Hello from Indianapolis! I was just here last week for work, but I’m back again, this time for the Girls Junior Volleyball National Championships! The team I coach qualified back in April, and it’s finally time to show our stuff. Making it here means we’re one of the top 36 teams in the country in our division, which is a pretty remarkable feat. We had a long season (tryouts were back in November), but I’m excited to see how well they can do. And I’ll be glad to have my evenings back…for a little while, at least. I’ll be in Indy through Sunday night, which means prep for our 4th of July celebration on Monday needs to be short and sweet. Enter this gorgeous cherry galette. Tart and sweet with huge chunks of cherries and a kiss of almond extract in an incredibly flaky crust. I’m obsessed.
Cherries are a serious nostalgic food for me. My mom isn’t a huge fan, so the only time I ever had them growing up was on vacation with our extended family. My aunt loves them, so we’d sit on the dock, spitting cherry pits into the lake, staining our faces red with the juice. I don’t remember the first time I ever tried one, but cherries will always be a sweet taste of some of the best times in my childhood. Whenever I see cherries on sale at the store, I snatch them up–I can’t help myself. They’re too good to miss out on. So I stuff myself silly with as many fresh cherries as I can stand, and when I couldn’t eat another one, I turn them into delicious baked goods like this cherry galette.
Would you believe that before making this cherry galette I’d never even had a Rainier cherry? And if it weren’t for the ridiculous sale our local grocery store was having on Bing cherries (meaning they were completely and totally sold out), I probably still wouldn’t have tried them. The dark purple of the Bing cherries are such a draw for me, so I was hesitant about these lighter fruits. Could they really taste as delicious as the dark cherries of my childhood? I did what any rational person would do. I unzipped the bag and popped one in my mouth. (Tell me I’m not the only one who does that…) I was pleasantly surprised to find them allllmost as sweet. Most excellent news. Feel free to use whatever kind of cherries you love in this incredibly simple dessert. You really can’t go wrong.
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Pie crust from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 sticks (8 tablespoons) butter, very cold
- Ice water
- 1 pound cherries, pitted and sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional but very delicious)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Raw sugar
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand with a few large chunks of butter.
- Using a spatula or your fingers, mix in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to hold together. I usually end up using about 6 tablespoons, but each time is different. The dough is ready when you squeeze a fistful of dough in your hand and it holds together. If the dough is still very crumbly, add another tablespoon of water.
- Once the dough is ready, turn it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form a disc. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. This can also be done the day before.
- When ready to bake, let the dough sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 10-inch round. Transfer to the baking sheet and chill while you make the filling.
- In a medium bowl, mix the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and almond extract, if using. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the cherries to the center of the pie crust, leaving any remaining juices in the bowl. Fold the edges over the cherries and pinch to seal.
- Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the juice is bubbling and the crust is browned. Let cool completely before serving.