This rustic strawberry galette combines buttery shortcrust pastry, a nutty hazelnut base, and juicy berries to create a spectacular summer dessert!
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Ever since I (finally) mastered making flaky, buttery shortcrust pastry from scratch a few years back, I’ve been on a quest to expand my savory and sweet pie repertoire. I’ve included several of my current favorite tart and galette recipes in my recent cookbook, French Appetizers, but I only recently realized that I hadn’t yet expanded that category on my blog. Best excuse to keep churning up batches of shortcrust pastry, ever!
I first made this Hazelnut and Strawberry Galette about a year ago to celebrate the arrival of local strawberries at my neighborhood market. I made it repeatedly over the summer, switching the choice of berry as the selection evolved at the market, but the hazelnut and strawberry combination remained a favorite. I promised myself I’d share the recipe when summer came back around—and now we’re here!
The first iterations of this Hazelnut and Strawberry Galette used a hazelnut frangipane filling—a pastry cream of sorts, thickened by ground nuts—but recently started making it with a hazelnut financier base after Montreal pastry chef Patrice Demers tipped me to the idea. A financier is a tiny almond-flour-based French cake, and chef Demers not only makes and serves individual-sized financiers in his Montreal shop, but uses that same batter as the base of his tarts, too. The batter of financiers contains more flour than frangipane cream does, and so it creates a more substantial base to hold fruits and absorb their juices. Financiers are traditionally made with browned butter, which not only is dreamy delicious in itself, but delightfully underlines the flavor of hazelnuts in this galette, too!
To make this Hazelnut and Strawberry Galette, I encourage you to make shortcrust pastry from scratch using my super easy, foolproof recipe. Homemade pastry comes together in a flash and the flavor is just so much better than any ready-made option. As summer rolls by, make this galette again with raspberries, wild blueberries, peaches, or a combination of summer fruits. I can’t think of a better way to end a warm, sunny day!
Helpful Tips for Making Hazelnut and Strawberry Galette
Make it ahead (in parts): Two of the three components in this galette can be made days advance: the shortcrust pastry and the financier batter. Keep shortcrust pastry wrapped in plastic and financier batter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Bring the two back to room temperature 30 to 45 minutes before assembling and baking the galette, which should ideally be served warm from the oven.
Thicken those juices (if need be): Fresh, dense, flavor-packed summer fruits don’t need any thickening, but if you find the strawberries you’re using a bit watery (they’ll be larger with a white core), adding 1 tsp (5 ml) cornstarch to the fruits is a good idea. This will keep the juices in the galette—not all over the baking sheet.
Dress it up: This galette is fine and gorgeous served on its own but garnishing it with lemon zest and fresh basil leaves adds flavor and cool pops of color. Serve each slice topped with vanilla gelato, ice cream, or whipped cream for an indulgent touch!
How to Assemble and Fold the Hazelnut and Strawberry Galette
Left: Using a small silicon spatula or an offset spatula, spread the hazelnut financier batter over the rolled-out shortcrust pastry, leaving a 3-inch (7.5 cm) border all around.
Right: Cover with the strawberries (you can fan them out elegantly, or just dump them over the financier batter!)
Bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, creasing it and gently pressing it down onto the filling as you go.
Left: Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the dough with milk.
Right: Sprinkle with coarse golden sugar, such as cane sugar.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the fruits are bubbly. Garnish as desired with toasted hazelnuts, grated lemon zest, and basil leaves. Serve warm with vanilla gelato, ice cream, or whipped cream!
For the crust: Prepare the Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry as indicated in the recipe, then roll out to a 15-inch (38 cm) circle and transfer to a round baking sheet covered with parchment paper (a rectangular baking sheet works too, but excess dough will overhang.) Refrigerate for 1 hour. (If you made the shortcrust pastry in advance, take it back to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes, then roll out to a 15-inch (38 cm) circle. Transfer to a round baking sheet covered with parchment paper and keep going with the recipe—no need to refrigerate again.)
For the hazelnut financier base: To make the brown butter, heat the butter in a small stainless steel saucepan over medium heat until completely melted and simmering. Keep on cooking over low heat, swirling the pot from time to time. If the butter bubbles up preventing you from watching closely over the color changing (that’s the water evaporating), lift the pot off the heat for a few seconds until the bubbles recede, then put back on the heat. The butter is ready when the milk solids at the bottom of the pot turn a light brown color and the concoction gives off a delicious hazelnut aroma. When it does, remove the butter from the heat, pour in a small bowl, and let cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground hazelnuts, flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt (if using). Add the egg whites and whisk until incorporated and the mixture is thick and sticky. Mix in the brown butter. At this point, the batter can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Bring back to room temperature 30-45 minutes before using.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
For the strawberries: In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, granulated sugar, and lemon zest. Set aside.
To assemble: Using a small silicon spatula or an offset spatula, spread the hazelnut financier batter over the rolled-out shortcrust pastry, leaving a 3-inch (7.5 cm) border all around. Cover with the strawberries. Bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, creasing it and gently pressing it down onto the filling as you go. Once the whole border is folded, gently press own on the center of the strawberry filling to push the fruit well into the fold.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the dough with milk, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the fruits are bubbly. Transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Garnish as desired with toasted hazelnuts, grated lemon zest, and basil leaves. Serve with vanilla gelato, ice cream, or whipped cream.
If you can't find ground hazelnuts, you can use toasted and peeled hazelnuts instead. Make sure to weight them to get the right quantity (2.5 oz/70 g), and put them together with the flour in a mini food processor, or a regular food processor. Grinding the nuts with the flour will prevent them from turning into butter. When the nuts are finely ground, return the hazelnut-flour mixture to a mixing bowl and continue the recipe as instructed.
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