The kids are out of school. They bounce between the Slip ‘N Slide, trampoline, video games and pestering each other. They eat popsicles lying in the grass, the heat of the sun drying sticky faces before they finish. Water guns, the hose, a forgotten flip-flop and a handful of baseballs litter the yard. Summer is here.
Our summer bucket lists are ready, full of hope and potential for days well-spent. We’ll do our best to carve out time, filling water bottles, shrugging off bad attitudes, packing the car. Sometimes it’s a grind, these long hot days. But sometimes the effort pays off. The stars align. The children are rested, happy, content, full. They laugh and play. They say “Thanks, that was fun.” This is summer.
One must-do, non-negotiable summer activity is to taste what the Valley offers. Weekly trips to the Farmers Market on Sundays or visits to local U-Pick fruit stands become the norm.
Summer starts with juicy watermelon. Next comes cherries bursting with flavor, juice dribbling down our chins. For the briefest moment strawberries take center-stage. They don’t grow in abundance in our Valley; it tends to be a little too hot and dry for their delicate nature. But you can snag a few pints at the Farmers Market. You can’t even compare them to what you buy in the grocery store. Bright red, delicate and unbelievably sweet, it’s hard to do anything with them other than eat them straight from the container.
If you can manage to get a few home, this lovely dessert is the perfect tribute to summer. Strawberries are piled high on lemon-scented pie crust and baked until bubbly and juicy. A few fresh basil leaves scattered across the galette add a wonderful bright flavor to the sweet strawberries. A big dollop of ice cream cools the dessert and finishes it to perfection.
(note: the amount of lemon juice in the filling in the printed version of this story was incorrect. It should be as it is listed here, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. We apologize for the error.)
Strawberry Basil Galette
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons cold salted butter cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon raw sugar
Zest of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
4-5 cups strawberries, halved
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons high-quality strawberry jam
1 egg, beaten
Raw sugar for sprinkling
4-5 basil leaves, minced
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, raw sugar and lemon zest. Add the butter, and using a pastry knife or clean hands, work the butter into the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and continue to gently knead the dough. If the dough seems very dry, slowly add 1 or 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water, a little at a time, until the dough is uniform in texture. Lightly tamp the dough into a disc and cover. Put in the refrigerator to cool completely (about 1 hour).
In a separate bowl, combine the strawberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle shape about ¼ inch thick. Transfer to the baking sheet. Spread jam over the dough leaving a small border around the edge. Arrange the fruit over the dough. Fold the edges over the berries. Brush the folded edges with the beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Place the galette in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to chill. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
After removing the galette from oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with minced basil and serve with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. Cut into slices to serve.
I love a galette for its forgiving nature. The edges don’t need to be perfectly even. Don’t stress if the dough rips, wrinkles or falls apart. Just press it back together and do your best. I can promise it will still taste amazing and the rustic nature of the dessert hides any imperfections.