With strawberry season comes pies - dozens and dozens of delicious pastry rounds filled with fresh Ontario fruit. I urge you to give pastry-making a try if you haven’t before. Be patient, and practice as often as you can.
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I myself am a lazy pie-maker and often opt for anything that doesn’t require perfect edges and corners. Tarte tatins and galettes seem to do the trick for me – rustic rounds with perfectly imperfect delicious edges. All I need to worry about is making sure the pastry doesn’t stick to my rolling surface and that the transfer from surface to tray isn’t disastrous.
This recipe for pie crust was given to me by Pastry Chef Andrea Mut, formerly of Cafe Belong at Evergreen Brick Works. She’s now onto her next venture – opening up her very own Andrea’s Gerrard Street Bakery in East Chinatown on Gerrard.
Perfect Pie Crust
Yield: One 9″ double crust pie
This pie crust is perfect. It comes together easily and behaves well. A food processor makes the job that much easier.
1/2 lb unsalted butter that has been cut into pieces and left to get cold in the fridge for some time
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup ice water (add a bit more if the dough seems dry)
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- Pulse the butter and all dry ingredients until the butter is in small pieces – about 5-10 pulses. As good pastry goes, the goal is to pulse it just enough that the flour and butter is mixed but that you can still see pea-sized pieces of butter. You don’t want it to be a fine crumb.
- Combine the cold water and vinegar.
- Stream the mixture into the tube and pulse again until the dough comes together.
- Remove from food processor and onto a floured surface.
- I decided to separate this recipe into three discs to make three galettes, though you can make two open face pies or one double crusted pie if you please.
- Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour so that it gets cold.
Now onto the actual galette-makin…
A Rough Recipe
Here is a recipe for enough pie filling to fill three galettes using the pastry recipe above. If you wanted to make a double-crusted-mile-high pie, then you can duplicate.
6 cups of fresh strawberries, roughly halved
1 cup of sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of flour
- Combine ingredients until all the strawberries are coated, then set aside.
- Pull one disc of pastry from the fridge. On a floured surface, set your dough out and using a floured rolling pin, flatten the dough out.
- On each roll, lift the dough to ensure it is not sticking – sprinkle more flour if necessary.
- Keep rolling it out until you have a rough circle that is approximately 1/4 inch thick.
- Lift the flattened dough and set it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Don’t worry about the over-hang. I promise it will be great.)
- Pile approximately two cups of filling into the centre, leaving approximately 1 inch all the way around.
- Now fold the border of the fruit mixture, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds
- Add a bit more filling in the centre if you’d like. Use your hands to pack it down lightly so all the berry pieces are snug.
- Bake at 350°F for approximately 40 minutes or until golden. Take a peak at 20 minutes to give it a turn so it browns evenly.
- You can also do this in a round pie dish so all the overflowing juices stay safe.
- Also, usually if you pile the filling high it’ll get pretty juicy in the oven – so if you’d rather the pastry stay dry, use a shorter layer of fruit.
- Invite your favourite friends over for a slice and some lemonade.