My sister once used the term “delicious wonder” to describe an out-of-the-world, delicious, sweet-eating experience. “HMMM,” she moaned, “delicious wonder,” in between vegan s’mores bites over a campfire. Since then we’ve coined that term for heavenly delightful foodstuffs. These blackberry galletes are my delicious wonder.
I’m big on cookies and hard pastries. I make a point not to have any at home because I KNOW I will eat the whole package in a sitting. I KNOW this – any time I dare challenge it I only eat them faster, succeeding in beating my consciousness by placing them in my mouth faster then I can think wait. You see, the cookie monster in me knows it’s weaker than my power to reason, so it frantically pushes cookies down my throat in an attempt to enjoy them before I can formulate the thoughts: sugar or modified corn starch, or high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated palm oil or any of those nasties I know I don’t want in my body. The result is, naturally, little enjoyment paired with an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame, followed by sugar-induced mood swings and headaches.
I know I have a cookie-eating disorder and I fight it the only way I know I can win: I don’t buy cookies. Ever.
Now, the stuff you make at home is a completely different story. It’s OK to eat sweets on occasion, especially when you pair them with healthy fats and protein. When you make sweets at home, you have complete control over portions, ingredients and sugar count.
Three reasons why you should only eat home-made sweets:
Ingredient quality – You wouldn’t have hydrogenated oils in your pantry or butylated hydroxytoluene or an array of artificial flavors. When you cook at home you’re not producing at economies of scale and you don’t need (or want!) to produce something with a shelf life of months or years. Keep it simple and buy organic and pasture-raised when you can.
Sugar Quantity – Foods and beverages that have been prepared by corporations contain higher levels of sugar than any ordinary human would ever add. When you sweeten your food yourself you’ll find your palate requesting but a fraction of what industrial foods add.
Gratification and Sharing – “Food manufacturers have made eating formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day” (Michael Pollan). When you make your own sweets you’re less likely to eat them everyday and in my case I find I’m more willing to appreciate them and eat them slowly when it took effort to make them. I also usually make them to share them so portion sizes are infinitely more realistic.
Now, for the blackberry galettes…
I had made these some months ago during an 18 reasons cooking class I volunteered for. Behind the scenes Chef Michelle McKenzie asked me if I was a baker, hoping to have me lead the galette-making-portion of the event. “Nope,” I shook my head as I walked towards the salad station.
Today I wished I had paid more attention to her gallete skills, as I stood, confused, over buttered dough that persistently stuck to the counter despite infinite efforts to dust it with flour.
“Something has gone terribly wrong,” I told Barna, “like, an entire ingredient-missing-kind-of-wrong.” I made the galletes regardless, skeptically returning to the recipe every five minutes expecting to see something I’d miss. They were delicious and beautiful, just a bigger pain to assemble than I reckon they should have been. (Especially considering I insisted on flattening the dough with a rolling pin).
Hours later I found that the extra dough that had been stored in the fridge was decidedly easier to handle. So I updated the recipe to include fridge-time. I recommend working on the dough at least an hour before making the galettes and storing it in the fridge in a ball covered in plastic. That worked for me. You can skip that step as I accidentally did but the dough will be very sticky due to the high ratio of butter to flour. In which case you won’t be able to successfully flatten it with a rolling pin, but instead can form little balls of dough and pat them against your floured palm until you get a thin disk.
Place 3-5 blackberries at the center of each disk and sprinkle them with a bit of sugar. Then fold the edges towards the center.
Once you have folded each gallete, you can brush the outer dough with a bit of butter.
Delicious wonder. These galletes taste like late afternoons in a little cottage, sitting next to an open window as a gentle breeze plays with the curtains and you read a good book to the purrs of the fat cat on your lap. They are seriously good – rich and buttery and just sweet enough.
With each blackberry galette under 7 grams of sugar, they have become my new favorite dessert option. You can store the dough in the fridge and make just the servings you’ll need for dessert.
My plan was to make them with Einkorn flour, but I ran out and had to use half Einkorn, half organic whole wheat. Einkorn is the world’s most ancient wheat and the only one that has never been hybridized. It is more nutritious and contains less gluten (and a different type of gluten than the one found in conventional wheat). It’s not the easiest stuff to find, you’ll need to order it or hope your health store carries it. The good news is Eiknorn flour works the same as all-purpose flour and can be replaced by such if you prefer.
Recipe adapted from 18 Reasons' chef Michelle McKenzie's "blackberry hand pies"
- 1/2 pound blackberries
- 2 cup eikorn flour (or all-purpose flour), plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup raw sugar, or granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, preferably from grass-fed cows
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- melted butter, for brushing
- sugar, to sprinkle
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a fork or clean hands, cut butter into the flour mixture and mix well. Add beaten egg and mix until the texture resembles coarse, wet breadcrumbs. Add water one tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork until the dough pulls together.
- Dust flour onto a work surface and transfer dough there. Pat into a ball, cover with plastic and store it in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Remove dough from fridge and transfer again to floured work station.
- At this point you can either (1) make small balls out of the flour and gently pat them onto floured hands or counter until they look like thin disks or (2) you can flatten the dough ball with 6 to 8 gentle taps of a floured rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to cut circles about 3-4 inches in diameter.
- Transfer 3-4" circles to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place 3-5 blackberries at the center of each circle. Gently fold the edges of the circle towards the center. Sprinkle a bit of sugar (to taste) over the blackberries.
- Brush folded galettes with melted butter and place them in oven.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let cool and serve warm.
edit: I've made them with other berries and they turn out great. So fill it with your favorite! Blackberries are my personal choice but I liked blueberries, mix of strawberries and blueberries, and raspberries. My least favorite was just simple strawberries but my mom loves that one and adds cream cheese.
This article was featured on Foodgawker on March 10, 2015.
Blackberry photograph featured in the home page of 500px on April 2, 2015.