And the Winner Is Rye Pâte Brisée
I am not a big fan of that kind of galettes — rustic looking flat cakes stuffed with whatever. This one was the first I’ve ever made, and the reason it made me curious was a combination of fish and rye.
The origins of rustic rye pie with fish, I believe, come from Northen Europe. Kalakukko is a good example. My friend’s recipe inspired me to experiment with several rye crust recipes available online to see what’s out there. One, in particular, became my favorite — a crust made with butter using the same method as for the flaky Pâte Brisée. The heirloom Wren Abruzzi rye flour and good tasting butter create an exceptionally flavorful dough that pairs well with many toppings, savory or sweet.
Wren Abruzzi Rye Flour by Barton Spring Mill
For the last few months, I’ve been indulging myself and clients with rye galettes almost every one or two weeks. I am sure Wren Abruzzi rye was the reason for my new galette obsession, and I mentioned its amazing flavor on my social media several times. I’ve been asked about substitutes for those who couldn’t get it from the Barton Springs Mill, and I didn’t know what to say. I tried a couple of rye flours available in the U.S. that didn’t impress me, but not all of them.
Rye – Wrens Abruzzi
“A selection of the much older Italian Abruzzi rye. Developed in 1953 in Georgia as early winter rye with superior performance. This rye has a subtly sweeter profile than other offerings, but in no way should be excluded from savory applications. A favorite of bakers and distillers alike. Try this rye, sifted to 65% or ‘00’ in a pâte brisée application to make amazing shortbreads and pie and tart crusts. Our crop was grown by Henry Martens in Tokio, TX.”
Wheat – TAM 105
“TAM 105 is a hard red wheat variety developed by Texas A&M in 1976, now widely considered open-pollinated. Good performing wheat that makes great bread, pizza, muffins, and cookies, with a relatively neutral flavor that makes it suitable to mix with other high-value kinds of wheat. Grown by Ralph Hoelscher (a certified organic farmer since 1993) in Miles, Texas. 12.31% protein, 382 falling number.”
Fish: Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Black Cod, Chilean Sea Bass
This galette is made to feature seafood! The best topping is any fatty fish — a boneless fillet cut to bite-size cubes, seasoned and mixed with some creme fraiche. You can go with widely available salmon (fatty, not lean!). My favorite in that category is steelhead trout. You can choose white fish like sablefish (aka black cod) or sea bass. Or, you can make a combination of two. Fat content in the fish of your choice is essential. You need enough time to cook the galette crust and not to overcook the fish.
Mollusks and Crustaceans: Sea Scallops and Lobster Tail
The best tasting and the fanciest seafood galette I came up with is the one with sea scallops and lobster tail. It is also the most difficult to serve because scallops lose a lot of juice inside the galette crust. Transferring these galettes from the baking sheet into the serving plate without breaking requires some skill. For one galette, I use four giant scallops sliced in half across the grain, one 5-oz Canadian lobster tail, 1 tbsp creme fraiche, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp ramps puree.
Vegetables: Summer Squash, Onions, Tomatoes
Summer squash becomes creamy when cooked and is a surprisingly good topping for the galette. Make sure to season it and add some melting cheese. The mini galettes with caramelized onions and sun-dried cherry tomatoes also quickly became popular on my appetizers menu.