It's a funny thing, cooking for family and close friends, to intimately know a set of likes and dislikes that are not your own, to intuit for someone else's palate. It's a unique kind of joy to see someone enjoy a dish (or, in the case of 14-year old brothers, give me a lukewarm, "eh, it's okay") you carefully adapted to their tastes.
I go between about 3 different kitchens each year, spreading my time and blog posts between my kitchen at home in Indiana, my dorm kitchen(s), and the kitchen of wherever I am in the summer. (Since college, I've cooked regularly in about 7 different kitchens, which means, among other things, that the difficulty of my recipes and the quality of my photos varies a lot depending on where I am. I'm looking at you, sketchy oven-less dorm kitchen in Venice).
Anyways, during the 7 to 8 months of the year in which I'm at school, the primary recipients of my baking have been my roommates. They're somewhere between family and friends, and we've gone so far as to assign ourselves family roles (I'm the son, in case you were wondering).
I've gotten to know their tastes very well in the past three years: Imani with her lactate pills, Lynette blithely adding sugar to her marinara sauce (I still think this is weird), Jannet carefully scraping pumpkin pie filling out of her pie. Baking is always a bit of a balancing act, of remembering who can eat what (I totally saw you pick all the chocolate chips out of my scones Jannet, though it was sweet of you to try to hide them).
With some free time on my hands last weekend, I decided to personalize individual strawberry galettes for the roommates; it's really only about a recipe and a half, with two different crust options and a few add-ons. I made one with a dairy-free crust, one with a higher crust-to-filling ratio, and one with a honey glaze for extra sweetness.
So there you go. Three slightly different strawberry almond galettes, and a recipe easily adapted for whoever you're feeding.
For the love of pie,
For the Crust
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cold and cubed
½ cup buttermilk, very cold
Alternately, for the dairy-free crust
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
⅓ cup water
For the Fruit Filling
1.5 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup raw sugar, for sprinkling (granulated can be substituted)
¼ cup honey (optional
Make the crust. Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt.
Add the cubed butter, and either with your hands or in a food processor (NOT with your hands IN the food processor!), work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Mix in the buttermilk 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, adding just enough so that the dough comes together. It should be very crumbly.
Gather the dough together and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight..
Mix together the apples, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and the cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the berries, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and chill in the refrigerator for one hour, or overnight.
If making the dairy-free crust, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the vegetable oil and water, until just combined. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and chill in the refrigerator for one hour, or overnight.
Prepare the filling. Slice the strawberries about ¼ inch thick. Toss together with the lemon juice and sugar.
The easiest way to roll out the dough and assemble the galetes is directly on the foil or parchment paper you’ll bake them on. Cut out pieces of parchment paper (NOT wax paper!) or nonstick foil that are about 12x12 inch squares. Lightly flour the foil and roll out one of the pieces of dough into a circle about 10 inches in diameter.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of almond meal onto the dough, leaving a one inch border around the edges. Place about ⅔ cup of the strawberry filling on top of the almonds. Gather the edges of the dough by folding sections of the dough over the filling.
Repeat for the other 3 pieces of dough.
Refrigerate the galettes for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk the egg, and brush the mixture over the crust of the galettes. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
If desired, add about 1 tablespoon of hot water to the honey, and brush over the filling for extra sweetness and shine. Let cool and enjoy!