Galette au fenouil

Galette au fenouil

By
From
Mark Hix On Baking
Serves
4
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This may sound like a bit of a wacky dessert, but it really is quite delicious. A pastry chef at The Ivy introduced me to it years ago and it stayed on the menu for ages. If you want to get ahead, you can cook the fennel a day or so in advance – if doing so, leave it in the syrup until needed.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
1kg fennel
300g caster sugar
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons dill, finely chopped
icing sugar, for dusting
200g creme fraiche

Method

  1. Roll out the pastry on a floured table to about 3 mm thick. Cut the pastry into four 13 cm discs and prick them all over with a fork. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Meantime, prepare the topping. Trim the fennel bulbs if necessary. If there is any fern on the fennel, chop it finely and put it to one side. Put the bulbs whole into a saucepan with the sugar and fennel seeds. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the fennel is soft to the point of a knife. Remove the bulbs from the cooking syrup, setting both aside. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Place the pastry discs on a baking tray and cover with a wire cooling rack to stop them rising while cooking. Bake for 7 minutes, then turn the discs over and cook for a further 4 minutes with the rack in place. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Strain 500 ml of the cooking syrup through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan. Bring to the boil, lower to a simmer and cook until it has reduced to around 4 or 5 tablespoonfuls in volume. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little before adding the chopped fennel fern or dill.
  5. Cut the fennel bulbs lengthways into 5 mm slices. To assemble the tarts, arrange the fennel slices on the puff pastry discs in a circular pattern, ensuring the fennel goes to the edges of the pastry. Dust with icing sugar and bake for 7–8 minutes until golden (cover the tarts with foil if they begin to cover too rapidly). To serve, spoon the syrup around the tarts and top with a dollop of crème fraîche.
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