A traditional French fruit galette is a free-form tart made with a basic pâte brisée dough. The galette shell is rolled out into a disk, topped with fresh berries or fruit and the edges folded over by hand. There's no special equipment required, no fussing with an unwieldy dough that really doesn't want to be tamed and crimped into a fancy tart tin and no blind baking required. Kristin Ferguson, pastry chef at Forage in Silver Lake and instructor at Ecole de Cuisine, makes hers with pre-made puff-pastry purchased at Epicure in North Hollywod. Nicole's in South Pasadena also sells all butter puff pastry. Don't bother using packaged puff pastry sheets that are made with oil, they tend to bake into greasy messes and obviously don't have the rich flavor of butter.

Actually, it's not very difficult to make puff pastry. But it's time consuming and not worth the effort for a rustic tart that should be by definition easy to make. There's a happy medium between Martha Stewart and Sandra Lee. Turn the page for Kristin Ferguson's recipe for strawberry galette.

Kristin Ferguson's Strawberry Galette; Credit: Eugene Ahn of Forage Restaurant in Silver Lake

Kristin Ferguson's Strawberry Galette; Credit: Eugene Ahn of Forage Restaurant in Silver Lake

Galette aux Fraises (Strawberry Galette)

From: Kristin Ferguson

Notes: Strawberries are in season now and we had ten cases of them at Test Kitchen. Read Felicia Friesema's post for tips on buying and storing strawberries. Ferguson's recipe emphasizes different textures and flavor concentrations of strawberries by incorporating jam and adding raw strawberries at various stages throughout the preparation process.

Fresh strawberry jam:

1 lb strawberries, hulled

2/3 lb granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, scraped (substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

1. Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan, cook over low heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Strawberry jam glaze:

1. Warm two-three tablespoons of strawberry jam in a small sauce pan.

Strawberry galette:

Note: Turbinado sugar will hold it's shape and texture better during baking.

1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted

1 – 1 ½ quarts fresh strawberries, hulled

1 whole egg, lightly beaten for egg wash

2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar or turbinado sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. half an hour before you plan on baking the galette.

2. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry into an 1/8-inch thick circle, transfer to a baking sheet, egg wash the edge, smear cooled jam on top, leaving a two-inch border around the edge. Top the center with eight whole raw strawberries and six strawberries cut in half, sprinkle with sugar, fold the edge over, brush edge with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

3. Place the galette in the oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Halfway through baking, top with more raw strawberries (six whole and four cut into half, choose darker and riper strawberries, since they need less time to cook).

4. Remove the cooked galette from the oven, top with more raw strawberries as desired. Brush with strawberry jam glaze.

Farid Zadi is the Dean of Culinary Arts at Ecole de Cuisine. You can follow him on twitter or join him on Facebook.

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