6 February 2015



Vibrantly-coloured, tart and tangy-sweet cranberries, mixed with chunky toasted nuts, tightly hugged by flaky, crisp, buttery, light, sugar-studded pastry. Meet my latest vice: Cranberry Galette. A big fan of these easy, no effort free-form galettes, this one's my new winter favourite. It's the contrast of flavours and textures, all in one incredibly effortless, fast and simple cake. Best enjoyed warm, a few minutes out of the oven, or room temperature. Accompanied by a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream - I personally need nothing on the side with this one... I know it's not exactly cranberry season, but as long as I can find them in the shops, I just can't let go, and after all, somebody has to sacrifice themselves to use them up! :-) I found this recipe on Joy of Baking, but only follow it for the Cranberry Filling. The pastry recipe is the one I use for STONE-FRUIT GALETTE, based on a recipe of Alice Waters.

Cranberries are rather sour and tough skinned, therefore it's best to get started by mixing the halved cranberries with the sugars and let them stand for a while to give them a chance to absorb some sweetness and soften a little. By the time the dough is made and has had time to rest, all is assembled very quickly and easily. The tart can be made ahead, and actually improves, as the cranberries absorb more sweetness over time. STONE-FRUIT GALETTE is made with almond powder sprinkled on the base to absorb the fruit juices; the powdery nuts melt together with the juicy fruit absorbing the juices. This one is made with chunks of pecans, adding extra flavour and texture. You can use other nuts, but I prefer to use pecans or walnuts. Stephanie Jaworski adds 3 Tbsb (45 g) of mixed peel but I am not a big fan of mixed peel so I prefer to leave it out. 

Recipe adapted from: Cranberry Galette, by Stephanie Jaworski, Joy of Baking




Makes approximately 8 pieces:

For the Cranberry Filling:
80 g (¾ cup) pecans, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
220 g (2 cups) fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained (buy a larger bag if necessary and make sure to pick through and discard any soft ones; you should end up with roughly 220g)
65 g (⅓ cup) granulated white sugar
70 g (⅓ cup firmly packed) soft light brown sugar

For the Pastry:

140 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
85 g (3 oz) butter, cold and cut into cubes
approx. 4 Tbsp ice-cold water (add a couple of ice cubes to the water to cool it)

For the pastry crust:
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp Demerara sugar

1) Roast the nuts: Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160° Fan/350°F. Place the pecans on a baking tray and roast them in the hot oven for app. 5 minutes until gold and fragrant. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

2) Macerate the cranberries: Rinse and drain the Cranberries. Cut them in half, then mix them with the two sugars. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature for app. 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, which will give the cranberries time to absorb some of the sugar and soften a little.

3) Make the pastry: Meanwhile make the pastry (see STONE-FRUIT GALETTE for photos). In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and work it with a pastry-cutter, knife, or your cold fingertips into the flour until the mixture looks like crumbs, with some larger pea-size pieces. Add 3 Tbsp of water to start with and bring the dough together with a spatula. It should just about come together. If the dough does not stick, add more water but in very small quantities. Do not overwork the dough or touch it too long with your hands to prevent that the butter starts to melt. Wrap the dough in cling film, flatten into a small disk and leave it to rest in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

4) Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F.

5) Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

6) Add the nuts to the cranberries: Roughly chop the nuts, add them to the sugared cranberries and stir under.

7) Roll out the dough: Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface into an app. 30 cm circle of app. ½ cm thickness. Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet. This is important, as once filled, you will not be able to move the galette.

8) Top with cranberries: Evenly spread the cranberries on top of the galette, leaving an app. 5 cm border around the edges free.

9) Finish the galette: Carefully fold the edges of the border over the cranberries, pleating as necessary (for photos go to: STONE-FRUIT GALETTE). Brush the edges with melted butter, then sprinkle the pastry with Demerara sugar.

10) Bake: Bake the galette in the pre-heated oven for app. 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden and the cranberries are soft.

11) Cool: Remove the galette from the oven, move it together with the baking paper to a wire rack and leave to cool. This will make sure the crust stays nice and crunchy during cooling.

12) Serve: Cut into wedges and serve.

Store: The galette can be stored in the fridge for about 3-4 days.


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