Celebrating Strawberries

A simple way to show off spring strawberries.

I like my berries naked.

Truly, when they are juicy and perfectly ripe, I don’t need them draped in any adornment. I don’t even need a bowl. I just plop them in my mouth au naturale with pure abandon.

But sometimes, I do get tempted to dress them up just a bit for company.

“Strawberry Galette with Basil Whipped Cream” has the perfect look for me. It’s more the understated Calvin Klein of strawberry desserts, rather than the Versace version with over-the-top embellishments.

It’s from the new “Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts” (Clarkson Potter), of which I recently received a review copy. The cookbook, from the editors of Martha Stewart Living, contains 150 recipes for fruit-filled goodies, from old-fashioned favorites to more modern fare.

A round of buttery dough is formed into an open-face tart, in which slices of strawberries have been arranged in a concentric pattern. Tiny butter cubes are sprinkled on top to add richness, and a beaten egg yolk is brushed on the crust so it bakes up golden.

With a spoonful of mascarpone mixed with mint, basil or shiso.

It’s served with a fluff of heavy cream steeped with basil leaves, enriched with mascarpone, then whisked until thick. Or you can take the even easier route that I did by just stirring some mascarpone with chopped basil (or shiso in my case, since I had it growing in my yard), then spooning it on the plate alongside a slice of the galette.

Naked is nice. But sometimes a little modest covering does wonders.

Strawberry Galette with Basil Whipped Cream

(Serves 6 to 8 )

For pate brisee:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

For rest of galette:

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, patted dry and chopped

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese

All-purpose flour for dusting

1 pound strawberries, hulled (about 3 cups)

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk, for egg wash

1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

To make pate brisee: Pulse flour, salt and sugar in a food processor (or whisk together by hand in a bowl). Add butter, and pulse (or quickly cut in with a pastry blender or your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse meal, with some larger pieces remaining. Drizzle 1/4 cup water over mixture. Pulse (or mix with a fork) until mixture just begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add 1/4 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse (or mix with a fork).

Press dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, well wrapped in plastic, 1 hour or up to 1 day. (Dough can be frozen up to 3 months; thaw in refrigerator before using.)

To make basil-infused cream: Combine cream, basil and 2 tablespoons sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over (not in) a pan of simmering water, and stir until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 hours, for more pronounced basil flavor). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add mascarpone, and whisk until medium peaks form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

To form galette: On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Reserve end pieces for another use. Gently toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch, and immediately arrange in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries securely and tightly or else precious strawberry juices may leak out during baking. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Dot berries with butter.

Whisk together egg yolk and water. Brush dough edge with egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve galette warm with basil cream.

Adapted from “Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts”

Another Strawberry Treat: Strawberry Shortcakes with Greek Yogurt

More Martha Stewart Recipes: Pinched Orange Macaroons

And: PB&J Cupcakes

And: Brown-Butter Toffee Blondies

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  • What a wonderful way to eat strawberries! While I love strawberries “naked,” right off the plant (unfortunately, lately most of my strawberries have been eaten by squirrels however…), this is certainly a wonderful way to eat them! And, if I were even a little bit of a baker, I would probably attempt to bake it! šŸ™‚

  • What a divine galette!



  • Tis the season for strawberries! I just made a little strawberry dessert myself. This looks lovely. I’m a fan of galettes and crostatas…they allow us unprofessional bakers to get away with “rustic” edges. Although yours look pretty good!

  • Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. I love the rustic look of galettes and never associate them with strawberries but now I don’t see why not! I wish our strawberry season wasn’t still a few weeks off.

  • I am just dying for a slice of this, it looks so tempting! Going to get ingredients right now! šŸ˜‰

  • I have this book arriving in the mail soon and yeah…you’re pretty much confirmed why. This looks amazing!

  • Hmm, I love the idea of basil cream! Definitely have to try that once basil starts kicking in for summer. As for eating strawberries au naturale, I agree, although I still wash them first! LOL

  • I love how we’re seeing berries at the market now. It totally makes me feel like summer’s coming even with the cold weather we’re having in SF!

  • Clean plate club all around on this dessert!

  • Strawberries used to be a fairy tale fruit for me as a kid growing up in Malaysia coz we could never get them coz of the climate.I look at them with fondness and your cake looks beautiful!

  • oh wow! i would definitely want to celebrate strawberries with this!

  • What is not to love about this!
    I agree that naked berries are just about perfect, but a little buttery crust, and herby cream sounds pretty tasty as well:)

  • Beautiful photos! I am big on galettes and have the Martha “Baking Handbook” and have made both of her pate brisee recipes. I actually prefer the one with cornmeal. It’s got a little textural nuance going. Now I want to rush out and make this recipe and then buy a camera like yours! : )

  • My favorite way to eat strawberries is with sweetened cream, but basil cream ooh lala! I like the sound of that Carolyn! šŸ™‚

  • Basil whipped cream, sounds so new and interesting and with strawberries so yum! Thanks for stopping by my blog and ur words of appreciation šŸ™‚

  • I can’t get enough of strawberries! This is such a pretty tart, and the crust looks like buttery, flaky deliciousness.

  • if i have to put clothes on my strawberries, this is my fashion of choice. lovely galette, carolyn!

  • This sounds soooo yummy! That cookbook is on my list of current cookbook “wants.” You are making me want it more!! Darn you! šŸ™‚ And considering I already have a thousand cookbooks, it seems likely I’ll be picking up a copy soon.

  • This sounds just delicious. Growing up a neighbor introduced me to the delights of dipping strawberries in sour cream followed by brown sugar – bad habit, I would not advise starting – nearly impossible to stop.

    I have a feeling I’d react the same way to this galette

  • Have been eating these like crazy, love them naked as well but I want to get my hubby to try this tart!

  • Pingback: Food Gal » Blog Archiv » Two Pals and One Pan

  • I am like you: I like me berries naked, but I would not refuse a slice of your galette šŸ™‚

  • I agree – strawberries are best naked. They have so much flavor on their own! But of course that flavor is enhanced even further in a lovely dessert such as this galette. Perfection!

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