Graham, when picking me up from work one day, surprised me with a whole bag of black cherries which he had picked from his neighbour's tree (how much more "summer" can it get when your neighbour leaves a ladder against the tree and a sign that reads "Help yourself?"). Aside from eating them right out of the bag, I wanted to use them in some baking.

Since I was lacking a pie dish at my apartment here, I decided to go with a galette, which is essentially a dishless, open-faced pie. I love the ease of it, how there couldn't possibly be any chance that it turns out not beautiful, because how can buttery pastry baked golden brown folded over sugared cherries not be beautiful? 

I looked up various methods of pitting the cherries, but in the end I decided to go with a paring knife, cutting the cherry in half all the way around, and pulling the pit out... during which I needed multiple episodes of The Mindy Project to keep me company. How blissful summer is, full of fresh fruits for baking and time for watching TV.


Pastry recipe adapted from "Perfect Pastry Recipe" by Chatelaine Magazine

For the pastry dough:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold, salted butter, cubed
  • cold water

For the filling:

  • roughly 4-5 cups pitted cherries
  • granulated sugar
  • all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cherries and a sprinkling of sugar (I add it by eye, but if I had to quantify it, I'd say add about 2-3 tbsp. It all depends how tart the cherries are. Taste a cherry as you go, add more sugar as needed). Let cherries and sugar make friends and juice up a bit.
  3. In another large bowl, combine the flour and sugar for the dough.
  4. Add the cubed butter. Using your hands, cut the dough (I squeeze the cubes of butter, simultaneously softening them with the heat from my hands and pressing them into the dry ingredients). Continue until the butter cubes have been reduced to roughly the size of a pea, evenly distributed throughout the flour.
  5. Sprinkle cold water little by little into the dough mixture. Start with 3 tbsp of cold water, and use a fork to stir the water in. Continue adding cold water by the tbsp, stirring around each addition, until the dough begins to come together (once you squeeze the dough with your hand and it stays together, it's ready).
  6. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Once dough is chilled, roll it out into a circular shape, until about 1/2 cm thick. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Leaving about 2 inches of dough around the border, spread 2 tbsp of flour evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with sugar. This will help to suck up the juices as the galette bakes.
  9. Pour the cherry mixture into the centre of the dough. Fold up the edges of the dough all the way around, maintaining the circular shape.
  10. Brush milk onto the dough, about 3 tbsp worth. This will help the dough to bake to a lovely golden brown.
  11. Bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the juices of the filling are bubbling and the pastry is golden brown.
  12. Serve warm with freshly whipped cream spiced with cinnamon.

Happy baking, friends! What treats do you whip up in the summer?

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