This will be our third Valentine’s Day as a married couple. So obviously, we have the lengthy credentials to tell everyone else what to do for this stuffed-teddy-bear-chocolate-Hallmark holiday.
That was sarcasm. We don’t pretend to know everything about “mawage…. that bwessed awangement….”.
However, the past two years have been composed of two very different Valentine’s Days, from which we have learned how we’d like to spend the rest of our February fourteenths.
For our first Valentine’s Day, we decided to make homemade ravioli. This wasn’t out of the ordinary for us, as we loved to cook together while we were dating and enjoyed the adventures of trying new recipes. So homemade pasta stuffed with a rich ricotta, parsley, and crab concoction was the natural step up in accordance with those vows to love each other forever – in sickness and in health – right?
That ravioli was so. bad. It was almost comical how bad it was. We tortured that pasta, rolling it as thin as we though was humanly possible. Filling each square with the teensiest amount of filling, making each ravioli as small as could be, which was still 3 times bigger than any ravioli we’d ever had. We sealed the edges, tossed the handful of stuffed “yumminess” in boiling water, and awaited our meal of dreams.
But it was awful. The pasta was waaaaaaay too thick, not to mention gummy. The inside, while still good, was undercooked and ruined by the constant smacking required to process the pasta in-mouth.
For our second Valentine’s Day as a married couple, we decided to go out. We had just moved to Austin, just bought a house, and we were feeling about as grown up as they come. So, we made reservations at one of the swankiest places we could find downtown, eagerly anticipating a night of exquisite service, food, and atmosphere.
And it blew. Chunks. Everywhere.
That was dramatic, it wasn’t quite that bad, but it certainly wasn’t good. Downtown was absolutely packed, our restaurant was swarming with people trying to get to the bar or forego a reservation, and our waiter was so swamped with tables that he read our specials to us so quickly he could have been one of the voice overs of a sketchy pharmaceutical product.
The food was mediocre, the cost was astronomical, the experience was lackluster, and our parking spot on the very top of a random, desolate, abandoned bank building with a single dimly lit stairwell to the street was absolutely terrifying.
But of these two, horribly failed Valentine’s Days, guess which one we preferred most?
Dingdingding…. Our failed endeavor in our own kitchen.
I’m beyond blessed to have married a man of so many talents, and one who pursues my passionate interests right alongside me.
Among them? Food.
That ravioli was awful. But somehow, we have found ourselves laughing at that experience together at least a dozen times since it happened. The flour on his face, the low-grade crab meat we found, the looks of disgust on each of our faces as we bit into the savory gummy concoction that was supposed to be dinner… It was comical how bad it was, and we still laugh about it because it was an adventure together. In our kitchen. Rendered horribly with our own two hands, rescued solely by the $7 bottle of red wine we found at our grocery store.
But we don’t laugh about the $130 we dropped for an astoundingly disappointing evening last year.
So this year, we’re following in newlywed Kevin and Becca’s footsteps. The boy is preparing a four course meal (of which I know only two), and he will be pairing each of those courses with a beer to complement its undoubtedly complex flavors. I like to think that we are much further along in our culinary education that we won’t destroy this Valentine’s Day quite like the first, so we plan to document each course and its assigned paramour for this here blog.
I do, however, feel quite safe with this blackberry galette as a dessert for Valentine’s Day 2015. It’s simple, rustic, absolutely gorgeous, and is one of the most delectable sweets I’ve had in a long while.
I started with my favorite pie crust, gently rolled and laid out into a circle of sweet, doughy goodness. Fill the center with a joyful concoction of fresh blackberries, sugar, flour, and lemon. Gently fold the sides over, and lightly brush that promising crust with a thin layer of whipped egg yolk. Sprinkle ever so slightly but proudly with coarse sugar, and bake until the golden brown aroma of crisp crust and baked fruit fill your home with the scent of a real, delicious, memorable meal.
Eat it with your hands like pizza. Eat it with a fork and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve it with ice cream and make a conglomeration of tart fruit and delicious, melted calories.
Then celebrate the love you have in your life. Served with some kind of cream.
Rustic Blackberry Galette
For the Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 11 tablespoons chilled butter cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 4-5 tablespoons chilled water
For the filling
- 2 heaping cups of fresh blackberries (or frozen, thawed and drained)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- Juice of half of a lemon
- 1 egg room temperature, whisked
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, and salt on low until combined. Then, one piece at a time, add the butter and continue to mix until the dough looks like coarse meal. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time with the mixer running until the dough comes together in a ball. Stop the mixer. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the blackberries, sugar, flour, and lemon. Gently fold together until completely combined, trying not to break up the blackberries too much.
- Roll the chilled pie dough into a roughly 10″ – 12″ diameter circle. Fill the center with the blackberry filling, with the blackberries in as much of a single layer as possible, leaving 3″-4″ of empty pie dough around it. With a knife or pastry cutter, trim the outer edge of the circle, removing the jagged edges of pie dough so it makes a roughly even circle.
- Fold the edges of dough over onto the blackberry filling, folding the flaps over and tucking in the sides until all the pie dough is in place.
- With a pastry brush, brush top of the crust with the whisked egg. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.