Yossy Arefi’s fantastic Apricot and Berry Rye Galette with Saffron Sugar

by meike peters

Apricot and Berry Galette

Yossy and I share the same passion for one of the best combinations a coffee table has ever seen: juice-dripping fruit and buttery pastry. When I first saw one of Yossy’s famous fruit galettes a couple years ago, I immediately fell in love with its honest and rustic look. And as the New York food writer and photographer announced the birth of her first cookbook, Sweeter Off The Vine, a couple months ago, I was hoping that she’d include a recipe for one of her gorgeous open pies. Yossy didn’t let me down and she had my full attention when I spotted her Apricot and Berry Galette with Saffron Sugar made with rye pastry. This innocent pie tastes as good as it looks. Theoretically, I could have eaten the whole cake on my own – and I would have loved to! –  but we had guests over for dinner and they enjoyed our fruity dessert just as much as I did, so I had to share.

Yossy Arefi is the creator behind the beautiful blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. and she managed to create a second masterpiece (after her blog) with Sweeter Off The Vine. The book is a gorgeous recipe collection from start to finish, following the seasons with colourful creations that celebrate nature’s crop at its peak. Rhubarb and berries, stone fruits and melons, figs, apples, and pears, Yossy didn’t leave a single craving of mine unanswered. As I thumbed through the pages, I got lost in her honest and pure, and somehow poetic photography. Nothing feels artificial, the whole book is true and manages to speak to the hungry mind without distraction. Her ice creams, tarts, desserts, and pies look like the food you want to eat in your granny’s kitchen, but the young woman from New York always manages to sneak in her little additions that make the recipes very modern at the same time. Aromatic spices, like saffron, vanilla and citrus, orange blossom and rose water, or fresh vanilla bean are used in almost all of her recipes. Yossy’s family roots are in Iran, and this heritage brought in her great fascination for the wonderful flavours of Middle Eastern cooking and her love for contrasts.

Apricot and Berry Galette


Apricot and Berry Galette


Recipe from Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season by Yossy Arefi, Ten Speed Press.

Makes 1 9″ (23cm) galette.

For the rye pie crust

2/3 cup (85g) rye flour
2/3 cup (85g) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125g) very cold unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons (60ml) ice water

For the galette

1/2 vanilla bean
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch saffron threads
2 teaspoons
 all purpose flour
pinch salt
8 ounces (225g) apricots
1/2 cup (80g) blueberries
1/2 cup (80g) blackberries
1/4 cup (60g) apricot jam (I used blueberry jam)
1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl, cut the butter into 1/2-inch (1 1/4cm) cubes, and add the apple cider vinegar to the ice water.

Working quickly, add the butter to the flour and toss to coat. Then use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Keep tossing the butter in the flour as you go to ensure that each butter piece is coated with flour. The idea is to create flat, thin shards of butter that range from about the size of a dime to about the size of a quarter.

If at any time the butter seems warm or soft, briefly refrigerate the bowl.

Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the icy cold vinegar-water mixture over the flour mixture. Use a gentle hand or wooden spoon to stir the water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems dry, add more cold water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and easily squeeze it together without it falling apart.

Press the dough together, form into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours before using, but preferably overnight. Keeps for up to three months in the freezer wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a roughly 12-inch (30cm) circle, just under 1/4-inch (1/2cm) thick; it’s okay if it isn’t perfectly round. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Store in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Use the tip of a knife to cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Reserve the pod for another use. Add the granulated sugar to a mortar, add the vanilla seeds and saffron threads, and grind with
a pestle until finely ground. The sugar will turn pale yellow and smell wonderful. Stir in the flour and salt.

Gently tear the apricots in half. Place the apricot halves into a large bowl and discard the pits. Add the berries and the saffron-vanilla sugar mixture to the bowl and toss with your hands to combine.

Remove the dough from the fridge and spread the jam on top, leaving
a 2-inch (5cm) border around the edges, then top with the fruit. Fold the edges of the pastry over the fruit and press gently to seal the folds. Chill the formed tart until the dough is firm, about 15 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400ºF (200ºC). When the tart is nice and cold remove it from the fridge and gently brush the dough with the egg wash; sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Bake until the fruit juices bubble and the pastry is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. This tart is best served the day it’s made.

Apricot and Berry Galette


Apricot and Berry Galette