By Rose McAvoy
In my experience, a little splurge now and then is a good thing. I am often asked if there are rules about what treats I can eat or when I can eat them. Happily there are no over arching rules or restrictions governing my food choices. My primary goal is to be mindful of what I eat. When the opportunity to splurge arrives, I first consider my consumption over the day or week. (Keeping a written log of your eating helps tremendously in these moments.) After a quick inventory of what I have eaten, or will eat, I may skip a dessert, accept a very small portion, or add a bit extra to my treat.
Mr. Second Helpings and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. Last year’s anniversary was a big deal. We celebrated our fifth year of marriage by exchanging newly resized wedding bands, the ultimate symbol of our continued commitment to spend our lives together in love and good health. (See: Happily (Still) Married)
This year the day came and went with a comfortable quietness. We spent our Sunday doing normal weekend activities. I was happy to keep our anniversary low key but didn’t want to let the day go completely uncelebrated. To highlight the special occasion I made us a pie, specifically a rhubarb and strawberry pie. It was an edible reflection of love’s sweetness overshadowing the bitter notes that come with this journey we are on. Or, it could have been, if I thought about it in a deeper sense at the time. In actuality, I chose rhubarb and strawberries because I was in the mood for some sticky sweet fruit wrapped in crusty goodness.
This particular style of pie is known as a galette. Galettes are great if you like pies but don’t like fussing with fitting the crust into a pie plate. I introduced this rustic, single crust, pie last summer, stuffed with heirloom tomatoes and Walla Walla sweet onions (I am counting the days until I can repeat that recipe!) Now, this is not a “light” recipe, it is about as big of a splurge as you will see come out of my kitchen. However, a rhubarb pie is often made with a double crust, by making this pie with one large folded over crust I have “lightened” each serving significantly.
At the end of the day we called The Little Helping into the kitchen and enjoyed our slices of Rhubarb and Strawberry Galette as a family. Between savored bites, Mr. Second Helpings and I reflected on how utterly amazing life has been and continues to be. I try to avoid saying I “deserve” a treat but there are times when it is fun to plan for a little extra splurge.
Rhubarb &Strawberry Galette
Rhubarb and strawberries are one of nature’s perfect pairs. The aroma of these two ingredients mingling together is the essence of spring. Rhubarb and strawberries are at their best when simply tossed with a bit of sugar and wrapped in a rustic pie crust.
Prep time: 45 minutes, Cook time: 35 minutes; Yields 10 servings of pie
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon turbinado or raw evaporated cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter
- 4-6 tablespoons cold low fat milk
- egg wash: 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 teaspoons of milk
- optional: sugar to sprinkle on the edges of the crust
- 1 pound fresh rhubarb, washed, all parts of the leaves removed, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, stems removed, &cut into quarters
- 1 cup turbinado or raw evaporated cane sugar
- 1/4 cup instant tapioca
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. In a medium bowl: Blend the flours, sugar, and salt with a fork or a whisk. Cut butter into small cubes and use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to blend the butter evenly into the flour, keep cutting until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs. Work quickly so the butter stays cold. Add the cold milk a 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Stir gently until the crumbs begin to stick together and form a dough. (Alternately, the dough can be made in a food processor using the pulse function to gently first blend the butter with the flour and then milk into the crumbs)
2. When the dough is just moist enough to hold together, but not sticky, finish molding it into a ball with your hands. Flatten the dough ball into a thick round disk, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes.
3. While the dough rests prepare the filling: In a large bowl combine 1 pound of quartered strawberries with 1 pound of chopped rhubarb. Mix in sugar, tapioca, and lemon zest.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with a piece of parchment, make sure to use a pan with a raised edge.
5. When the dough has rested and chilled place the disk on a floured surface and roll it into your crust. Work from the center to the edges turning the dough a quarter turn after each pass with your rolling pin. Add more flour under the dough as needed to keep it from sticking to the work surface. To make this galette roll your crust to approximately 18 inches in diameter. The edges do not need to be smooth and even, a little wobble adds to the rustic look.
6. Transfer the rolled crust onto the parchment lined pan so that the center of the crust is over the center of the pan. Turn the prepared filling out onto the crust. Begin folding the sides of the crust up around the filling. Fold in small sections pleating and creasing the extra dough as needed to form a circular shape. If desired brush the top of the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the egg wash.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Galette is finished when the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
Approximate nutrition per serving: 258 calories, 10 g fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g. fiber, 3.3 g protein, PP= 7
Crust alone: 150 calories, 9.5 g fat, 15 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fiber, 2.6 g protein, PP = 4