Guys!! I am so excited!! I made a galette!!
OK I know what some of you are thinking. This lady makes Thai curry paste from scratch yet she is super excited about a free form pastry. Here’s the thing… we all have our Achilles’ heel. And mine is rolling out pastry dough. Pie crust, laminated dough, even sugar cookies seem like this huge hurdle to me. I have done 2 of those 3–the pie crust and the cookies, but I do not do them often or easily. And laminated dough? Forget about it, that’s still on the bucket list. So I am pretty proud of this galette.
So what inspired me over this hump? 2 things. First, I made roll out Halloween cookies with the kids last week–I used the same cookie dough as I did for the Harvest Sunflower Cookies, and I had forgotten what a dream that dough is to work with. So rolling out the dough was (as is often the case) not as bad as I had built it up to be in my head. Then, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook arrived in the mail.
I have been lusting after Deb Perelman‘s book since it came out. But someone who owns as many cookbooks as I do pretty much buys on sales, in used bookstores and at The Good Cook. If I bought every cookbook I have at full price, I’d be broker than broke–and Deb’s book is way too awesome to have made it to the sale rack or used bookstores yet (and The Good Cook never had it). So how did I get it? I’ve mentioned before that I use Amazon affiliate links; that means when I discuss something that is sold at Amazon (and that I would link to anyway–this blog is peppered with links to Amazon that are not affiliate links from before I joined the program), I link you there with a special link–and if you click on that link and buy anything at Amazon I make a teeny weeny percentage of the price. Every now and then I earn enough money for a splurge at Amazon–and this time it was The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook that landed in my lap thanks to affiliate earnings.
I love it. This book deserves every award it got. There is something for everyone (breakfast, sweets, vegetarian entrees such as this one, meat/poultry entrees), all introduced with wonderful head notes full of amusing anecdotes and just fantastic writing. The pictures are gorgeous–no surprise for anyone familiar with Deb’s blog. I have pretty much bookmarked the entire book. My only complaint is a tiny one; I wish they had gotten the entire recipe on one page, or at least on facing pages. I always miss the part of the recipe that is hiding on the next page, since I like to keep the book open to the recipe while I cook. But that is small potatoes, and now I am pretty much just wishing I had gotten this sooner.
So about this recipe. I said I was inspired by 2 things. The first was the relative ease of rolling out the Halloween cookies. The second was Deb’s Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette. It was not the filling that got to me–although it looked really yummy–as much as the pastry. I was intrigued by the sour cream (or yogurt) in the pastry dough, and the picture of the galette’s crust was just mouth watering. Suddenly I just wondered if I could do it.
I used my own filling, inspired by hers but not really similar at all except for also using butternut squash and caramelized onions. My kids would tell you the star of my galette was the mushrooms, of which they both wished there were more. We might have had to have discussions about whether it was appropriate to just take more mushrooms from the galette to add to one’s slice (no!). So Alex and Sammy would suggest more mushrooms and a little less of the squash and goat cheese filling. John and I, on the other hand, found it pretty perfect. One of the nice things about galette fillings is that it is pretty much up to you. I wrote the recipe as I made it.
- 2 1/2 cups (315 g) AP flour (I subbed in about 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour), plus more for rolling
- 1/2 t fine sea salt
- 1 cup (16 T, 8 oz, 225 g) unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup 120 g full fat sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used yogurt)
- 1 T cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup ice water, plus more if needed
- 1 egg yolk plus 1 T water for brushing onto pastry
- 1 medium-large butternut squash
- 2-4 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1-2 t kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 t (approximately) freshly ground black pepper
- 2 t minced fresh thyme
- 10 oz goat cheese
- 3 8-oz packages of crimini/Baby Bella mushrooms
- 1 T sherry
- 2-3 T balsamic vinegar, divided
- 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
Whisk together the flour/s and salt in a large, sturdy bowl. Cube the cold butter and add it to the flour. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, break up the butter into the flour until the chunks of butter are no larger than a pea.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt, cider vinegar and ice water. Add it to the flour and use a silicone spatula to stir together. Dump it onto a clean work surface and fold or knead a few times (do NOT overwork) just to bring it together--I needed to sprinkle just a few extra drops of water to get it to come together as it was quite dry here when I made it.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to chill for at least an hour or even overnight.
About 90 minutes before dinner time, start preparing the filling. First preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
Slice the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the 2 halves onto the cookie sheet and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the squash. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper and coarse salt, about 1/2 teaspoon of each. Place in the oven to roast until fork-tender, about 45 minutes (start checking at 30 minutes, depending on the squash and the oven it could take less time).
While the squash is cooking, slice the onions. Heat a skillet with a tablespoon of oil on medium high heat and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Toss occasionally.
While keeping an eye on the onions, heat another skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat and add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Toss the mushrooms occasionally as well.
In the meantime, remove the butternut squash when it is fork tender and let it cool a bit (you want it cool enough to handle). Leave the oven on 400 F.
Reduce the heat on the onions and mushrooms both to medium or medium-low--you do not want to have to worry about them scorching while you multitask.
Keeping an eye on your onions and mushrooms, tossing them occasionally, scoop the butternut squash out of its skin and add it to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the goat cheese and thyme and beat until completely incorporated.
When the mushrooms have released most of their water, add the sherry and stir, scraping any stuck bits from the pan.
When the sherry has evaporated and the onions have caramelized to a rich brown (about 15 minutes), add a splash of balsamic vinegar with a pinch of salt to each pan, about a tablespoon or a little over that. No need to use a fancy balsamic here. Use the vinegar in both pans to deglaze and scrape up the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid mostly cook off and then turn off the heat for both pans.
Add the onions to the squash-goat cheese mixture, and mix in. Taste for salt and pepper, and add what is needed. Set aside.
This pastry was wonderful to work with. Place a silicone mat or parchment paper on your clean work space. Dust it and the counter around it with flour, and place the unwrapped pastry dough in the middle. Dust a little more flour on top of it. I used my hands first to pat it down into a circle, and then I used a straight wooden rolling pin to roll it into a circle (of sorts!) of about 16 inches in diameter. The pastry may go off the edges of the parchment or silicone and that is ok. Use the silicone or parchment to slide the pastry onto a rimless baking sheet.
Scrape the squash-goat cheese-onion mixture onto the center and pat it out to about 2-3 inches from the edge of the pastry.
Dump the mushrooms on top of this and spread them to about 2-3 inches from the edges as well.
Fold the 2-3 inch pastry border over the filling, pleating it as you go to make it all fold over (when you fold the edges over, the entire thing should fit within the edges of the baking sheet) . The center will be open, and this is a dish that should not look perfect (hooray!) so rustic and slightly uneven is ok.
Quickly whisk the egg yolk and tablespoon of water together. Use a pastry brush to brush it onto the top of the pastry dough.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling it hot and the crust is golden brown (if your oven bakes unevenly, rotate the pan halfway through). Let the galette stand for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring it to a cutting board by sliding it off of the pan. Slice into wedges and serve warm.
*I reheated this galette the next night in a 300 F oven for about 40 minutes, as I did not want to risk the crust getting soggy in the microwave.
As always affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items that I would be linking to in any case.