Or a really large galette…or in our house, BIRTHDAY PIE. Fresh rhubarb is impossible to find in early March so I had to settle for frozen, and from there I had to wing it using ‘Pie Squared’, by Cathy Barrow as a guide. Below is a loose outline of what I did. I will always prefer fresh fruit, but this solved the birthday request dilemma (for 15 people!) – I’m posting it in case I need it again!
For a 13 x 18 galette;
2 disks of Duchess Pastry
3 to 4 lbs. frozen chopped rhubarb and strawberries (or a combination of fresh and frozen)
1 c. sugar AND 1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 t. nutmeg AND the juice of 1 lemon
For the crumble topping;
3/4 c. EACH oatmeal AND cold butter, cubed
1/2 c. EACH flour AND dark brown sugar
If using frozen fruit, you need to plan ahead so that it’s thawed and drained – I left mine in a colander in the sink overnight – easy! When ready to prepare the filling, add all of the fruit to a large non-stick skillet, stir in the sugar, bring the mix to a boil over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer for as long as you need to in order to reduce the juices significantly. All of my fruit was frozen, this took a good half hour. If using a combination of frozen and fresh, I would cook only the frozen, and if all of the fruit is fresh, I would stir the sugar into the fruit in a large bowl, not cook any of it, and move on from there.
Once the juices have reduced, stir in the cornstarch, nutmeg and lemon juice and simmer briefly again until the mix thickens. If using pastry with a butter base, I would highly recommend the filling is cooled (or even cold – I made mine the day before!), before you put the pie/galette together.
For the crumble topping – use a pastry cutter to combine all 4 ingredients until the mix is pretty much all pea-sized and then set aside until you need it. I also made this the day before and kept it in the fridge.
When you’re ready to assemble the pie/galette, line a large baking sheet with parchment and preheat the oven to 450. Roll out your pastry as you would (in my case, squashing 2 disks together), until you get a large, rectangle-shaped sheet that is a close match in size to your prepared baking sheet. Slightly larger is totally fine as you’re going to be folding the edges over.
Carefully transfer your pastry to the baking sheet, scrape the filling into the center, leaving a good 2 to 3-inch border – if the filling is cold, it will stay put and be easy to manage. Spoon and gently press the crumble evenly and generously over all of the filling, and then carefully fold the crust border inwards over all. You may or may not need a bit of water to help seal the crust together where it folds.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes or so until the crust is a lovely golden brown and the fruit goodness is bubbling throughout. Allow the pie/galette to cool for a couple of hours if you wish to be able to dish up proper slices!