Sunday, January 5, 2014

Raspberry-Goat Cheese Galette and Granny's Pie Crust

Hmmm. Now, I will admit to having zero training as a chef or other food person, but it seems to me that "galette" is very pretty French for "messy pie." But I'm down to try anything, and honestly, I think the rusticity is quite fetching. So after Christmas, as we finished the pumpkin pie, the pecan pie, the cranberry pudding, etc...I decided not to let dessert die just yet. And there was leftover frosting from the jury-rigged cinnamon rolls I'd made the day before languishing in the fridge.
The day before, my daughter had woken up absolutely desolate that we were out of cinnamon rolls and orange danish. BUT, there was a roll of Grands biscuits, so I rolled them out flat, sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar, re-rolled them up, and made frosting from cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar. They were...okay. I'd be willing to improve upon that particular recipe, but it worked in a pinch. I'm sort of dying to know what sort of emergency meals you cobble together for yourselves or your children. Is anyone out there? I feel sort of like this is the point that my students get to when they start leaving me notes in the middle of their essays to see whether I'm really reading them or not.

Anyway, so I had a decent amount of frosting left, some delectable goat cheese from Latte Da Dairy (the goddesses of all things goat-ish) that needed using, and I'd gotten two pints of raspberries from the store. Rad. 

It seems to me that for a galette, you need a rocking crust. Fortunately, I happen to have just such a thing in my repertoire courtesy of Granny Pauline, bequeather of the purple velvet couch.

An aside here. I hope you all have something special to remind you of dear ones no longer living. The person I miss the most every day is my dad's mom. Granny was a schoolteacher and my best friend through middle school on. She gave me my first job (dismantling and cleaning her dining room chandelier, among other things). She had an attic full of the coolest stuff ever. When I got my driver's license, I went to her house at least a couple of times a week for visits. I confided in her like she was a peer, and some of the teenage secrets I told her must have made her toes curl at times. However, she would just sit, on a bar stool at the tiled bar in her kitchen, spooning hot cocoa and prunes out of a giant Campbell's soup bowl/mug, and listen intently. She never ratted me out, never judged me. And she made me fried chicken and butterscotch cake for my birthday and served it on her good china in her formal dining room. She died when my daughter was less than a year old. I inherited her recipe box as a remembrance of the time spent in her kitchen, and it's one of my most treasured possessions.

I guess I'm telling you this because I want you to get that it's a big deal to me to share Granny's pie crust recipe with you. One of the first things she taught me to make was apple pie, and this is her recipe. Please love it and share it with folks you love.  

In a large bowl, combine 4 cups flour, 2 t. salt, 1 T. sugar, and  1 3/4 cups shortening (I like to use butter-flavored Crisco). Work the shortening into the dry mix until it's in small pea-sized shapes uniformly throughout the flour. You can do this in a food processor as well. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup cold water, 1 t. apple cider vinegar, and one egg. Work the wet and dry mixes together until they're fairly smooth, but don't overwork. Separate into two balls, cover, and refrigerate for about a half hour before using. This crust recipe is meant to make the top and bottom of two standard-sized apple pies. I halved it for the galette.
Using half of the raspberries, I made the compote from one of my previous posts and added an extra teaspoon of corn starch to make it almost jelly-thick. Roll out the dough into a rough circle. Spread the cream cheese/goat cheese mix in a circle. Add your cooled compote. Carefully fold over the edges of your dough so it naturally makes creases. Add the rest of the raspberries on top of your compote and drizzle with some good honey. Brush the crust with cold water or an egg wash. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the crust is done throughout.
Though I think I would roll the crust out just a bit thinner, I quite liked this with a bit of vanilla-bean ice cream on top.

Granny's pie crust recipe follows...

Fool-Proof Pie Crust
This recipe makes enough dough for two pies with both a top and bottom crust. Halve if you're only making two bottom-crusted pies.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1T. sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups shortening (I prefer butter-flavored Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and shortening. Work the shortening into the dry mix until it's in small pea-sized shapes uniformly throughout the flour. You can do this in a food processor as well. In a small bowl, combine cold water, apple cider vinegar, and the egg. Work the wet and dry mixes together until they're fairly smooth, but don't overwork. Separate into two balls, cover, and refrigerate for about a half hour before using. Make sure you use plenty of flour sprinkled on your work surface on your rolling pin.