Last month, the ladies of Bitch Beer began some culinary explorations with the spent grain we acquired from a brew day at Thirsty Planet. We’ve posted about pretzel dogs soaked in Pilsners, dog treats coated with peanut butter, and have baked over 100 grapefruit hibiscus cookies for our Deflowered IPA release at Thirsty Planet’s fourth anniversary party.
And you wouldn’t fucking believe this, but there is still grain left.
Like, a lot. I shouldn’t be surprised, since we took 12 gallons, but there you have it. For our grapefruit cookies, we dried and ground about 4 pounds of the grain into a course flour which I am trying to whittle down. So I’ve been getting innovative. I’ve breaded baked pickle chips in a spent grain/breadcrumb mixture. I’ve put it into chocolate chip strawberry cookie bars for the Fourth of July. I’ve made brownies and cobblers, and a barrage of other pastries with it. At night, I toss and turn dreaming of spent grain meat loafs or body scrubs or art projects, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. The store of grain never seems to decrease. It’s becoming a problem.
So, when Jester King announced plans for a July Friendsgiving celebration at the brewery July 13th, I thought “sweet, I can hawk more of this grain off to party-goers.” And that is exactly what I did. In the form of a galette, or a rustic free-form pie. Check out the recipe below:
Spent Grain pie crust
- 2 cups all purpose flour – I used whole wheat in the photos, but could’ve used some of the extra glutenous proteins to hold things together later in the process
- 1 cup spent grain flour – make by drying wet grain in the oven at 250 for 3-4 hours, then grinding in a food processor
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar – I went with light brown sugar because I like the depth, but white sugar is fine
- 1 cup (2 sticks) VERY COLD butter
- appx. 1/2 cup ice water
- Cube the sticks of butter into a metal or glass bowl and put in freezer for an hour or so. It is imperative for the butter to be as cold as possible so the crust becomes flaky when baked
- Mix the flour, spent grain, sugar, and salt together in a bowl or a food processor
- When the butter is ready, drop it into the the bowl. If you are using a food processor, pulse 10-15 times until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces. Make sure to pulse so the blades don’t get too hot and begin to melt the butter. If you don’t have a food processor, cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or a fork until the butter is cut into pea-sized pieces.
Once the butter is at the right size, pour the dough onto a clean surface and create a little well, or bowl in the center of the pile for the water.
- Add the water in a tablespoon or two at a time, just until the dough holds together in a somewhat crumbly ball.
- Knead the dough to distribute the butter 4-5 times tops. You don’t want to handle it too much or the butter will melt.
- Flatten the dough ball into puck and wrap in plastic wrap. Toss into the fridge for about 2 hours.
Cherry Farmhouse Ale galette filling
- 3/4 lb fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 lb fresh peaches, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- appx. 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of ground ginger
- Pinch of ground all spice
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Healthy pinch of black pepper
- Pinch of salt
- appx 1/2 cup farmhouse ale ( I used Das Wonderkind from Jester King, which is actually a Saison, but it had all of the nice barnyard-y earthiness to pair with the depth of the cherries and the spice additions)
- For egg wash: 1 egg mixed with water, and Turbinado sugar – I used granulated but Turbinado would be prettier
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat
- Add two thirds of the cherries and all of the peaches to the pan
- Coat the fruit in the butter and add the sugar, spices and flour. Mix all the ingredients.
- When the sugar begins to bubble and the fruit starts to break down (approximately 5 minutes), add the beer.
- Drink the rest of the bottle of beer you opened.
- Simmer until the concoction thickens. It should still be chunky and fruity, not watery from the beer.
- Cool the mixture and add the remaining cherries.
- Grab the prepared pie crust.
Bringing it all together
- Preheat the over to 425.
- Grab a cookie sheet and cut down a piece of parchment.
- Flour a work surface, and a rolling pin. Place the puck of dough on the work surface.
- Roll out pie crust into a circle to about 1/2 inch thick. Avoid rolling over the edge, which will fray the edge of your crust. Instead, roll from the center of the dough almost to the edge 2-3 times, then rotate a quarter turn and repeat. This will keep your crust circular without destroying the edge. You still want to work fast so you don’t melt the butter. Roll until your crust is about 12-14 inches in diameter.
- Carefully wrap the dough circle around the rolling pin to transfer it to the cookie sheet.
- In the center of the dough circle, place your cooled cherry-beer mixture in a 8-12 inch circle, leaving about 2 inches of dough exposed on the edge.
- Now, brush the excess dough with the egg wash and fold it over the edges of the filling. Don’t stretch the dough as much as possible, as that will make it shrink in the oven. To make the edges of the dough stick to each other when you fold them up, add a little more egg wash as you work. Don’t worry about it being a perfect circle. It is supposed to be rustic! However, you’ll want to pinch any cracks you have in your dough so all your filling doesn’t leak out during the baking
- Brush the edges one last time with egg wash and top with turbinado sugar.
- Bake in the 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until crust is light brown and flaky and the filling is bubbly.
- Let rest for 10 minutes and slice when ready. Can be served warm or cooled, and eaten in slices in a group or in it’s entirety by one person in private while binge-watching Orange is the New Black. Your call.