Rhubarb and strawberry galette with cream cheese pastry

Freestyle with different fruits in this free-form tart.
Freestyle with different fruits in this free-form tart. Photo: William Meppem

Think of this galette recipe as a template for all kinds of fruits, varying the nuts and spices to match – apples, for example, with almond meal and nutmeg, or stone fruits with crushed amaretti biscuits. The cream cheese pastry, adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie and Pastry Bible, is a dream to roll out and has a wonderfully tender and flaky crust.

Ingredients

For the pastry

185g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

¼ tsp salt

⅛ tsp baking powder

120g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 2cm cubes

85g cream cheese, cold, cut into 2cm pieces

3 tbsp cream, cold

2 tsp white vinegar

For the base

50g hazelnut meal

45g castor sugar

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the filling

250g rhubarb, trimmed, washed, halved lengthwise if thick, and cut into 5cm lengths

250g strawberries, hulled and halved

100g castor sugar

1 tbsp tapioca flour (or cornflour)

finely grated zest of 1 orange

⅛ tsp salt

For the glaze

1 egg

1 tbsp demerara sugar

Method

1. To make the pastry, place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and process for another 30 seconds or until the mixture is the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cream cheese and pulse to form crumbs, then add the cream and vinegar and pulse again until the dough starts to come together. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a ball. Wrap the dough loosely in clingfilm, and press to flatten into a disc. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour (it will keep for up to 2 days).

2. Preheat the oven to 210C (190C fan-forced). Prepare the base by combining the hazelnut meal, sugar, flour and ground cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine and set aside.

3. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a lightly floured work bench to form a rough circle, about 38cm to 40cm wide and 2mm thick.

4. Carefully roll up the pastry circle on the rolling pin and transfer to the parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle the hazelnut base mix in the middle of the pastry, leaving a border of about 5cm to 6cm all around.

5. Spoon the fruit filling on top of the nut base, then carefully draw the pastry border up and over the fruit, roughly pleating it as you go, and leaving a small area in the centre of the galette exposed.

6. For the glaze, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush all over the outside pastry. Sprinkle with the sugar, then bake for about 40 minutes or until the galette is golden and the fruit filling has thickened. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before serving with cream or vanilla ice-cream.

If you like this recipe, here is a savoury version that uses the same delicious pastry.