Not much else ushers in the start of summer like the appearance of the cherry. This morning at the farmer’s market, the Bing cherries had already reached the end of their short season, so I splurged and bought a pound for $8. I have fallen in love with the coconut milk whipped cream recipe and thought it might nicely complement the tart cherry flavor. What better way than within a flaky galette.
To follow is some discussion about cherries and Italian liqueur, but feel free to Jump to recipe.
Also, before you click to the recipe…Summer Cooking classes now open! Click here for more info!Jump to Recipe
Here in Northern California, we start off the cherry season with a Bing. As a kid, when the Bings came into season and a coveted few would show up on our kitchen table, my brothers and I would eat them straight out of the bowl, our tounges and fingers stained magenta. The idea of baking with cherries came much later. Once I took the dive into Italian cuisine and learned to make Dolce di Ciliege, Cherry Delight, I began to appreciate the baking possibilities of this fine fruit.
Some examples: Cherries poached in Chianti or Zuppa Inglese, the Italian Trifle. If I can find more cherries this year, I’ll try the Ciliege Visciole in Guazzo, fermented Sour Cherries, as found in Science in the Kitchen, and the Art of Eating Well, by Pellegrino Artusi in 1891.
Will the real Maraschino cherry please stand up?
Although it holds the same name, that neon red, artificial tasting cherry on top of Sundaes and in cocktails is the American imitation. The authentic Marasca cherry has a history all its own.
Let’s start from the beginning….. Rosolio, an Italian liqueur made with sugar, water, and alcohol, can be flavored with just about any herb or fruit essence and has nothing to do with roses.
Back in the pre-Unification days, Italy consisted of a collection of kingdoms. The King of Sardinia had a consulate named Girolamo Luxardo who moved to the country of Dalmatia, home of the Marasca cherry. Rosolio Maraschino, a liqueur flavored with the Marasca cherry had been distilled for centuries. Luxardo and his wife discovered the magic of the cherries and the liqueur process. Luxardo is still the world-famous producer of the Maraschino liqueur.
Cherry Galette with Coconut Whipped Cream
For Olive oil pastry crust (can use puff pastry)
- 2 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour + a bit more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 6 tbsp. ice water
For Cherry Filling
- ½ lb. cherries, pitted, and cut in fourths
- ¼ cup sugar
For Whipped Topping
- 1 13-oz can unsweetened coconut milk (refrigerated)
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- optional – garnish with a dusting of nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 375 °F
- Combined cherries with sugar and muddle a bit to break up the cherries. Let sit to macerate while you prepare the dough.
To Make the Crust
- Add flour and salt to a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and mix with a fork to coat the flour. One tabelspoon at a time, mix in the ice water until the dough comes together. You want the dough to hold together, but not be sticky or soggy.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and bring it all together, Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round, about 5 inches in diameter and just under 1/4 inch thick. Spoon the cherry filling into the center of each round of
- As you complete each round of dough, place each one on a parchment paper-lined cooking tray.
- Spoon the cherry filling into the center of each round, dividing it evenly between the four. Leave about a 1/2 inch border of dough exposed. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center, leaving some of the center exposed. (see photos)
- Brush some of the ice water onto the crust and sprinkle all with granulated sugar.Bake at 375 °F for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown and cherries are bubbling.
- Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before to make sure it is fully chilled. Open the can and scoop out the milk solids and place in a metal bowl. (The coconut water can be saved for another use.) Add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Blend for one minute using a hand mixer.
- Spoon onto the warm galette to your heart's content! Garnish with a dusting of freshly ground nutmeg.