blackberry cheesecake galette

That was close. We almost went half the summer without a new pie recipe. I do solemnly swear to never let that happen.

making the dough

Common cooking theory goes that galettes are a lazy person’s pie, except one person’s lazy is might just be another person having life priorities that do not include lattice-weaving, I’m just saying. Galettes don’t need to throw shade to be awesome. They’re no frills, no fuss and you cannot mess them up. Leaky? No, pretty. Lopsided? You mean inviting. Barely sweet? Breakfast!

hi pretties!

But if there could be a singular limitation of galettes, it’s volume. Because they’re baked flat on a sheet, you can’t fill them too much of anything. They are not a cup; they cannot hold water. However, when working the kinks out of a cookbook recipe this spring, I realized that if you take you galette and drape it inside anything with walls — a pie plate, a cake pan, a tart pan, anything, you create just enough wall that you can pour in a slightly messier filling and have a good chance of your galette holding onto it through the baking time. Uh, “Doesn’t that just make it a pie Deb?” you might ask. But you’re still skipping the trimming, the crimping, the parbaking and lid-having noise so yes, you’re still coming out ahead.

lightly macerated

Make a galette that could hold a little more volume freed me to make the cheesecake galette I’ve always wanted. What, you haven’t spent years pining after a cheesecake galette? You see, cheesecake, too, requires a bit of investment: ground cookies crust, several blocks of cream cheese, the dreaded water bath and a long baking time. That’s a big undertaking at any time of the year but basically madness to consider in the midst of a July heat dome. The cheesecake galette is at once a berry pie, an easy galette and a humble wedge of cheesecake, which means that it’s basically one scoop of ice cream short of making all of our summer dessert hopes and dreams come true.

rolled out
draped over anything
a loose, messy crimp
ready to bake

This post should end right here but a funnier thing happened when we tried this: it tastes spectacularly like a giant buttery, flaky cheese danish. So, what was already a pie, galette and cheesecake now wants to show up for brunch too. I say we let it.

blackberry cheesecake galette_3842
blackberry cheesecake galette

One year ago: Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich
Two years ago: Grilled Peach Splits and Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde
Three years ago: Hot Fudge Sundae Cake and Avocado Shrimp Salsa
Four years ago: Zucchini Bread Pancakes
Five years ago: Charred Corn Tacos with Zucchini-Radish Slaw
Six years ago: Peach Blueberry Cobbler
Seven years ago: Best Birthday Cake and Arugula Potato and Green Bean Salad
Eight years ago: Chopped Watermelon, Vegetable and Feta Salad and Chocolate Sorbet
Nine years ago: Red Pepper Soup and Pearl Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Swiss Chard Pancakes and Blood Orange Almond and Ricotta Cake
1.5 Years Ago: Key Lime Pie and Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
2.5 Years Ago: Warm Lentil and Potato Salad
3.5 Years Ago: Lentil Soup with Sausage Garlic and Chard
4.5 Years Ago: Buckwheat Baby with Salted Caramel Syrup and Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Blackberry Cheesecake Galette

This uses a small amount of blackberries, a sprinkling throughout the cheesecake. We like the level but it could easily be increased to 1 1/2 cups. It’s not essential that you chop and macerate them a little but I did so to get more of a jammy swirliness, not just dots of berries throughout. You could use any other berry or chopped fruit, of course, blackberries were simply what looked best at the market this week (and also someone emailed me recently asking for more blackberry recipes and I aim to please). You’ll need the lime zest after the lime juice but do yourself a favor and zest what you need first or suffer the bad mood that comes from doing it in the other order.
  • Pastry
  • 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
  • Filling
  • 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) blackberries, halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • A squeeze of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white (you’ll use the yolk in a minute)
  • A few scrapings (from about 1/4 lime) lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • To finish
  • 1 egg yolk beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1 heaped teaspoon turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios (optional)
Make the pastry: Stir the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Sprinkle butter over dough and using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. Sprinkle sour cream and 3 tablespoons water over mixture and stir it to combine; it should form large clumps. Transfer clumps of dough onto a piece of plastic or waxed paper and pat into a ball. Wrap into a packet and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days, or you can hasten the firming process along in the freezer, for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small bowl, combine blackberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, a squeeze of lime juice and cornstarch. Stir and set aside..

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with whole egg and egg white until light and fluffy. Beat in 7 tablespoons remaining sugar, zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Assemble the galette: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan (springform or standard), standard pie dish or 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan or plain pastry ring (on a larger baking sheet) with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper for extra security.

On a floured counter, roll chilled dough into a large (12- to 14-inch) circle. If your kitchen is very warm and it’s softening too quickly, stick it in the freezer for a couple minutes at any point to make it easier to work with. Carefully drape the dough in the prepared pan, let the edges hang down the sides. Pour in cream cheese batter then spoon blackberry mixture and any juices that have puddled in the bowl over the cream cheese in dollops. You can use a toothpick to lightly swirl them together, being careful not to poke through the bottom of the dough. Gently lift the dough’s overhang and pinch it into loose creases — you’re going to want to do this in the air hovering over the filling and not by pressing down on it, of course, because the filling is liquid. Gently, loosely lay the creases down over the filling; repeat all around. Do not fuss over getting the creases or any other part of this pretty; it will be, no matter what.

Combine egg yolk and water in a small dish and gently dab over outside of crust with a brush. Because the filling under it is liquid, here too, don’t strive for perfection. Sprinkle crust with coarse sugar. Sprinkle whole tart (filling and crust) with chopped pistachios, if desired.

Bake galette: For 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cheesecake portion comes out batter-free. Let cool in pan on a rack; I move it right to the fridge because cheesecake is best cold. Once fully cold, if it can be unmolded (from a springform, tart pan, pastry ring or loosened easily from a pie pan), you can transfer it to a serving plate. Cut into wedges. Don’t forget to share.


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