I love pies, but I don’t love making and rolling out crusts. For that reason, I’ve long gravitated to making galettes, free-form pies. With a galette, there’s no fussy edge or woven top crust to worry about. All you need to do is roll out the dough, pile the filing in the middle and ruffle the edges up around the filling. The more irregular it is, the better it looks. So I knew, as soon as I saw the cover of this book, that I’d be making this recipe.
Unfortunately, rhubarb season is long gone here in North Idaho, so I substituted pears in these cute little tarts, figuring that the pear flavor would go well with the corn flour in the tart dough. Really, any fruit will do as long as it isn’t too wet. I think a blueberry filling would be just lovely.
The tart dough mixes cold butter with corn flour, finely ground cornmeal and all-purpose flour; a bit of cream and two egg yolks bind it all together. This isn’t a flaky pie dough. It is more crumbly, then flaky, but remains tender with a slight crunch from the cornmeal. Pieces of the dough are rolled out, topped with the filling, then folded up and around the filling. During the baking, some of the tarts leaked a bit, but most of them stayed intact. Some of the edges got a little dark, but that just added to the rustic look of these tarts.
I loved the flavor of the crust, and it went really well with the pear filling. I can imagine how the sourness of the rhubarb will play off the corn flavor, and I’ll be sure to give that combination a try next spring. These tarts are so easy and beautiful that they are perfect for anybody worried about tackling a pie. Any mistakes will only add to their charm.