Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust

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I'm thrilled to be officially married to my best friend! At the moment, married life does not feel very different, but I suppose when you have been together over eight years you are comfortable in your relationship. Although this day was a long time coming, it still feels strange to call Chris my husband.

Our wedding day was a hot, humid ninety-degree day with no wind to provide relief, but the rain blessedly stayed away. The sun was covered by a hazy sky from wildfire smoke which made the dappled, diffuse light perfect for photography. Although the groom was recovering from the flu, the illness was quickly forgotten in the emotion of the day. In front of our immediate family, we said our handwritten vows and became husband and wife.

Our wedding day may have had its share of imperfections, but to us these imperfections are what made it a perfect day.

With no honeymoon planned, we are trying to enjoy the last few slow days of summer as a married couple before the school year begins again. To add a special touch to our evenings, I made us a dessert to share as newlyweds. This blueberry galette made with a cornmeal thyme crust is perfect for both of usβ€”Chris loves desserts with a chewy texture and I adore the flavor of late summer blueberries.

For this galette, the added cornmeal in the pie crust lends a chewy, flaky texture, while the fresh thyme adds a subtle herbed flavor. However, the real star of the galette is the blueberries. While the galette works beautifullywith frozen blueberries, I recommend you find the ripest berries of the season to take it over the top. The wild blueberries I found at the local farmer's market made this galette disappear quickly.

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This Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust allows late summer's seasonal offerings to shine. A galette is similar in many ways to a pie, but I find it easier to throw together, which makes it perfect for the lazy days of summer. The cornmeal thyme crust gives the galette additional flavor and texture, which makes this dessert stand out from others. Serve the galette warm or cold with a scoop of ice cream or coconut whipped cream.

One Year Ago: Fresh Herb Bread
Two Years Ago:  Fig Oatmeal Bars 
Three Years Ago: Iced Matcha Coconut Latte 
Four Years Ago: Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies & Citrus Zucchini Muffins
Five Years Ago: Blueberry Braided Bread, Date Flapjacks, & Nordic Pancake Cake
Six Years Ago: Summer Berry Pavlova, Mango Coconut Popsicles, French Silk Pie, & Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Seven Years Ago: Coconut Pancakes, Chocolate Beet CakeZucchini Bread, & Lemon Blueberry Scones
Eight Years Ago: Chocolate Pear Cake & Brown Sugar Coconut Bubble Tea

Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust

Yields 8-10 servings

Cornmeal Thyme Pie Crust
1 3/4 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (108 grams) yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped and lightly packed
1 cup (225 grams) butter, cold and cubed
4-8 tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and fresh thyme. Add half of the cold cubed butter and rub the butter and flour between your fingers until it resembles coarse sand. Add the second half the cubed butter and rub in into the flour, but leave it in larger pieces (approximately the size of your thumbnail). Add four tablespoons of ice water and mix the dough together until uniform. Gradually add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together when squeezed in your hand. 

Place the dough on parchment paper and use the paper to press the dough into a uniform disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least a half hour (or up to 2-3 days). For a step-by-step tutorial in making pie dough, follow the instructions here.

Blueberry Filling
2 pints (24 oz or 680 grams) blueberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons granulated sugar*
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked)
2 tablespoons demerara or raw sugar, for sprinkling

In a mixing bowl, fold together blueberries, cornstarch, and sugar until uniform. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a circle roughly 1/8-inch thick. Place the blueberry mixture into the center of the circle and spread out until it is a uniform thickness, leaving a two-inch border on all edges. Fold the border of the pie dough over the filling, pleating the dough every two or so inches. Brush the visible pie dough with egg wash and sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the dough and the filling. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up the crust.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the blueberries have released their juices. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with a topping of whipped cream or side of vanilla ice cream.

*Add more or less to taste, depending on the sweetness of the berries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Summer is moving quickly. It feels like only a moment has passed since school ended and summer vacation began. I've been working on a project of sorts, which has made free time feel scarce. While I'm going to keep it under wraps a little while longer, I'm excited to share the details with you soon!

In the quiet, everyday moments, I remember to enjoy these summer days. I savor time on the deck watching the vegetable and herb garden grow (perhaps too much , as they have quickly escaped the confines of their planters). I remind myself to turn off the background noise in my life (television and cell phone) to bring my thoughts back down to earth.

And, of course, I bake.

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I made this pie a couple of weeks ago, and am finally getting a chance to share it with you. With strawberries and rhubarb in full season, and a holiday around the corner, the timing still feels right. This pie takes full advantage of late spring and early summer's offerings.

I prefer a pie with a bit more bite, so the recipe below results in a pie with a tarter flavor. However, if your tooth is a bit sweeter, add another 1/4 cup of sugar to bring the sweetness to your liking. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, this pie will be sure to please.

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This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie celebrates the seasonal produce of June. Two pints of strawberries and a handful of rhubarb stalks come together in this brightly flavored pastry. With cornstarch to thicken, the pie and its juices set up nicely. Serve with a large spoonful of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream to share.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Two Years Ago: Dulce de Leche Cake
Three Years Ago: Strawberry Layer Cake & Blueberry Oat Crumble Muffins
Four Years Ago: Mango MargaritaChocolate Cacao Nib Banana Bread, & Chocolate Espresso Custard
Five Years Ago: Vanilla Chia Pudding, Rhubarb Vanilla Pound Cake, Boozy Margarita Lime Cake, & Double Chocolate Muffins
Six Years Ago: Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies, Coconut Nutmeg Pudding, Lavender Lemonade, & Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Seven Years Ago: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread, & Chocolate Almond Oat Bars
Eight Years Ago: Chocolate Coconut Granola, Bittersweet Chocolate Sherbet, & Tapioca Pudding

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Yields one 9-inch pie

1 double crust pie dough recipe
2 pints (24 ounces or 680 grams) strawberries, hulled and sliced
10 ounces (280 grams) fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked), for brushing
Raw or demerara sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, gently stir together the sliced strawberries, rhubarb, sugars, vanilla, and cornstarch until evenly coated. Set aside.

Form the pie dough into a disk and divide it into a 60/40 ratio (if using a store-bought crust, do not worry about this step). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger section of dough into a 14-inch round circle. Carefully transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the excess pie dough to create a 1-inch overhang. Fill the pie crust with the strawberry-rhubarb mixture.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the smaller section of pie dough. Using a pizza cutter and a ruler, cut out wide strips of dough. Layer the strips over the top of the pie in a decorative fashion and trim so they are even with the edge of the pie pan. Using your fingers, pinch the bottom and top layers together in a pattern of your choice.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie crust with egg wash and sprinkle raw sugar over the pie. Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Then, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). If necessary, cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent further browning. Bake an additional 50-65 minutes, or until the lattice and crust are evenly browned. 

For perfect slices, cool for at least 3-5 hours (or overnight). Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Apple Pandowdy

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Out of all the seasons, the autumn kitchen is my personal favorite. With the warm weather a faded memory, the heat of the oven lends a new warmth. Time slows down as the sun falls lower in the sky and the shadows grow long. Weekend mornings are easily lost among the comforting spices and rich smells. The autumn kitchen carries an ease of relaxation. With the cold air settling in around us like a heavy blanket, there is nowhere to be but in our homes, as we watch the last of the leaves change and fall from the trees. 

With several pounds of apples packed away in the garage, the time was right to pull them out and put them to use. Apple desserts are one of my favoritesβ€”the sweet, bright flavor reminiscent of my Grandmother's applesauce recipe. Over the years, apples have taken many forms in my baking, including pies, muffins, and crisps. Instead of coming up with a new use this year, I took a page out of an old book and looked towards the past.

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This recipe for Apple Pandowdy dates back to the 19th century, featuring apples, both sweetened and spiced, hidden beneath a flaky pastry crust. The name pandowdy comes from the idea that the pastry is "dowdied up" over the dessert, or, in modern terms, the pastry is cut into pieces instead of being left whole which makes the appearance look "shabby" or "disheveled." 

The pandowdy is a simple, no-fuss dessert. Due to its homespun nature, it is conventionally meant to be shared by loved ones rather than to impress guests. I chose to spend time in my autumn kitchen free-handing leaves with a knife, but the true spirit of the pandowdy leans heavily toward the simple. Cutting the pastry dough into squares and throwing it over top is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged!) here. Beauty is in the eye of the beholderβ€”the flavor will be the same no matter how you choose to pattern the pastry.

To me, the Apple Pandowdy combines the best aspects of both crisps and pies, with a heap of bright fruit and a thin layer of flaky pastry to make it feel special. 

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The Apple Pandowdy is an old fashioned autumn dessert that is generous on flavor and texture. Thinly sliced apples are combined with warm spices and brown sugar for sweetness. Pie dough is "dowdied up" over the apples and sprinkled with raw sugar before baking to add additional texture. When golden and bubbly, the pandowdy is ready to come out of the oven. Serve warm with a drizzle of caramel or vanilla ice cream, or serve cold with fork straight from the refrigerator (which is especially delightful during breakfast).

One Year Ago: Maple Glazed Pumpkin Scones
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Espresso Bundt Cake 
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Molasses Bread, Vegan Caramel, & Rustic Apple Tart
Four Years Ago:  Classic Apple Pie, Butternut Squash Biscuits, & Apple Crisp
Five Years Ago: Apple Cinnamon Scones, Pear Crisp, Pumpkin Rolls, Butternut Squash Cake, & Baked Apples
Six Years Ago: Oatmeal Raisin Crisps, Red Wine Chocolate Cake, Pear Spice Cake, Pumpkin Latte Cheesecake, & Apple Cake
Seven Years Ago: Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes, Butternut Squash Custard, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, & Apple Almond Tart

Apple Pandowdy

Yields 8-10 servings

3 lbs (1.4 kg) apples, peeled, cored, & thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon boiled cider (optional)
Single Pie Crust Recipe, chilled
Egg wash (1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked)
1 tablespoons raw or demerara sugar

In a medium bowl, coat the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add the brown sugar, flour, spices, salt and boiled cider and toss over the apples until they are evenly coated. Place into 9-inch pie pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the single pie dough round until 1/8-inch thick. To create a patterned top, use cookie cutters to cut out shapes, use a knife to cut dough into squares, or freehand a unique design out of the dough.  Place the dough pieces over evenly over the top of the apples.

Brush the exposed dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with raw sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are bubbling. If the edges begin to darken too quickly, cover the pastry with aluminum foil to prevent additional browning.

Cool the pie for at least 3 hours before slicing to allow the juices to set. Drizzle each slice with 1-2 tablespoons of warm caramel sauce before serving or serve with a side of vanilla ice cream.

*To create a vegan version of the pie, use a dairy-free margarine for the butter in the crust (I prefer Earth Balance Vegan Butter), and drizzle each slice with vegan caramel sauce.