Sweet and tangy rhubarb fruit (yes, rhubarb is a fruit!) takes centre stage in this rhubarb recipe from Deirdre Buryk. What doesn’t show up in this recipe are strawberries. Says Buryk, “The protaganist of this galette is rhubarb – and rhubarb alone, because it’s more than a strawberry’s sidekick.” An aromatic sugar-and-bay-leaf rub brings an expected flavour, and is a unique way to elevate a rhubarb galette. Similarly, velvety almond adds a subtly sweet sophisticated creaminess. In her cookbook Peak Season, Buryk says she lays the rhubarb pieces in alternating rows to form an attractive graphic zigzag pattern, but she encourages individual home bakers to get creative with the design. After all, unlike rhubarb pies, rhubarb galettes embrace imperfection, so don’t worry too much if you’re not artistically-inclined.
Want to know more about frangipane? It’s named after an Italian, but was actually created by a French pastry chef. Frangipane is sometimes described as “almond cream”. It’s often confused with “almond paste”, which has a denser texture and is often used in baking while the lighter, creamier frangipane is used in tarts or pastries. For inquiring minds, frangipane is pronounced fran·juh·payn (the ‘e’ is silent).
Rhubarb, Bay Leaf and Frangipane Galette
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter diced into cubes
- ¼ cup ice water
- 3 to 4 stalks rhubarb
- 4 fresh bay leaves minced
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg beaten (for the egg wash)
- vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the butter cubes and use your fingertips to lightly work the butter into the flour until it’s the size of peas (do your best not to let the butter melt in your hands). Add the ice water and continue to use your hands to mix everything together a little more until the dough is crumbly. Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Place the crumbly pastry dough onto the plastic wrap. Press the dough into a ball and wrap. Set the dough ball aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Place a 14-inch (36 cm) square piece of parchment paper onto a clean work surface. Dust the parchment paper with flour and roll out the dough into a 12-inch (30 cm) round. Sprinkle with more flour as needed to prevent it from sticking. Transfer the dough along with the parchment paper to a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
- Cut the rhubarb in half lengthwise, then into 1½-inch (4 cm) pieces. In a small bowl, toss the bay leaves with the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the bay leaves with the sugar. This will release some of their aromatics into the sugar. Pour your sugar mixture into a large bowl and add the prepared rhubarb. Mix until the rhubarb is well coated, then set aside.
- In a small food processor, combine the almond flour, sugar, salt, butter, egg and vanilla. Purée until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Spoon the frangipane into the centre of the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border. Artfully place the rhubarb on top of the frangipane to cover it. I like to angle a row of rhubarb in one direction and then the next row in the opposite direction to form a zigzag of rows. Use the parchment paper as an aid to fold the exposed edge of dough toward the centre, enclosing the filling in a rustic manner. Brush the edge of the dough with your egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling bubbles like a cauldron. Let the galette rest on a cooling rack for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.I love serving it with ice cream, but that is completely optional.