Credit: Kyla Zanardi
If the thought of preparing from-scratch pastry is enough to make you sweat all on its own, the idea of bringing your kids into the kitchen to bake it with you probably sounds like a very specific nightmare. But Toronto-based teacher and food writer Mardi Michels patently disagrees. And she would know — twice a week throughout the school year, Michels transforms her school’s science lab into full blown French kitchen where she coaches students as young as seven on the basics of cooking Parisian favourites, like the gorgeous Mixed Berry Galettes pictured above.
This summer, Michels channeled her wealth of knowledge into a new cookbook, In the French Kitchen with Kids, a collection of accessible (yet still elevated!) recipes fit for tackling with your little ones in tow. While the book is filled with tons of helpful tidbits, Michels maintains that the biggest piece of advice she has for parents who want to get their kiddos in on the cooking process is actually the simplest: “read. your. recipe.” In addition to saving you from discovering halfway through that you’re missing a key ingredient, Michels explains that reading the recipe over a few times “gives kids the opportunity to ask questions about some of the terminology if they’re unfamiliar with it, and if you’re, as a parent, unfamiliar with if, that’s okay because you’re sort of in this together… It’s like reading comprehension essentially, just with a yummier answer.”
Read on to learn more about this dish, and scroll down for Michels’ full recipe.
Mixed Berry Galettes | petites galettes rustiques aux fruits rouges
By Mardi Michels
Galettes were my introduction to the world of pastry and are still one of my favorite things to make. These single-crust pies are so easy that most kids can make them with very little supervision, and the fact that they are supposed to look rustic is a bonus for those who don’t feel confident making a pie crust. The possibilities for filling a fruit galette are endless, but I’ve chosen mixed berries because they bake up so well and are so pretty. Once you’ve made one galette, you’ll be hooked! Note that you need to allow time to make and chill the pastry before assembling and baking the galettes. You can make the pastry the day before if you like.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp heavy (35%) cream
2 cups mixed berries (I like raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Grated zest from 1 small lemon (about 1 tbsp)
1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream (optional)
For the pastry:
Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingertips, lightly rub the butter into the flour until it resembles large breadcrumbs with some pieces the size of small peas. You can also use a pastry blender for this job.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix the egg into the flour until they are completely combined.
Add the cream and mix until the dough is firm enough to form a ball when you press the mixture together with your fingers—it might be a little crumbly, but form the dough into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 3 days, in the fridge. You can also freeze the dough, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before you roll and bake.
For the filling:
Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl. Stir to coat the berries thoroughly and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Divide the pastry into eight pieces and roll each piece out to a rough circle about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. If necessary, trim the rolled- out shapes with a pizza cutter so they are more or less round. Place the circles of dough on the parchment-lined baking trays. They should not be touching.
Use a ¼ cup measure to divide the berry mixture evenly between the dough circles. Place the berries in the center of the dough and use the bottom of the measuring cup to flatten them slightly. You should leave a border of about 1 ½ inches around the edge.
Working with one circle at a time, fold the uncovered edges of dough up and around the filling, working your way around the circle. You’ll end up with pleated edges that are a little rough and you might need to trim some uneven parts to ensure you don’t end up with a thick area of just crust.
Brush the edges of each galette with a little egg wash and sprinkle the
pastry with sugar.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the berries are cooked.
Remove from the oven and place the galettes on wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream.
- This is an excellent entry-level dessert for novice bakers. Since the dough circles won’t be perfect and the berries will leak some juice out onto the baking trays anyway, they will all look a little mismatched but they are meant to be “rustic” (this is what I call anything I make that doesn’t turn out perfectly now!). Whenever I make these with my boys’ cooking club, nobody cares how they look — the boys think they are delicious and the parents are impressed their child made pastry from scratch!
- If your berries are quite large, you can cut them in half. If you do that, you might not need as much of the lemon juice, since cut berries may give off more juice.
Excerpted from In the French Kitchen with Kids by Mardi Michels. Copyright © 2018 Mardi Michels. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Servings: Makes 8 galettes
approx. Per Serving