lemon verbena blueberry galette. Mexico City (aka DF) is beautiful, but lets just say that summer weather is not its forte. Because our seasons are divided into dry and rainy, which makes temperature fairly constant all year round (thank goodness!), in summer we pay the consequences and live through a few months of wetness and fairly chilly afternoons. Think torrential rains (I am not talking about the London drizzle, but rather the ‘you stand outside for a minute even with an umbrella and are soaked’ type of rain), hail (yups hail!), and the occasional thunderstorm. To be fair it can be pretty spectacular, and make for some great tardes chocolateras (direct translation: chocolate afternoons, aka stay in, hide under a blanket, watch a movie, and sip some Mexican hot chocolate).
So while you guys in America are all about your summer pies and galettes for picnics, I’m feeling them more for those cold ‘n wet afternoons. To be devoured with a glass of almond milk or a cuppa tea.
And such is the story of this lemon verbena blueberry galette. The result of bringing home 1kg (over 2 pounds!) of local organic blueberries back on Saturday from the market. Which the mother and I devoured pretty much in one go. Starting shyly slice by slice (with the excuse that it wasn’t going to be as good the next day…) and managed to take down three quarters of it in one sitting. So yes, it is that good. And you can easily manage that (good thing?), because of the freshness in flavors- both of the filling and of the crust.
The blueberries are nicely accentuated by the lemon verbena (known as cedrón here in Mexico), a nice tip I got at the market. And similarly, the lemon rind in the crust gives the whole thing even more of that kick (and makes eating just the crust rather delectable). In my book, baking with spices generally results in much more complex flavors, and (just as in cooking) can be adjusted to taste. So feel free to mock around to your taste buds desires.
Now let’s talk a tiny bit about the cooking time for this blueberry galette. Around the net, and talking to people, you may notice that they vary from 20 minutes up to even 45 (which is quite a difference for pretty much the same recipe). Your crust should be ready at around 20 minutes once its a nice golden brown, so after that I always suggest you cover it (only the crust) with aluminum foil. And regarding the cooking time? I think it is about preference and about the state of your blueberries so keep an eye on them after minute 20. If you want them fresh and not fully popped take it out close to marker 20 and if you want it more fully cooked and dense closer to marker 40. I cooked mine for 35 minutes this time, but generally go for 30 as I prefer it a tad bit fresher. And regarding the cooking temperature, I suggest you cook this guy at 190°C/375°F (rather than 200°C/390°F, which may be more customary for pies), the blueberries will thank you.
Also, hold your horses for this one and allow it to cool (at least to room temperature) before digging in to allow the flavors to settle. Oh, and this guy can be made the day before, just make sure you store it in a (super) air tight container at room temp.
- 185 g (1½ cup) gluten free flour mix*
- ½ tsp xanthan gum**
- 1 TBS evaporated cane juice (or cane sugar)
- rind of one lemon
- a pinch of salt
- 125 g (1 stick plus 1TBS) very cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2-4 TBS ice cold water (I use 3)
- 500g (about 3 cups) blueberries (fresh are best, but frozen won't hurt!)
- 1.5 TBS cornstarch
- 50g (about ¼ cup) evaporated cane juice (or cane sugar)
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 10 to 15 fresh lemon verbena leaves, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash (optional)
- For the gluten free pastry, place the flour mix, xanthan gum, sugar, lemon rind, and salt into a food processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the butter and egg and pulse a few more times (you do not want to overprocess it as it will lose flakiness). Add 1 tablespoon at a time of freezing cold water until the dough just comes together (I usually just add three).
- On a flat surface incorporate into a ball, flatten, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- In a bowl mix with a whisk the cornstarch and cane juice.
- Toss in the blueberries, mix thoroughly with the lemon juice and the lemon verbena leaves.
- Roll out the dough to a 12" round and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet (will make the blueberry juice cleanup much easier, trust me!).
- Place the blueberry mixture in the center, leaving a 2" border. Fold the edges in, overlapping slightly. Brush with egg wash (you may want to brush inside the folded edges to make sure they stick as well).
- Bake for 30 minutes or once the blueberries are bubbling slightly. But place aluminum foil over crust at minute 20 or once it is golden brown. See post above for baking timing discussion.
- Hold your horses and allow to cool to room temperature before digging in.
- Can be baked one day ahead and stored in an air tight container at room temperature.
**only include the xanthan gum if your gluten free flour mix does not contain xanthan gum