There's something about baking in a skillet. The sturdiness of it, the feel of the rugged cast-iron handle, a reminder of soul food well earned by the most intrepid of explorers, land workers miles from civilisation, and those who searched for home in the conquest of America's West. Somehow the skillet is charged with these stories of people who worked hard to achieve the things they believed in, and like the passing of the torch, holding it in your hands comes with a sense of possibility and expectation.
The other week, I made up something pretty special in this black beauty that had the whole house in a trance from the heavenly scent of cooking berries and pastry. I thought I'd let you all in on the recipe, you can thank me later.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 24 Tbs. (3 sticks) plus 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup ice water
- 4 cups blackberries, blueberries or a mixture
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tbs. flour
Mix the dough
In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse briefly to mix. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Wrap and place in the fridge for half an hour.
Roll out the dough
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celcius. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 30cm round. Fold the round in half, transfer to the skillet and unfold round.
Fill and bake the galette
In a bowl, lightly stir together the berries, lemon juice, sugar and flour. Spoon the filling onto the dough, then fold the edges up and over the filling, forming loose pleats. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
The skillet is very hot and heavy when it comes out of the oven, so make sure you have a clean, heat-friendly surface to set it down on nearby. Serve immediately with ice-cream.