Rustic Fruit Galette with Ricotta, Peaches and Strawberries
Sunday mornings have become my favourite moment of the week. There were times when I was never home on a Sunday: no sleeping late, no brunch, no family lunch or whatsoever. So now, whenever I have the day to myself, I just feel very very grateful! Usually Vito stays in bed a little longer and gets up when I return from my morning run to make me tea, toast and citrus juice, then we get dressed and go out to buy papers and supplements, relax in a cafeteria and visit an exhibition or have something to eat with friends. Simple Sundays that carry a magical allure of their own, when time seems almost suspended in a cotton-coated atmosphere.
Last Sunday, things went a little differently. Vito had worked on Saturday night, so when I returned home I just let him sleep and took advantage of that time to reply to some emails. I wanted to make a special breakfast, so I looked at the cupboard and pulled out some basic ingredients to make a sort of galette.
Well... the name galette is misused, as mine was made with simpler and lighter ingredients and recalled a French galette only because of its formless shape, still.. it was delicious! As you surely know by now, not having a sweet tooth, I tend to make easy cakes that are never overly sweet and often sugar-free! In fact, no added sugars in today's recipe, but just the sweetness of honey and, of course, of the key ingredients: strawberries and peaches.
When it comes to galettes, I believe that really anything goes for the filling, but I opted for these bright and happy ingredients to bring inside the house the colours that the season isn't yet showing us. Yes, because the weather in Venice has never been as hideous as this year! It's almost the end of May and it's cold, wet and windy... so, being Italian and used to the sun, we all feel kind of desperate and need to cheer ourselves up with food! People are trying to be ironic about the situation, I even read some funny comments on social media like 'So, on the 25th are we going to unwrap Christmas presents?' or images with flying penguins and captions saying 'It's finally spring: the first swifts are in the sky'... but the reality is that we are all so worried! I don't know if this is due to climate change, but it is a little scary and makes me realise how much work there still is to do.
Anyway, going back to our tart, I used fresh strawberries and peaches in syrup (still too early for fresh peaches). For the bottom layer, I opted for ricotta and yogurt, mostly because ricotta looses a lot less water than other dairy products and I consider it ideal when making pies and tarts. For the shortcrust, I used my usual butter-free recipe and added a little bit of honey to give it a sweetish taste. Personally, I am thrilled with this shortcrust recipe as it's always a win-win and so easy and quick to make that... well, it's becoming a habit! Sometimes I make the dough and simply hole it with a fork, sprinkle sea salt, rosemary and oil, cut it with a round cookie cutter and prepare savoury crackers...
Whereas, with regard to strawberries, I have to admit I don't buy them that often. Although right now all supermarkets have them on offer, the really tasty ones that have been hand-picked and are sold exclusively at fruit markets.. are actually quite expensive. Anyway, whenever I hear the word strawberry I can't help thinking about two things: the first is the Beatles' song 'Strawberry fields forever' and the second is the movie 'Wild Strawberries' by Ingmar Bergman.
One afternoon I was home alone and was looking for that movie on YouTube and, by chance, I discovered that Bergman had also directed a Swedish television drama called 'The Venetian', based on an anonymous 16th century Italian play titled 'La Venexiana'. Well, I was so curious that I started seeking this show online, trying to see if I could find at least one episode, but I only found a short part in Swedish. But, because I don't like to give up, I think I'll try ask the staff of our Casa del Cinema, the lovely Cineteca Pasinetti in San Stae (our film library)... in the past they were always able to help me, besides, I am very attached to that place!
The plot is about a man from Milan who arrives in Venice for Carnival and meets two flirtatious women... then, I don't know what happens, although I have a feeling I'm missing the best part! Anyway, because I am sure I arose your curiosity too, I'll keep you posted!
Going back to where we started, thus my shapeless galette, first I prepared the base combining flour, water, olive oil and honey in a bowl, then I wrapped the dough in film and let it sit in the freezer for about 20 minutes and once ready, I simply rolled it out and stuffed it with a ricotta and yogurt mixture, peaches in syrup and strawberries. I didn't add any extra sugar as fruit is already sweet and, anyway, the peaches were in syrup so they already had a lot of sugar! When Vito woke up, first he had his usual coffee and then, after a while, we enjoyed my fruity tart with some steaming hot green tea and a side fruit salad. The perfect breakfast for our lazy Sunday!
Let me know if you liked the recipe and please feel free to suggest/share your favourite fillings.
Talk soon! XXX
LIGHT & RUSTIC FRUIT GALETTE WITH RICOTTA, PEACHES AND STRAWBERRIES
- For the shortcrust
250 gr whole wheat flour
100 ml water
60 ml olive oil
15 ml honey
a pinch of salt
- For the filling
125 gr rsh ricotta
2 tea spoons yogurt
1 can peaches in syrup
a small basket of fresh strawberries
-For the base:
1. In a jug, pour water, oil and honey and amalgamate well. Place the flour in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, the liquid ingredients and with your hands work the dough until its well combined. Form a ball, wrap in cling film and let sit in the fridge for abut 4 hours. If you are short of time, leave in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
2. When ready, sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and roll out the dough. Pre-heat the oven at 180°, grease a pan, place the dough and fill.
- For the filling:
1. Wash and hull the strawberries, then slice with the peaches in syrup and keep aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine ricotta and yogurt.
3. Spread the ricotta and yogurt mixture on the base, then cover with a layer of sliced peaches followed by a layer of strawberries. Gently fold up the crust and bake for about 30 minutes at 180°.
4. When ready, let cool for about 10 minutes outside the oven and serve.
In summer, it is excellent served with iced mint tea.