While we are all familiar with raspberries and blackberries, there is one delicious and wild Texas cousin that grows along thickets and grasses – meet the blackberry.
Common throughout the northern hemisphere and considered a beneficial herb, the leaves can be used to make teas, and the blackberry, smaller, sweeter, and with fewer seeds than blackberry, can be used to make jams, cobblers, and other desserts. They usually feed in the wild, blackberries are in season for two to three weeks in May and sometimes appear on farmers’ stalls.
I am lucky to have a friend with a 3 year old son, Owen, who likes to pick them up at his grandparents’ ranch outside of Houston. He refers to them as two berries, as he has permission to eat only all the others he chooses.
When Owen brought me dewberries this week, I wanted to do something special with them, so here’s a galette that’s more of a meal than a dessert. It’s my favorite type of food: crunchy, creamy with a kick of serrano chili and some sweet blackberry tart. Enjoy it for lunch with a crispy salad and chardonnay.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 ½ sticks or 6 ounces butter, refrigerated
1/3 + cup of ice water
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
½ teaspoon of salt
1½ cups of blackberries
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour with salt and black pepper. Cut butter into small half-inch pieces and mix with flour mixture. Using your fingertips, crush the butter gently to mix it with the flour. The mixture will resemble cornmeal, do not over-mix.
Add ice water and roll the dough into a dough. If it is too dry and crumbly, add a little more water. Knead for a few seconds until it feels smooth.
Using dry flour so it doesn’t stick to the counter, roll out the dough into a 10-12 inch oblong. Transfer it to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and pinch the edges to create a border. Using a fork, pierce the dough in many places so that it does not swell during cooking. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
To make the filling, fold the goat cheese, cream cheese, chile serrano, salt, and maple syrup until evenly mixed. Spread this over the cooled bark and spread the blackberries on top. Bake in the oven for another 3-4 minutes. Remove and let the galette rest for 5-7 minutes before cutting it. Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTES AND VARIATIONS
• The dough can be prepared in advance and even frozen for up to a month.
• Serrano pepper is optional: do not use it in a softer version or substitute it with black pepper.
• To turn this galette into a dessert, mix the blackberries with ¼ cup of sugar before adding the cream cheese mixture.
Makes 6 large pieces
From chef Anita Jaisinghani
Anita Jaisinghani is the chef who owns the Pondicheri restaurant in Houston. Their website is india1948.com. Contact her at [email protected].