Sweet cherry and ricotta galette celebrates a great Michigan cherry season
After last year’s disastrous cherry harvest, I imagine that any successful season would be worth celebrating. But this year’s crop seems especially delicious, and I am hooked.
All month long, I’ve been eating cherries like candy. I take a baggy of cherries with me to the radio station, to the office, on walks with the dog. I can’t stop eating them. There could be worse addictions, I guess.
Despite the fact that these dark red beauties are perfect in their natural state, I decided to look for recipes to feature the cherries I was buying by the quart. I considered cherry ice cream and cherry sangria, but I just couldn’t shake the idea of cherries in a flaky crust.
I went with a galette over a traditional double-crust pie because I love the fruit-to-pastry ratio you get with galette. I also love that a galette is supposed to look rustic, so it wouldn’t matter too much if I had another one of my regular pastry dough mishaps. It’s supposed to look that way.
I’m not sharing a pie crust recipe here, since you’ve probably already got a favorite. If you’re in a hurry and looking to use a store-bought pie crust, I’ve recently discovered that the pie crusts in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s are nearly as good as my mom’s recipe.
A note on pitting cherries: Make sure to do it in a deep bowl to reduce the amount of cherry juice that could otherwise make a mess of your counters.
Speaking of counters — if you’ve got a light-colored granite or marble counter top, you will want to pit your cherries over a large cutting board or a big piece of parchment paper to avoid any stains. Consider wearing latex gloves to avoid staining your fingers, too.
Cherry & Ricotta Galette
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
4 cups sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted and halved
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pie dough for single crust pie
2 teaspoons milk
Keep the pie crust refrigerated until you are ready to use it.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the cherries, 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and almond extract. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, granulated sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well.
On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the ricotta filling evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Using a slotted spoon to avoid using too much liquid (my cherries were very juicy!), spoon the cherries on top. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit; the center will be open. Don’t worry about making it look perfect - it’s rustic, remember?
Brush the pastry with egg wash mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cherry mixture is bubbling.
Let cool for 20 minutes or so before serving.
Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for AnnArbor.com, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at JessicaWebster@annarbor.com. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.