Unfortunately when I wrote the article last year it was at the end of the growing season and my local readers weren't able to experience the fun and excitement of hand picking their own blueberries. Well to my delight last week on Thursday the farm opened for business and my husband, little children and I headed over on the Memorial Day weekend and filled our buckets with beautiful, plump and ready to be picked berries.
The farm was just as I had remembered. The weather was a bit more accommodating for us being that it is still Spring time and the temperature was still a cool 79. The grounds are so beautiful, so clean, so well kept. I really am yearning to have a garden of blueberries, grape vines, avocado's and citrus. Living in such a community as Temecula, we have access to such a variety of produce fields, like the grape vineyards, orange groves, blueberry fields, olive tree's, and even dairy farms producing cheese like the Winchester Cheese Company's famous sharp gouda which won the bronze medal at the prestigous World Cheese Awards in London, England in 2006. And locally.. farms who's produce give the famed Temecula Farmers Market their fill of beautiful fruits, leafy greens and vegetables.
You have to look closely, lifting branches to reveal the bluberries on the undergrowth of the bushes. Our youngest daughter picked the most. It could be that she was the lowest to the ground and her eye caught all the ripe berries that were on the lower branches.
The colors are spectacular in the fields.
At the beginning of our hunt.
Ripe, plump and large berries for the picking!
I think naturally peaches pair perfectly with Blueberries. When I visit Sprouts Markets I always purchase a peach berry smoothie. Oh so delicious!
I love a Galette. They are simple to prepare and I love the freestyle form that they lend. And delicious.. you bet!
For the crust I used Dorrie Greenspans Pastry Dough recipe.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons chilled nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons (or more) ice water
Mix flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; pulse until coarse meal forms. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Chill 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.
For the filling I used peaches and berries. Using a typical apple pie filling recipe just subbing the fruit. I kept the skin on my peaches, I like the extra texture and the skins were pretty thin.
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
3 cups thinly sliced peaches (about 3 large)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg white
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
To make the fruit filling, combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and toss gently, making sure that the cornstarch is coating the fruit. (This will prevent too much juice from leaking out while the Galette bakes.)
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Starting at the center of the dough, roll out, forming a 14-15-inch wide circle. Place the dough with parchment paper on a baking sheet. Add the fruit mixture to the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds.
Lightly whisk the egg white and milk in a small bowl. Brush dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 1 hour, or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. (Cutting it too quickly will cause the dough to crack). It's best served at room temperature or slightly warm.
Blueberry Sherry Topping
2 Cups fresh cleaned and dried blueberries
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cream sherry
Add berries, sugar and sherry to a sauce pot. Cook on medium low. Watch pot so the berries do not scorch. When berries begin to break down and thicken lower heat to a low simmer. To prevent sugar from scorching the sides of the pan, have a cup of cold water and a pastry brush ready. Periodically brush the sides of the pan with water. This is a tip when making sugar syrups as well as caramels and candies.
Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream and a dollop of fresh whipped cream!