When the rhubarb growing outside Earth--the new restaurant at Maine's Hidden Pond resort--started running rampant, chef Ken Oringer knew exactly what to make. While the jammy, tart rhubarb that fills his rhubarb galette is plenty delicious, the secret is in the dessert's brilliant crust. Oringer sprinkles the dough with a mixture of ground almonds, flour and sugar before topping it with the rhubarb. This mixture acts as a sponge for the brilliant pink juice and prevents the bottom crust from becoming sodden, so the galette stays crisp for days. As more summer fruit appears, this rustic dessert will likely be a fixture on Earth's menu--and in our kitchens.
Adapted from Ken Oringer, Earth, Kennebunkport, Maine
Yield: One 15-inch galette
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter--cut into cubes and divided
⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon ice water, divided
3 tablespoons ground almonds
2½ pounds fresh rhubarb (about 10 to 12 stalks), washed and dried
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1½ tablespoons Cognac
Sweetened crème fraîche, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and the salt. Scatter 1½ sticks of the cubed butter evenly around the blade and pulse a few times, allowing large clumps of the butter to remain. Drizzle ⅓ cup of ice water over the mixture while pulsing to create a loose dough. Remove the dough from the processor and place in the middle of a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the plastic around the dough, press it together to form a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons flour, ¼ cup sugar and the almonds. Set aside. Split the rhubarb stalks in half down the middle and cut them into 1½-inch lengths.
3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the rested dough out in a 15-inch circle, about ⅛-inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet and spread the reserved almond flour evenly in the middle, leaving 4 inches on all sides of the dough. Mound the rhubarb on top of the almond flour and gently fold the sides of the dough up around the edges of the rhubarb, piecing the dough together to avoid leaving any holes in the edges. Sprinkle the remaining ⅔ cup sugar and the remaining butter cubes over the rhubarb. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, rotating the galette halfway through, until the bottom and edges of the crust are golden brown.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the preserves with the remaining 1 teaspoon ice water and Cognac. Use a pastry brush to generously brush the liquid all over the edges of the galette. Place the galette back in the oven and bake for about 2 minutes longer, until a glossy finish forms on the crust.
5. Let the galette cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Serve with sweetened crème fraîche, if desired.