Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

The perfect spring Strawberry Rhubarb Galette via Unusually Lovely

It’s Wednesday morning. I’ve been up since 5:30AM since I had an hour of personal training to get through this morning and I’m already looking forward to hitting my pillow after work and watching tv from bed.

I’m finding myself more and more a homebody these days. Spring has definitely sprung in Philadelphia and (except for the weeks-worth of rain we just had) it’s been incredibly enjoyable to spend time at home, watering the plants on the deck, grilling dinner and going to bed early. Slowing down is something that I’ve been working on this year, so making less plans with people, not booking up my weeks, and planning my schedule out in advance so things don’t sneak up on me + working on my own relaxation guilt that often cause myself to have. At another stage in my life, I absolutely would have found this boring, but at this phase it helps me savor my time out and about with friends, spending time with G, and save some money without feeling like I have to give up everything to do so.

The change in the seasons means I’m looking forward to Saturdays walking around the city and happy hour negronis at outdoor bars. Spring always feels like a reset to me. You open the windows and start making summer plans. And if you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you probably know that I love the feeling of change.

I recently went to the supermarket looking for rhubarb because I wasn’t sure exactly when rhubarb season was, but I knew it was coming up and wanted to work on this recipe. I went wandering around my local Sprouts, couldn’t find it and asked a woman stocking the produce if they carried it. She looked at me like I had two heads, not understanding the item I was looking for. She had never heard of rhubarb, and definitely didn’t know what it looked like. I googled it quickly and showed her a photo of it, she still had no idea. She then grabbed another person working in the produce department, who ALSO HAD NO IDEA WHAT RHUBARB IS.

These woman worked in the produce department! I could understand if you maybe didn’t know what it looked like, but to never have even heard the word rhubarb before?! It’s in a lot of pies! Moral of the story is that I did not get rhubarb for this recipe from the supermarket, but we picked it a few days later at G’s sister’s house, which honestly is wayyyy better.

Galettes are pretty great because they are quick and easy with no pie pan or pre-baking the crust needed. Made from homemade pie crust is obviously preferred, but hey, sometimes you just have a refrigerated pie crust sitting in your fridge that you need to use up, or you can’t be bothered making homemade pie crust. I’m not here to judge you, just tell you to throw some fruit in there, turn over the sides, sprinkle it with sugar and call it a day. Hope you enjoy it!

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Yields 6 slices

  • your favorite pie crust (or a refrigerated one)

  • 2 1/2 cup rhubarb

  • 2 1/2 cup strawberries (sliced largely)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • half a lemon

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon butter, cold and cut into small cubes

  • coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

I should begin by saying that if you don’t want to create the arranged rhubarb on top of the strawberries, you can always cut the rhubarb into smaller pieces and just mix in with the strawberry filling. Won’t be as pretty, but will taste the same and be a lot less effort.

Cut your rhubarb into similar-sized pieces, cut on the diagonal so you can create the chevron pattern. I cut my pieces about 2 1/2 inches long. I also find it easiest to assemble when I’ve laid out the pattern on a cutting board first and then move it to the galette.

In a large bowl, add sliced strawberries and rhubarb pieces, sugar, and light squeeze of juice from half a lemon. Stir until everything is covered in sugar. Place bowl in the refrigerator and let macerate for 30 mins.

Remove bowl from fridge and add vanilla extract and corn starch and stir until the corn starch has been absorbed. If you are arranging the rhubarb on top, remove them from the bowl and set aside.

Lay out your pie crust on a nonstick baking mat placed on baking sheet. Spoon the strawberries* into the center of the pie crust and flatten it so you have a flat surface to arrange your rhubarb on. You will want at least a 2-inch border around the berries to fold the galette over. Place the rhubarb in the chevron pattern on top of the strawberries. Things are going to move a little while baking, so it definitely doesn’t have to be perfect.

Fold the border over to create the crust and trap in any juices, being aware to not make any cracks or holes. Arrange the butter on the top of the galette. Brush the beaten egg on the crust and sprinkle with coarse sugar to get a golden brown when baked.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. If you do spring a leak during baking (mine definitely has), don’t panic! Galettes are made to be rustic and simple looking. A few times during cooking, use a rubber kitchen brush to brush the expelled juices on top of the rhubarb to get a nice shine.

Remove from the oven and cool. Slice and eat!

*If you aren’t arranging the rhubarb on top, cut the rhubarb into smaller pieces and keep mixed in with the berries. Spoon the entire mixture into the center of the crust, fold over, and bake.

Recipe: Pear & Goat Cheese Galette

It’s Thanksgiving week, babies! My favorite time of year.

More than ever I’m looking forward to a break from work, taking the long drive to see family, and eating a ton of food. And I know that pumpkin and apple pie tend to be the go-tos this time of year, but this Pear and Goat Cheese Galette is 1. damn delicious, 2. way easier than a pie, and 3. so addicting that I ate this entire thing in an afternoon. Plus, I always like something that’s a little different.

Another note, this could easily be served as an appetizer or a dessert. It’s not overly sweet and the goat cheese brings a slightly savory component that’s delicious any time you want to slice it.

Pear & Goat Cheese Galette

Yields 8 slices

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust

  • 2-3 pears, thinly sliced

  • 4 oz goat cheese

  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, well chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1-2 teaspoons honey

  • half a lemon

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes

  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Thinly slice pears and place in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over them, add chopped rosemary, and lightly toss. The lemon juice will keep the pears from browning. Set aside.

Unroll your pie crust on the baking sheet and begin arranging your pear slices in the center, leaving a 1 inch border around the sides. Fold the border over to create the crust and trap in any juices. Sprinkle the top with sugar, and arrange the butter cubes on the top of the galette. Brush the beaten egg on the crust to get a golden brown when baked.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pears are just cooked and the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly and drizzle with honey. Enjoy warm or cold.

Recipe: Key Lime Pie

A few weeks ago, we celebrated #PieDay and I tried to cull a handful of pie recipes from my archives. It was quickly made apparent to me that I have barely posted any pie recipes over the years. WHAT?! Being that pie is one of my top 3 desserts. (1. ice cream, 2. pie, 3. cookies, i think) I thought I would make a conscious effort in 2018 to make more pie.

We're kicking off this ✨dreamy✨ endeavor with a classic Key Lime Pie, but turned wayyyy up. This Key Lime Pie is packed with limey flavor. It's intense and needs the sweetness from the crust and whipped cream to make it work. I tend to like my citrus flavors pretty dominate and this hits that nail right on the head. 

Key Lime Pie

Yields 8 slices

Graham Cracker Crust:
12 graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Key Lime Filling:
Adapted from this recipe
1 cup lime juice (if you want bottled, King Arthur has a recommendations & we trust them)
zest from 2 limes
4 egg yolks
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Make your crust: In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, melted butter, salt, and sugar until you have a sand-like consistency. Press the crumbs into a pie dish until you have a 1/4 inch thickness on the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Use the bottom of a glass to press and smooth out the crust. Bake for 10 mins or until slightly darker and fragrant. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely before adding filling.

Make your filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks and lime zest for 5 minutes. Mixture will become lighter in color and slightly thicker. Add in sweetened condensed milk and whisk for 5 minutes until combined and thick. Add in lime juice and whisk quickly until just combined. Pour mixture into cooled crust and bake for 25 minutes. Finished pie will have a slight wiggle when you take it out. Let cool completely before serving. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.

Recipe: Pumpkin Tart with Gingerbread Crust

Somehow Thanksgiving is next week and that doesn't even seem possible to me. It feels like a week ago we were picking apples and wearing denim jackets and now I'm planning out what Thanksgiving desserts I'm going to make, buying Christmas gifts, and wearing my winter coat to work in the morning.

My Thanksgiving contribution is usually a pumpkin pie because #1 it's the best pie, and #2 I don't want any doubts about there not being pumpkin pie. So I bring one to be sure. Slightly bored of making the same thing, I tried out a new crust from The Four & Twenty Blackbird's Pie Book and baked this baby in a tart pan as oppose to a pie pan. I wanted a really thick crust and using a pan with shorter sides did just that.

Pumpkin Tart with Gingersnap Crust

Makes 1 tart, serves 8–10 people
Crust recipe via The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Crust:
About 25 2-inch gingersnaps
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of butter, melted

Filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk, slightly beatened
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

First, we make the crust. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, grind the gingersnaps to fine crumbs. Add the sugar, melted butter, and salt and pulse until just combined. Pour the crumbs into an ungreased 9-inch tart pan. Spread evenly over the bottom, working the crumbs from the center towards the sides. Press the crumbs up the side of the tart pan to create the sides. Your sides should be around 1/4 inch wide. Use the flat bottom of a glass to smooth out bumps and even everything out. Freeze until solid, about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake on the center oven rack for 12–14 minutes, until fragrant and slightly darkened. If the crust slumps or cracks while baking, gently push the crumbs back into place, while hot, with a clean, folded kitchen towel. Refrigerate the crust for 10 minutes prior to filling to set the crumbs in place.

Make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese for 5 minutes. Scrap down the bowl completely, to try an avoid cream cheese lumps, and add the pumpkin. Beat until combined. Add sugar and salt; combine. Add egg+egg yolk, milk, and melted butter; combine. Finally, add vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ginger and beat until incorporated. Remove crust from the refrigerator and pour filling into crust. Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until the center is set. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

Recipe: Apple Crumb Pie

If I had to make a list of the top 100 things I loved in this world, I think that below my family, friends, cats, health, my iPhone, my KitchenAid, and a handful of personal belongings would be "Pie For Breakfast."

To me, Pie for Breakfast, is the ultimate breakfast spurge (which I indulge in anytime there is pie in the house). It's sweet and fruity and makes you feel like you're breaking the food laws without doing anything too terrible. And when I think harder about it, pie probably isn't the worse thing you could eat for breakfast. A giant stack of french toast or donuts are probably way more calories than a slice of pie. And at least pie has a little fruit mixed in? I feel like that has to count for SOMETHING. But what do I know, and I honestly don't care very much. Everyone deserves pie for breakfast every once and a while. It's important for your self care.

So today we are getting back to basics with an apple pie. I wanted something that would be a cross between an apple pie and an apple crisp, which is make usual go-to use for apples. So we're making a pretty standard apple pie and adding a crumbly top. Win-win all around!

Apple Crumb Pie

Yields 8 slices
Crust recipe via The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Crust:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice

Filling:
3 medium tart apples (like Granny Smiths)
4 medium sweet apples (like a Honey Crisps or McIntosh)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Topping:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup quick oats
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crust: Sift together flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces into the flour mixture and using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour. Work quickly until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay, don't overwork). 

Combine the water, ice, and vinegar into a mixing cup. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of liquid over the flour mixture and cut it in with the pastry blender until fully incorporated. Add more of the liquid, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, using the pastry blender or your hands until the dough comes together. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.

Let's make a pie: Roll dough on lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch disk. Transfer dough to pie plate by rolling dough around rolling pin and unrolling over 9 1/2-inch pie plate or by folding dough in quarters, then placing dough point in center of pie plate and unfolding. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs lip of plate in place; refrigerate dough-lined pie plate for 10-15 minutes. While the pie is chilling, preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Core, peel, and slice all the apples and add in a large bowl with lemon juice (so not to brown). Add sugar, spices, salt, lemon zest, and flour to the apples and mixture until apples are evenly coated. Remove dough from the refrigerator and begin adding and evenly layering apples. Apples should fill the pie plate slightly below the lip of the plate. Flute edges of the crust.

In a large bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients until you have a crumbly mixture. Add handfuls of the mixture on top of the apples squeezing it and crumbling it as you go. Cover all the apples evenly.

Place pie on a baking sheet and place on the bottom rack in a 425-degree oven for 20-25 until the crust is just starting to set and brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes until golden brown and the filling is slightly bubbling. Cool pie on a wire rack for 2-3 hours.