Easy, Breezy Summer Fruit Galettes
They’re supposed to look rustic, so wonky shapes and rough edges are welcome!
Getting food in and out of the oven within an hour is essential for any baking I do during the summer months. As much as I love desserts, due to my apartment’s lack of air conditioning, I am not willing to turn my home into a sauna every time I’m craving something sweet. For awhile, this meant my dessert dreams translated into pints of store-bought ice cream. Then I discovered the humble galette.
Sometimes referred to as free-form pies, rustic tarts, or crostatas, galettes are an incredibly easy way to make the most of all the amazing fresh fruit that summer has to offer. With no pie tin involved, these desserts are simpler to assemble and quicker to bake than traditional pies. All you need is a sheet pan and enough space to roll out your dough.
Ready to give galettes a try?
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Tips for making galette dough (or just buy it)
I suggest making your own pie dough if possible, as I find homemade versions to be flakier and have a better flavor than store-bought. However, feel free to ignore this and head straight to store-bought if you have trouble with pie dough or are short on time.
Most of the recipes that follow include a homemade dough. Here are some tips for best results when you’re making your own dough.
Plan extra for decorations. If you would like extra dough left over at the end to add decorations and designs to the top of your galette, set a chunk aside to chill separately, or double the recipe.
Use cold ingredients. Chill the butter (unsalted butter or salted butter) well, both before and after you cube it, so it’s as cold as possible when you work it into the dry ingredients in a large bowl. That way, you can add your butter straight from the fridge, separating the pieces from one another as you plop them into the dry mixture. Also prepare some ice water for mixing.
Consider using your hands. I prefer working with my hands when making galette dough. This allows me to feel the texture as it comes together and avoid overworking the dough — which is what leads to tough crusts. The only real downside to using your hands is that the butter can warm too fast and melt from your body heat, but I feel the benefits outweigh being forced to move quickly. You can blend using a pastry cutter or food processor if mixing by hand does not work for you.
To mix by hand, crumble the cold, cubed butter and all-purpose flour together by rubbing the ingredients between your fingers and palms until the butter has broken down into pea-sized chunks. Once the bits of butter are the correct size, the dough will start to look shaggy. At this point start adding a tablespoon of ice-cold water at a time to the mixture and toss gently with your fingers or a fork until the dough just begins to hold together.
Chill the dough. Once the dough begins to hold together, turn it out onto a floured surface and gather it into a ball to bring it together, then shape it into a flat disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap or seal it in a container. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour minimum or up to a day ahead. This helps the dough relax so it will be more tender.
Tips for shaping and decorating galettes
When you’re ready to bake, let homemade dough continue to chill while you preheat your oven and prep the filling. Using store-bought pie dough? Skip to the “transfer” part of “roll and transfer” below.
Keep the dough cold, but not too cold. Take your dough out of the refrigerator about 5 minutes before you're ready to roll it out on a floured work surface. If you try to roll out pastry dough straight from the fridge it can be difficult to work with and will sometimes crack or tear. If this happens, just let the dough sit for a minute at room temperature and repair the split by piecing the two sides together and gently rubbing the seam with ice water. The dough should blend back together fairly easily.
Roll and transfer. Roll the pie dough to about one-eighth inch thick, then transfer it to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (a baking sheet with sides is helpful for catching any juices that escape during baking).
Prevent a soggy crust. If your recipe doesn’t include any thickener and you’re worried about the galette crust getting soggy, dust your fruit in cornstarch to thicken the juices.
Fill and fold. Layer up your fruit filling in the center of the pastry, making sure to leave a 2-inch border (or more) of dough on the sides. Now fold the edges over the fruit mixture, pleating them as you go. Don’t worry if your pie crust is not perfectly round and even — the beauty of galettes is that they are supposed to look rustic, so wonky shapes and rough edges are welcome!
Brush and decorate. Brush the crust with egg wash to make it shiny and seal any cracks. (To make egg wash, just whisk a large egg with a splash of milk or heavy cream.) Check that there aren’t small openings around the sides, or you’ll end up with a hot, leaking filling. This is also the point when you should roll out and create any designs from your leftover or extra pie dough like stars, leaves, or whatever brings you joy! Place them on the edges or even right in the middle of the filling; they’ll stay put, no problem.
The very last step before baking is to sprinkle your galette with sugar. I like to use raw, coarse sugar or turbinado sugar to give a nice crunch and add a little sparkle, but of course, skip this for savory galettes.
15 favorite summer fruit galette recipes
With so many choices of peak-season fruit, your most difficult decision may be which one of these recipes to make. And though nearly all are desserts, I’ve included a couple of savory ones for good measure. You just may need to bake several!
Tart plums are balanced by sweetness from jam and ground almonds in this decidedly French treat. Pick firm, red fruit for beautifully contrasting colors and pieces that will still hold their shape after baking.
This simple tart allows blueberries to shine by adding only a hint of lemon juice and a little sugar. While the total time is 3 hours, the hands-on time is much shorter.
A crostata is just another name for a galette. Whatever you call it, you’re going to want to top slices of this deep purple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Why pick just one stone fruit when you can have two (or more!)? This recipe combines nectarines and plumcots — aka pluots, a hybrid of plums and apricots — but gives you the option of using any stone fruit available.
The addition of cardamom here creates a wonderfully complex and warmly spiced filling.
Each summer, you have two windows to catch fresh figs at their peak — around June, and then again in September into early October. So get them while you can! Combining figs with just a touch of orange marmalade offers a sweet, but not time-consuming, reward.
Yes, another fig pie! Figs are a fruit that works just as well in savory foods as they do sweet. This is essentially a charcuterie board in galette form, so feel free to serve it as either an appetizer or dessert.
This combination of blueberries and blackberries creates a juicy, deeply flavorful, sweet-tart filling that will have you dreaming of dessert hours after you’ve finished, as you spot a berry stain or two lingering on your hands.
This blogger suggests you opt for a store-bought pie crust and head straight to the fun of spreading the crust with almond paste, topping it with raspberries, and then decorating the folded galette with sliced almonds.
Ginger adds an unexpected spice to this crostata, creating a sophisticated flavor combination that will be the star of any meal.
Those first strawberries of late spring might get the most attention, but come summer, they’re still available and deliciously sweet, each one like a tiny burst of sunshine on your tongue.
Yes, it takes a little time to pit fresh cherries, but you and your fellow diners will thank you with each bite of this freeform cherry pie. It’s flavored only with a touch of sugar and lemon so the fruit flavor shines.
You’ve heard it before, that tomatoes are a fruit and not a vegetable! And yet here’s a savory galette featuring some of those incredible summer tomatoes with garlic, asiago cheese, and chives. The flaky, shattery butter crust is worth making from scratch, but you can substitute a store-bought crust if you’re in a hurry.
The lavender extract in this recipe pairs so well with jammy summer apricots, and the optional dried flowers (often sold as culinary lavender) add a breathtaking pop of color. No lavender? Feel free to go with vanilla extract instead.
In the oven, peach skins create beautiful strokes of pink, red, and orange reminiscent of a late-August sunset. Note that the recipe makes two galettes, so you’ll have plenty for dessert tonight and for breakfast tomorrow.
Keep your cool in the kitchen
Whether it's too hot to crank up the oven or you just don't want to sweat the details, we've got lots more ideas for chilling out in the kitchen.