Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust

IMG_0222-3.jpg

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.

IMG_0228-2.jpg

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.

Chewy Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Bars

Chewy Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Bars

Chewy Vanilla Cinnamon Bars

At times, I struggle to live in the moment. I'm always looking forward, planning ahead, or dreaming about the future. When the everyday begins to grow lackluster, my mind wanders to exotic holidays through ancient cities and foreign landscapes or to the everyday moments of future life that may or may not come to pass. My head drifts above the clouds while my body goes through the daily routines.

I struggle to ground myself in the familiar day-to-day activities of making dinner and studying for exams.

Chewy Vanilla Cinnamon Bars

In many ways, a part of me has always been a dreamer. When I was younger, I could never decide what I would be when I grew up. I could imagine the details of a life where I was an author, a zookeeper, a doctor, or an astronomer. I wanted to play a part in all of these lives. I never wanted to settle down, to make a real decision about life, because it felt like there was such a finality about doing so. I wanted to leave more doors open than I would ever hope to shut.

When I walk through home and furniture stores, I imagine my future home and how I'll fill the empty rooms. My home by the sea will hold worn wood furniture and carry the colors of the skies; my home in the woods will welcome long shadows, stone, and the spirit of a dancing flame. These daydreams feel so real in my head; I find myself too busy divining a future that I've failed to cover the white-walls in my current apartment to make my house feel more like a home.

Chewy Vanilla Cinnamon Bars

As I've grown up, the dreamer in me has had her fair share of doses of reality. Decisions are inevitable (though never final) and every path has its share of ups and downs. Even when doing something I love, my head still floats above the clouds, wondering what may be around the next corner. As the ever wise JK Rowling cautioned me, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Those words struck such a chord.

The truth is that I have been forgetting to live in the present for quite awhile now. Instead of dreaming about becoming a mother or wife, a teacher or world traveler, I need to appreciate being a young woman with few ties to hold me down and high aspirations to lead my way. These days will pass too soon. Thanks for the reminder, Ms. Rowling.

Chewy Vanilla Cinnamon Bars

These Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Bars have a little trick up their sleeves. Though they may appear to be cake-like in texture, they are actually pleasantly dense and chewy. Vanilla bean and cinnamon round out the flavor, while cornmeal lends the surprisingly texture. Topped with a light vanilla glaze, these bars may find a place in your fall rotation.

Read More

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Lethargic, listless, lackadaisical. I've been utterly lazy the last week and half. At first, it was because I was jet-lagged, blaming time differences and long flights on my reason for not getting up from the couch. However, after the fatigue wore off, so did my excuses. I began setting my alarm to get up for the gymβ€”an honest attempt to drag myself back into a normal schedule. Waking up to the loud beeping with cloudy skies overhead, I found myself hitting the snooze button and turning over for another hour's rest.

Not today, I'd tell myself. Maybe tomorrow...

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

One day turned into two. Then three, then four. After rolling out of bed, I'd eat breakfast before situating myself in front of the television to watch hours of sitcoms and Lifetime movies. I made up excuses to convince myself I didn't need to leave the house. Overdue library books sat by the front door, accumulating small, but bothersome ten cent charges each day that passed. I wasn't sad or depressed, sick or under the weather. I was simply and inexcusably lazy.

I don't really need to go to the gym, I'd tell myself while eating through a bag of potato chips. I'll bake something tomorrow, I'd assure myself, scrolling through more recipes on Pinterest. Laziness was a luxury, wasn't it?

But, as the days turned into a week, I wasn't so sure of that anymore.

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

Abraham Miller once said that he who knows how to loaf is wiser than three sages. I have the feeling, however, he wasn't talking about me. With all the reality television I was watching, I couldn't hope to be as wise as one sage, much less three. Laziness was no longer a luxury. It was becoming a chore (and no one likes chores).

Exactly 10 days after my lazy streak started, it abruptly ended. I pulled myself together. I went to the gym. I cuddled back up to my Kitchenaid mixer and made sweet, sweet desserts. I returned the library books back to their rightful home. Though laziness does have a time and place (and I will look back upon mine fondly), sometimes enough is enough.

The real world comes calling and we all must get up off the couch.

Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cornmeal Cookies are the product of curious thinking and experimentation. Gluten and dairy free, the cookies are made with crunchy peanut butter and rolled in sugar for sweetness. The cornmeal adds a little extra texture to these cookies, without a distinguishable taste. Though the cornmeal can give the cookies a drier texture, it isn't anything a glass of milk can't cure.

Read More