Recently I stayed at a guesthouse in Windhoek run by a French-Namibian couple. They offered to cook us dinner and my goodness was I glad I took them up on the offer. The food was exquisite: very French, very tasty and very, very pretty. Dessert was a simple apple tart – crisp layers of buttery puff pastry, topped with juicy apples and a sprinkling of sugar. One of those desserts that by rights should be quite easy to replicate but you know it would never quite taste the same.
It did, however, bring to mind this recipe for strawberry galettes which has been crammed in my full to bursting “desserts to try” file for several months. And as the theme for this month’s Tea Time Treats challenge (co-hosted by ‘Lavender and Lovage’ and ‘What Kate Baked’)is “summer fruits,” I thought these pretty little puff pastry tarts would be the perfect addition to the Tea Time Treats table.
I had planned to make a simple rough puff for the base. Then I read @lilmssquirrel‘s post on her very amusing 366 Recipe Challenge blog regarding her tremendous efforts baking Dan Lepard’s all-butter English puff pastry. Suddenly it made rough puff look a bit tame and it guilted me in to giving it a go too. (You can find the recipe on the Guardian website here although the instructions in Dan’s book “Short and Sweet” are a lot more detailed.)
By gum, this is pastry making of epic proportions. Whilst it is actually fairly easy, all the folding, rolling and resting that is responsible for the pastry’s aerated, buttery layers took best part of eight hours from start to finish. Whilst Dan nonchalantly informs you to “fit it in amongst other tasks during the day,” unless you have a pretty spacious kitchen it is hard to get much else done culinary-wise. My kitchen looked like an explosion in a flour factory for the entire day.
I must admit that by the time I had finished this heroic pastry marathon, I wasn’t really feeling the love. That was until I sliced the pastry into portions so I could freeze some (the recipe makes a mammoth amount – expect more puff pastry recipes on the blog in the coming weeks) and I caught sight of the myriad of buttery layers, just ready to puff up in the oven. Then I knew that all that effort had been worth while.
These little strawberry galettes are adapted from a recipe in September’s edition of Food and Home magazine. They are super easy to make and take no more than about 20 minutes from start to finish (or eight hours, twenty minutes if you are braving Dan’s puff pastry recipe ) Delicious eaten as is or with a dollop of whipped cream for added naughtiness!
Strawberry galettes (adapted from Food and Home magazine)
(Makes about 8)
- 200g puff pastry
- 1 tbsp strawberry jam
- 1 tsp ground almonds
- 125g strawberries
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out the puff pastry to about 3-5mm thick and, using a cookie cutter, cut out circles about 8cm in diameter. Place them on a lined baking sheet spaced slightly apart.
2. Heat the jam gently in the microwave or on the hob until fluid and brush each circle with a little jam. Sprinkle with ground almonds then finely slice the strawberries and pile on top. Dust with a little demerara sugar and bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.