Balsamic strawberry galette with ricotta

Balsamic strawberry galette with ricotta // The Dinner Bell

It’s April, and I sneeze at least five times every morning, right when I wake up. Pollen’s in the air. We’ve cracked out the light jackets. Summer is coming for us.

Summer is the time for falling in love: with cities, with food, with freezing cold showers. It’s suncream, hot tarmac, and that unmistakable smell of strawberries, an aroma that hit me unexpectedly a few weekends ago, giving just a hint of things to come, before the UK was once again blanketed in grey.

London has never been my home – I never yearned for the big city like other teenagers did, and for too long after I moved here I lived in a bubble, terrified that I just couldn’t do it and yet too stubborn to give in. At no point has it been love. London and I are like the married couple that stays together for the sake of the kids.

Balsamic strawberry galette with ricotta // The Dinner BellPeople still say, Ooh, London eh? Good place to live while you’re young. You must have so much fun. And every time, I smile and nod and think, Well, sort of. The economy is harsh, meeting people is difficult and honestly I would rather cook for my friends and pack them off, giggly and stumbling, with a fist full of cookies, than hit the nightlife. 

But just when I think it’s too much – the isolation, and the cost – something good happens. A gaggle of strangers offers to help a women with a buggy, or a museum visit turns out to be particularly good. In this case, it was a trip to a local grocery stall – the one that’s not part of a market, and where you get called “babe” as standard – that saw me laden with almost more fruit and vegetables than I could carry.

I’m still not in love, but it helps. It’s more bearable when you can go home and say, Okay, so a pint might bankrupt me but damn it, I can buy 750g of strawberries for a quid and I dare you to beat that. These are small pleasures, and it’s almost worth it. Summer is a little slice of sunshine breaking up the unrelenting grey, and I suppose this posh jam tart is my sunshine.

Balsamic strawberry galette with ricotta | The Littlest BakehouseThis galette – a lazy person’s tart – was something I fell for unexpectedly, like all the best romances. I ate the first slice and messaged friends, It’s alright. It’s like a jam tart, only it took a while. But then I went back for another slice, and the next day I thought about it till I got home. It crept up on me.

As the strawberries cook they release a sweet syrup that gives the galette its jamminess, but without any of the weird stickiness you might get with a regular jam tart, while macerating them in balsamic gives it a little savoury kick at the end. You could serve it with mascarpone instead of ricotta, if that’s more your thing.

Balsamic strawberry galette with ricotta

Serves 6
You should eat this within a day. It’s easily done.

Ingredients

Balsamic vinegar, about 3 tbsp
300g strawberries
1 tbsp sugar
125g ricotta
1.5 tbsp icing sugar + some to dust
200g sweet shortcrust pastry

Method

  1. A few hours in advance, hull and half the strawberries. Pop them into a large bowl, cover with balsamic vinegar – about 3 tbsp, but you can judge it by eye – along with the sugar, and toss to ensure an even coating. Leave to macerate for a few hours (one hour minimum).
  2. Mix the icing sugar into the ricotta, until smooth. Keep it in the fridge till you need it.
  3. When the time on the strawberries is nearly up, preheat the oven to 170C, line a baking tray, and lightly flour a clean worktop.
  4. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to about 35cm in diameter and place it on the lined baking tray. It’ll hang over the edge, but that’s fine. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the ricotta mixture into the centre and spread to about 2-3 inches from the edge.
  5. Drain the strawberries. If you can think of something useful to do with the balsamic, save it. Loosely arrange the drained strawberries on the ricotta-covered pastry. Fold the edges in, a bit at a time, naturally creating pleats. Bake for around 45 minutes at the centre of the oven, until the pastry is golden.
  6. Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar, and serve with the leftover sweetened ricotta.
The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I’m that person who doesn’t let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door.

I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

Filed under All Recipes, Desserts, Pastry

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I'm that person who doesn't let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door. I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

6 Comments

  1. Your pictures are gorgeous! I love the recipe, so interesting to find balsamic vinegar in a dessert…

    Some foods (red cabbage for me), cities (Frankfurt) or even people make it hard for you to fall in love with them, but when you do it’s just great! And as you said, something always comes along! Keep your head up and when spring is finally here, everything will be a little brighter and warmer. 🙂

    • Hannah Jade

      Thank you so much! Balsamic and strawberries go together so well, they’re one of my favourite things about summer. I’m sure everything will work out eventually, and if not, well, it’s a learning curve 🙂

  2. lemonjellycake

    I read your comment on Shutterbean’s latest snack post and came scurrying over to visit because this sounds incredible!! You have a lovely blog and photos. 🙂

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