Strawberry, Rhubarb, & Rose Galette
By Alyna O'Hanlon
May 13, 2020
I love making pies. It's one of my very favorite things to do. Perhaps in part because baking pies was a family holiday tradition that I now equate with cozy togetherness. But there is also something about the physicality of making a pie — rolling out the dough, molding the crust. And then it transforms before your eyes: the edges rising and goldening, the fresh fruit alchemizing into a bubbling, sweet jell filling. And THEN you get to eat it!
Over the years, my predilection for pie has slightly shifted. These days I'm most enamored of the galette. I think mainly I prefer the galette because of the filling-to-crust ratio (you only need the bottom crust for the galette, which I find is just right). Also with no pan to clean afterwords, galettes are just that much more down to earth. (I once read in a cooking magazine the galette described as the pie's "rustic cousin," which seems about right.)
Growing up on Oahu, we often heard my mom's tales about the mysterious rhubarb. I'm not sure if it was because we couldn't afford it or if it wasn't available when I was younger, but I never actually saw it on the island until perhaps 15 years ago or so. These days, rhubarb will show up at the Hawaii Kai Safeway once in a blue moon and my mom will pay a small fortune to procure it before hurrying home to whip up a rhubarb pie. Knowing her affinity for the vegetable, I often feel obliged to take advantage of our bountiful access here in Oregon. And it feels fitting that it always comes into season right around Mother's Day.
One of my favorite ways to make a rhubarb galette is to pair it with strawberries (or raspberries), rose water, and cardamom. With roses also coming into bloom along with the rhubarb, it seems like a natural flavor combo. And it sure does taste divine.
This Mother's Day, I met my dear friend Paul for a social distanced walk in Lone Fir Cemetery. I informed him about the day's earlier baking project and when I told him the flavor was strawberry rhubarb, he shared a story about his beloved grandma. She was proper and kind and warm and one of his favorite people. He only ever heard her swear once and it involved pie. She LOVED rhubarb pie. One day a family friend brought over a pie and when they informed her it was a combination of strawberry and rhubarb, she leaned over to little Paul and whispered, "Strawberries?! He fucked up a perfectly good pie!"
The morning after I chatted with Paul, I chuckled to myself as I served up a slice of strawberry rhubarb for breakfast, "Sorry I F'd up the pie, grandma!"
Here's to the mothers and everyone who tends and loves things in their own way!
PS. The rose and cardamom flavors in the pie got me thinking about Turkish coffee. In a grand experiment, I added one crushed cardamom pod to my French press coffee. It was pretty wonderful! And a very nice pairing with my breakfast galette.
Here is my photo:
1.5 cup strawberries, sliced
1.5 cup Rhubarb, diced
1 tablespoon rose water
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup sugar (I used turbinado)
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg (for egg wash)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cubed and chilled in freezer for ~15 minutes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons of mixture made of 1/2 cup ice water + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
First make the crust. Start by cubing the butter and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to chill. Prepare ice water with apple cider vinegar. Place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and blend. Next add the chilled butter and pulse again until butter is evenly mixed. Next add 8 tablespoons of the ice water + apple cider vinegar mixture. The dough should blend together but not be wet. Remove from food processor. Touch as little as possible (to avoid warming up the dough too much) form into a ball and place aside.
Next make the filling. Combine sliced rhubarb and strawberries with sugar (brown and turbinado), salt, spices, rose water, and corn starch. Roll out the dough (I then cut out a design along the edge, but his is optional, just for aesthetics) and place on baking sheet (ideally one with a lip since the juicy filling often runs a bit). Pour filling in the middle of the rolled out crust and fold up the edges. Wash the edges of the galette with eggwhite and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.