sugar for sprinkling. (I use both.)
Whisk egg with water; brush it over crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and/or almonds over pastry and filling.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipping cream or ice cream.

Recipes slightly adapted and combined from:

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