I think I may have jumped the gun a bit this year. It’s not even April and here I am with a recipe for rhubarb. It’s just that the stalks were so bright and pink and colorful in the store, I couldn’t ignore them. I really couldn’t. Anyway, I’m not too mad about it. And I don’t think you will be, either, once you try this galette.
After I bought the rhubarb Purim happened and things were a little bit crazy (so much glitter! so much face paint! so much, uh, alcohol!) and the rhubarb languished in the crisper and lost some of its crispness. By the time I picked it up again it was limp, and I knew I needed to use it quickly.
I made a galette. I’m a creature of habit. A one trick pony, if I may. But the truth about galettes is that they are easy. SO easy. They are! I know a lot of people have a fear of making pie dough, but I think it is unfounded; you need to know one or two things about butter (keep it cold, keep it in chunks) and that’s basically it. Then you’re good to go!
This galette is topped with a creamy, nutty walnut frangipane. If you’re a longtime reader, you’ll recognize frangipane from here, here and here. It sounds fancy and maybe a little intimidating, but it’s really just a simple mixture of nuts, butter, sugar and eggs. Almonds are often used, as are hazelnuts. Here, I’ve used walnuts because I love their resiny warmth and flavor, and also because they were the only nut I had in the house. That’s that.
The rhubarb is cut into long, thin, elegant sticks and macerated in a bit of sugar and lemon juice. Macerating the fruit helps it soften and also results in a puddle of pink juice below the rhubarb that you’ll reduce a bit later and brush over the finished galette to make it glisten and shine. So macerating serves a twofold purpose here- two birds, one stone!
This galette is sweet, tangy, creamy and flaky. It’s everything I want in a spring dessert. I think you’ll love it! I also think that if words like “galette” and “frangipane” intimidate you, you’ll find this recipe to be a lot easier than it sounds.
I’m always on the hunt for more great ‘barb recipes, so if you have one, share it in the comments! If I like your idea, I’ll make it and feature it here on the blog.
Why I love this recipe: my standard, all-butter pie dough is made even flakier here thanks to a few quick, lamination-like folds, and then topped with a nutty walnut frangipane and tart rhubarb. The macerating liquid from the rhubarb is brushed over the galette and adds glisten and shine- making this both delicious and beautiful.
For the dough:
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 stick very cold butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 ounces water
For the frangipane:
- 1/2 cup (around 65 grams) raw walnuts
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the rhubarb filling:
- 400 grams (a little less than one lb.) rhubarb, halved lengthwise and then halved again, cut into 2½-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and mixed with sugar, bean reserved for another use
- To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers to cut in the stick of cold butter until it is in large, pebbly chunks.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the water and make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the water into the flour until just combined. You should be able to see chunks or streaks of butter in the dough.
- If the dough seems dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. Press the dough together, form into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 2 hours in the fridge, overnight or freeze until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 425º. Remove the dough from the fridge or freezer and let it warm up slightly on the counter, just so it’s pliable enough to roll out.
- Make the frangipane. Using a food processor, process the walnuts and sugar to a fine paste, about 3 minutes. Add butter, vanilla, egg yolk and salt and pulse until smooth; set frangipane aside.
- Toss the rhubarb with the vanilla sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Let it sit for 20 minutes, or until you have 1/4 cup of macerating liquid below the rhubarb. Pour the liquid into a small pot and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, flour the disk of dough and compact it into a little rectangle. Fold it over 3 times, like a business letter. Then roll it out into a rectangle again. Repeat this process 2 more times.
- Now, roll the rectangle into a 12″ circle and trim the edges neatly. Spread the reserved frangipane over the middle. Top with the rhubarb. Fold edges of dough up and over rhubarb, so they overlap slightly. Brush dough with egg wash, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and transfer to a baking paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake for ten minutes, then lower the heat to 375º and continue baking for another 40-45 minutes, until the crust is a deep, dark, golden brown, the rhubarb is soft and the frangipane has puffed up a bit. Remove from the oven.
- Over medium-high heat, reduce the reserved macerating liquid until only 1 or 2 tablespoons are left and it is bubbly and sticky. Using a pastry brush, brush it over the rhubarb. Let it cool on a wire rack. Serve.