One of our favorite ways to highlight ripe summer berries—second only to eating them out of hand—is to tuck fresh fruit into a flaky pie crust for an easy-breezy strawberry galette. But baking with strawberries is notoriously tricky, due to the fruit’s high moisture content and low level of pectin. To compensate, macerate fresh sliced strawberries in sugar to coax out their juices (avoid frozen strawberries here as they’d release too much liquid). You can discard most of the sweet syrup that results from the process—though we recommend saving it for another use, like cocktails. You’ll add a measured amount back to the strawberry filling, along with some cornstarch, to thicken it just enough to hold things together without any seepage.
As for the galette crust, the tricks are much the same as in any pie dough: (1) use ice-cold ingredients, and (2) handle it as little as possible. A few tweaks here make things easier: First, freeze the butter and cream cheese (which keeps the crust tender) to buy yourself some time, and use very cold water. Second, chill the dough in the fridge for at least two hours so it has time to fully hydrate. And third, while you’ll want to roll the dough out to an even thickness on a lightly floured surface (we love a French rolling pin for this), don’t worry too much about its shape. A galette is meant to be free-form. Leave a 2″ border around the edges when filling the galette, then fold the edges around the fruit, brush with egg wash, and dust with a little extra sugar. If you’ve got raw sugar on hand, you can use it to add some crunch, but white sugar will do just fine. Top slices with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
Want to play around? Feel free to swap up to half the fresh strawberries for another in-season gem. Try adding rhubarb in late spring, blueberries or raspberries at the height of summer, or sliced plums toward the end of summer.