Weather: 56 degrees, grey
What I’m listening to: the quiet that descends on the Peninsula after the fishing rush is over
One of the beautiful things about food and eating locally is that many seasonal ingredients often pair wonderfully together, as though nature has a palate all her own, delivering wild edibles at just the right time to perfectly compliment one another. This happens every year when Alaska’s wild blueberry season converges with the end of rhubarb season. These two ingredients are an ideal match, the plump sweetness of the berries against the sour tang of the rhubarb stalks. Darkest indigo against the reddest of red.
I made a rustic blueberry rhubarb galette and it’s one of my favorite rhubarb preparations to date. I love making galettes because they’re quicker, simpler, and more freeform than making a traditional two crust fruit pie. Nothing about it needs to be perfect. I sent a couple of slices to the neighbors across the street and, upon returning with my pottery plate, they asked how I made the crust so golden and crisp, almost caramelized underneath. That’s the beauty of a galette, I told them. You only need to make one crust, which is easy to work with. You forego a pie plate for a sheet pan, laying the dough down in the center, mounding the filling high like a cobbled hill of berries, then fold the dough up the sides in imperfect pleats. The dough gets crisp on the bottom and golden on the edges, where you brushed it with egg wash and sprinkled it with sugar. The juices bubble and ooze out onto the pan, adding to the imperfection and the beauty of it. Top the warm galette with really good vanilla bean ice cream, allowing it to melt into small streams that work their way between the caverns of filling.
Blueberry Rhubarb Galette
- For the crust:
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup ice water (you may not need all of this)
- For the filling:
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups rhubarb, sliced
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- For the egg wash:
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar, for sprinkling (turbinado sugar is nice here, but granulated works, too)
To make the crust:
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Gradually add the ice water until the dough comes together; you may not need to use all of the water. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and work the dough with your hands into a round disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Preheat oven to 425. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
To a medium mixing bowl, add the blueberries, rhubarb, sugar, flour, tapioca, salt, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Gently stir to combine, making sure everything is coated, being careful not to smash the blueberries.
On the floured work-surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch round (this does not have to be perfectly round). Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet (the dough may hang over edges of pan, but that's ok).
Whisk together the egg and whole milk.
Mound the blueberry rhubarb filling into the center of the dough. Fold the dough up the sides of the filling mound in small portions to make pleats. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush the egg wash onto the crust edges, being sure to secure the inside of the pleats with the egg wash. Sprinkle the egg-washed crust with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake 45-50 minutes. The crust should be golden and the filling bubbly and fragrant. Cool 10-15 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.