I LOVE blackberries. They’re my favorite berries, and I’m a sucker for all things blackberry. Except the phones. Heh.
My love for blackberries started when I was a kid spending significant chunks of summer at my mom’s parents’ house in Virginia. I remember picking blackberries on the jumble of vines edging their street, and along the perimeter of my Great Uncle’s soybean fields. It was hot work, and you had to dodge the prickles, and since these were wild vines, you were lucky to find a decent number of small, deep black berries. Nothing like the giant monsters in grocery stores now.
We would take what we gathered back to the house, and my grandma would wash them, cook them down with sugar, strain out the seeds, and we would have the most incredible blackberry syrup on pancakes and waffles. I think back to how much blackberry syrup I drowned my breakfasts in, and how not once did my grandparents mention how much work it was to make that syrup, or how they had (they must have, I’m sure) gathered many berries beforehand to have enough to make the syrup. I just knew that bottle of syrup was so delicious, and if I could have, I probably would have drunk some.
I would be remiss if I didn’t throw a blackberry recipe into my summer mix. I decided to make a galette for a few reasons. 1. They’re so in vogue right now, and featured in every magazine I read and all over Pinterest. 2. They’re way less fussy than a proper pie, more laid back. And they’re more sophisticated than a cobbler. And you get yummy crust. 3. They’re gorgeous and desserty and berry-filled. I mean, come on. Do you need more reasons?
My recipe is a combination of Jacques Pepin’s Plum Galette and Nigella Lawson’s Blackberry Galette. I mostly went with Jacques’ crust, as it was pretty simple and came together quite well, but borrowed the spirit and simplicity (and blackberries) of Nigella’s recipe.
1.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
1.5 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup ice water
2 bags (or 24 oz.) blackberries (I used frozen but let them thaw some)
3 tbsp sugar
For the crust, put the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds total (5 1 second increments). Add the ice water and repeat (5 more 1 second pulses), until the dough starts to come together (I needed about 1 more tbsp water and maybe 2 more quick pulses). Dump out dough and gather it into a ball. Roll it out on a floured surface to ~1/8 inch thickness. Transfer it to a parchment paper-covered heavy baking sheet/pizza pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400°.
When your dough is ready, pour your berries onto your dough circle, and fold over ~1 inch of edge crust. Sprinkle sugar over the berries. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dough is done and lightly browned and the berries look done.
Ryan is my dough roller extraordinaire. I have zero patience for rolling anything out. And don’t worry about getting it perfectly round. It’s supposed to be rustic. I love when recipes are supposed to be “rustic” because it means I don’t have to make things particularly precise or pretty.
In LA, it’s hard to find fresh blackberries for anything less than highway robbery, so I opted for frozen to work these babies into my first-weekend-of-summer. Plus, I kind of feel that fresh blackberries should just be eaten as is, or prepared simply–not baked.
Look how beautiful it came out! Some galettes are more crust and less filling, but I thought this should be all about the berries. And the parchment came in handy, as it’s way easier to toss paper than to scrape cooked on berry goop off a pan.
Served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream . The crust was so delicious and buttery and flaky. And the berries had just the right amount of juice and sweetness. The whole thing was so unbelievably delicious. I’m so lazy about crusts, but this was about the easiest one ever. This recipe is a serious winner, in my book.