After a devastating fire last March, it was great news to hear that Chez Panisse has once again opened its doors. I spent a few weeks interning there one summer and I will never forget it. That experience - seeing the most beautiful fruit in the world and broadening my understanding of how a well-tuned professional kitchen hums - had a tremendous influence not only on how I think about pastries and desserts but how I think about food and hospitality. There are a great many people who have passed through their doors - diners, staff, interns and volunteers alike – who have shared this rare experience. And, luckily for us, that tradition will continue now with a whole new fresh start. If you value simple, wholesome and delicious food that originates from small local farms, you won’t find a better example of a great meal. So it’s wonderful news to hear they are back in business.
I also got some great news this week so I wanted to join in on the excitement. One pastry that always reminds me of Chez Panisse is a fresh fruit galette. They make them every day and no matter the fruit, they are superb. The pastry is always buttery and flaky, the fruit flavorful and glistening. For me, making a galette celebrates their return to serving amazing meals in a beautiful setting.
This is a fresh raspberry pastry that includes a layer of lemon curd. That’s not something you’d see at Chez Panisse but I love the combination of these two elements so I threw them together just for fun. The flavor is bright and tart and it's a good little pastry for celebrating new beginnings.
- Use very cold butter and water to produce a flaky pastry.
- I like lemon curd that is tart. Add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste!
- Modulate the amount of lemon curd and ratio of raspberries you use in the galette according to your own personal taste. Leftover curd can be refrigerated and served with biscuits or scones or stirred into vanilla ice cream.
- Galette dough and/or lemon curd can be made 1 – 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
- One thing Chez Panisse had on their menu this past week is Royal Blenheim Apricot Soufflé with Noyau Crème Anglaise, which sounds like heaven to me. I hope I can find some apricots this weekend so I can play with this idea. Maybe roasted apricots with a very light noyau cream. Mmmmmm…..
- Another seasonal galette is Peach Pecan Galette.
Lemon Raspberry Galette
1 cup (5 oz) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 oz (6 tablespoons) cold butter
1/4 cup (2 oz) cold water
Yield: 1 cup
1/2 cup (4 oz) fresh lemon juice (about 3 – 4 lemons)
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
3 oz (6 tablespoons) butter @ room temperature
8 oz fresh raspberries
1 1/2 tablespoons (19 grams) sugar
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
sugar, for sprinkling
For the pastry dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process to combine. Cut the cold butter into 1/2” pieces, add to the flour mixture and process for 5 seconds. Add the water and pulse about 15 times. The dough will look a bit lumpy like cottage cheese. Gather the dough and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a flattened rectangle and wrap. Chill the dough at least 30 minutes or overnight.
For the lemon curd, whisk the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs in a nonreactive heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of low simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Whisk and cook until the mixture begins to thicken, about 3 – 5 minutes. Pour through a strainer into a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add, stirring to fully incorporate. Press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface and set aside to cool.
When you’re ready to roll out the dough, remove it from the refrigerator and rest it on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper for a few minutes so it can soften just a bit to prevent cracking. Then roll the dough out to about an 11 1/2” x 8 1/2” rectangle (or other desired shape) and 1/8” thickness, gently lifting and moving the dough after each roll and keeping the parchment lightly floured as needed. Brush off any excess flour and lift the parchment and pastry onto a baking sheet. Chill while you organize the remaining ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the raspberries and sugar together in a bowl.
Spread a layer of lemon curd to within 1 1/4” of the border on all sides. Use about 1/2 - 3/4 of the curd, per your own personal preference, and store the remaining in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Distribute the sweetened raspberries evenly on top of the lemon curd. Fold the pastry dough over the fruit to form a border. Brush the border with melted butter and dust with a light sprinkle of sugar. Chill until oven is ready.
Bake until the dough is crisp and browned, about 35 - 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.