I wanted to do something different for dessert, and I wanted to use fresh fruit, so I looked in the Chez Panisse Fruit book. The rhubarb galette looked just different enough. One thing that’s different is the crust: You roll out the dough and then put the fillings on it and fold the edges up over the fillings. Another thing that’s different is how the rhubarb is cut: into sticks 3″ x ¼” rather than slices.
I didn’t use the Galette Crust from the cookbook; I used Julia’s pâte sucrée. I rolled that out and stuck it in the fridge to chill while I cut up the fruit and preheated the oven. Pâte sucrée is short crust with some sugar added. The sugar makes the dough harder to handle. Pie dough without sugar is easy to handle because it’s pretty elastic. Adding sugar makes the dough more fragile, so if you pick it up to turn it, it tears easily. This is something I need to use more so I can get some practice with it.
I’ve never cut rhubarb in sticks before, and it was a lot of work, but I like the result. I’m probably holding my knife wrong because I’m going to develop a callus on my forefinger. Or maybe it’s the knife. Anyway, I put a Silpat on a half sheet pan, laid the circle of dough on the Silpat, sprinkled on the almond powder, and arranged the rhubarb over that.
I used Instant ClearJel instead of flour because I’ve found that with rhubarb (and peaches), any other thickener (cornstarch, flour) stays powdery and tastes starchy, but the ClearJel thickens the liquid and stays clear. I’ve found a little goes a long way; I used 1 T for this with the ¾ cup of sugar.
Alice wants you to “arrange the top layer of rhubarb in a whimsical pattern.” I have no idea what that means, and the only illustrations in the book are line drawings of fruit. I don’t know if my arrangement is whimsical, but it’s pretty random, and that’ll have to do.
Once the rhubarb is arranged, whimsically or not, you fold the dough up to hold in the fruit. That was okay. I’ve never done this before, but I’ve seen good photos, so I felt I had some idea of what I was supposed to do. Alice wants you to brush the dough with butter and sprinkle on some sugar. it occurred to me that this might be a good opportunity to try out the Swedish pearl sugar I got at the KAF shop when I was there for the Ciril Hitz class.
That pearl sugar looks a lot like the salt on a soft pretzel, and I have an idea that it would be amusing (and possibly whimsical) to make chocolate cookies in a pretzel shape and use this sugar on them.
The galette bakes for 45 minutes, during which the rhubarb softens and the whole thing flattens a bit.
Here it is in another view:
Now that I see the thing baked, I think I understand that I’m supposed to arrange the top layer of rhubarb in a visually pleasing way, and if I think about it, I’ll be able to come up with something for the next time. This is very tasty, and I can see making it again.