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Whole Wheat Cherry Galettes

Whole Wheat Cherry Galettes

ave you ever tasted a cherry that tastes like something “cherry flavored”? I haven’t. I am not quite sure how/why they decided that cherry flavoring is anything close to what real cherries taste like. Real cherries have a more mild, delicate flavor than you might expect if you have only had cherry flavored candy or food before. Their light, yet still deep and juicy taste is ambrosial when fresh, but can be concentrated and transformed into something totally different with cooking. 

herries seem to be one of the more elusive and expensive fruits at the supermarket, at least on the east coast. So when I see ones that don’t cost $89.99/lb I always try to get some. My supermarket recently got in these red and Rainier cherries that called me to make something lovely with them. I thought galettes would be a great way to highlight these juicy little stone fruits.

Galettes are a French free-form tart of sorts, also called crostatas in Italy. They are attractive, rustic, and very easy to make. Essentially you just make pie dough, roll it out, add your filling and fold the sides over to partially enclose the filling. Easy as pie, actually easier than pie I think. 

Cherries are a good source of vitamins A and C. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects on the body due to their content of anthocyanins, a group of phytochemicals and pigments found in plants. Cherries are a great functional food for athletes to include in their diet to attenuate oxidative stress and inflammation that results from exercise. Functional foods are those that give us a greater health benefit than just immediate calories and macronutrients. Eating a mostly whole foods diet is a good way to get health promoting functional foods everyday.

hile this is not really meant to be a healthy dessert per se, it does have only a small amount of sugar, which is perhaps negated by the amount of butter involved. Regardless, it is a really delicious and approachable dessert that you can impress friends and family with to celebrate cherry season. 

he dough recipe uses half whole wheat flour for added texture, taste, and nutritive benefits. It can be difficult to use just whole wheat flour with baked goods because the fiber content of whole wheat flour changes the texture of the item and also interferes with gluten development and therefore structure of the final product. I think making half of the flour whole wheat here works well and is a great way to try some whole wheat baking. I hope you give these galettes a go and enjoy the process working with some lovely ingredients!

.S. Ice cream on top of these galettes is mandatory. I repeat: do not enjoy this dessert without ice cream. You will regret it. The galettes really do need the contrast and creaminess of the ice cream to balance out the textures. My choice: some simple and rich vanilla bean Häagen Dazs on a warm galette; you won’t be disappointed.

Whole Wheat Cherry Galettes
Makes 4 5-6” galettes

Dough (recipe from bon appétite)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ sticks (12 tbs.) cold unsalted butter
1 tbs. white or cider vinegar
¼ cup ice water
 
Filling
1 lb. cherries (any sweet variety)
1 tbs. AP flour
2 tbs. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. lemon juice
pinch salt
 
1 egg
sugar
butter
 
In a big bowl, combine the flours and salt, mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Use your hands to break the butter into smaller pieces, rubbing the flour and butter together between your palms. You want to create a mixture that is pretty homogenous and crumbly, with the butter pieces being no more than pea sized. Then add in the vinegar and ice water. The super cold water helps to keep the butter solidified and not melty.  Mix it all together until a shaggy dough forms. You can add a bit more water if needed, but you don’t want a wet dough. Be careful not to over mix or the gluten may start to develop and lead to a tough dough. Form the dough into a disk around 1” thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or even overnight if you want. The dough just needs to chill throughout.
 
While the dough is chilling you can make the filling. Wash and remove the pits and stems from the cherries. You can use a cherry pitter or run a knife through the cherry around the pit. Pull apart each side and then pick out the pit. You should end up with about 2 ½ cups cherry halves. Mix the cherries with the flour, sugar, vanilla, lemon, and salt. Stir to incorporate evenly and let sit until the dough is chilled.
 
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Take the chilled dough and cut into fourths. Shape each into a puck shape and lightly flour a clean counter top. Roll each piece out to about 1/8” thickness. It does not have to be a perfect circle and will look more rustic and charming with imperfections.
 
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Working one at a time, place a dough round on the pan and place ¼ of the cherries in the middle. The filling should be only 1-2 cherries tall on the dough, and there should be about an inch of dough left around the cherries. Fold and layer the sides around the filling, lightly pinching the folds together. Repeat with each dough round. Beat the egg with about 1 tbs. water and pat on the sides of each galette. Then sprinkle some sugar on the sides. This will ensure a beautiful, golden, crisp crust. If you want, cut some butter into tiny pieces and dot on the cherries for a little extra flavor and shine.
 
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cherries are bubbling. Serve hot or warm with ice cream!
 
These are best fresh, but can be stored for up to a day in the fridge, longer and I think the crust may get too soggy. Basically, enjoy ASAP.

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