For fervent food lovers like ourselves, there is something especially extraordinary about enjoying ingredient-driven dishes when they are served in the peak of their seasonality.
In Ontario—or just about any other Canadian province for that matter—seasonality extends beyond the standard four seasons, which is why we were all the more thrilled to get our hands on the forthcoming Peak Season cookbook from acclaimed author Deirdre Buryk.
Set to release one week from today, the Peak Season cookbook offers a month-by-month guide through more than 100 recipes that showcase how to make the most of seasonal Ontario produce when it’s at its freshest.
Buryk’s rhubarb galette with bay leaves and frangipane takes the often-overlooked rhubarb, which is currently hitting its peak season, and features its tart and tangy flavour profile front and centre alongside fresh herbs and a subtle earthy sweetness.
“The protagonist of this galette is rhubarb—and rhubarb alone, because it’s more than a strawberry’s sidekick. Its sweet, tangy, deep-red stalks shine in this rustic French tart, and are heightened by the peppery, herbaceous scents of bay leaf,” explains Buryk in the recipe introduction. “Galettes are a true lesson in the art of imperfection. No two galettes are the same. Many have cracks and crumbles, and no matter the filling, the results turn into something delicious. That is the magic of the galette.”
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.
- Serves a crowd