Chef and cookery teacher Gemma Wade was invited by Jeany and Stephen Cronk to Cotignac in Provence, where the ex-pat British couple make Mirabeau wines. The challenge was to create an Easter feast using ingredients from the town’s Tuesday market to go alongside the wines that Mirabeau produce there. Having prepared Provençal stuffed courgette flowers as an amuse-bouche, Gemma chose to serve cod with a tapenade crust and rosé-braised fennel for mains and roast radish and asparagus with lemon and cheese crumbs. Gemma serves the cod with her delicious new potatoes with salsa verde butter and a fresh and fragrant orange, fennel, olive and caper salad to go alongside. She rounds off with her incredible roast strawberry galette with strawberry, honey and orange ripple cream.
A galette is such a forgiving way to bake fruit and is perfect for anyone who feels a tart is too stressful. When strawberries are in season, there is little that needs to be done to them. When they are just coming into season they can be a little watery and in need of a bit of help. Roasting them before you make the galette, forces out some of the water, leaving behind a more concentrated jammy flavour. It also means you won’t be faced with a damp tart base.
The strawberries can be roasted ahead of time and the pastry can be made ahead and frozen. Any leftover strawberry juice is lovely in a cocktail or a G&T.
The galette is best served warm or at room temperature as it can crumble when it is hot. You can make it earlier in the day and just leave it, covered away from sneaky fingers, out of the fridge until you’re ready to eat. If you prefer, don’t make the cream and serve the warm tart with vanilla ice cream.
- 500g strawberries
- 180g (6 oz) plain flour (all purpose in the US)
- 90g (3 oz) cold salted butter, cut into thin slices
- 50g (1 ¾ oz) golden granulated sugar
- 1 orange
- 40 g (just over 1 oz) ground almonds (almond meal in the US)
- A pinch of sea salt flakes
- 2 – 3 tbsp cold water
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 400g (28 oz) creme fraîche
- 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
1Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) 400°F (350°F convection).
2Cut the green ends off the strawberries then halve or quarter them and lay them flat in a large baking dish. They will release a lot of juice as they cook so be sure to choose a dish with sides. Put into the oven and roast for an hour, shaking once and pouring any juice off into a small bowl half way through.
3Make the pastry – put the flour, sugar, butter, orange zest and a large pinch of salt into a food processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs. Then gradually add the cold water, pulsing as you do until the dough comes together into a ball. Flatten the dough and wrap in parchment before putting in the fridge to rest for an hour or overnight.
4When you’re ready to assemble the tart, roll the chilled pastry to around 5mm (¼ inch) thick. I find it easiest to roll it out straight onto a silicone liner or parchment lined baking sheet.
5Picture a circle that stops around 3 inches from the edge of the rolled out pastry and scatter the centre of the imaginary circle with the ground almonds.
6Shake off as much of the juice as possible and lay the roasted strawberries on the ground almonds in circles, starting at the inside and working out. Stopping 3 inches from the edge of the pastry.
7Gently fold the pastry edges over so that the outer edge of strawberries are covered but the inner strawberries remain exposed. If any pastry rips, just squish it together.
8Brush the pastry with a beaten egg yolk and scatter a teaspoon of granulated sugar over before baking at 200°C (180°C fan) 400°F (350°F convection) for 40 minutes or until the pastry is dark golden brown. Leave to sit on the tray for 30 minutes before serving.
9To make the ripple cream, put the crème fraiche into a bowl and mix in the zest of an orange and the honey. Then spoon a couple of teaspoons of the strawberry juice that you set aside earlier and use the end of a knife to ripple it through the cream.
10To serve, cut the tart into wedges, slide a fish slice or palette knife underneath to separate it from the parchment and serve with a blob of the flavoured cream.
Find out more about Gemma Wade’s culinary adventures.