Pumpkin is our ingredient of the season. We have all sorts of sweet and savory dishes, as well as a face mask to wear while drinking your lattes.
Have you made a galette? I have the feeling that they’re a trendy-food-of-the-moment, as I keep seeing them pop up on blogs and places like the cooking section of the NYTimes. And you know what I think? If it’s trendy, there might be a reason why… flaky pastry crust and savory fillings. That’s why.
Very simply, a galette is a rustic pie without a pan. The pastry dough is rolled out into a rough circle, the filling is piled in the middle, and then the sides of the dough are turn up and over the filling. It gets baked on a flat pan and that’s it. Simple as pie (I had to say it)! Galettes can be sweet or savory. With a filling of pumpkin, caramelized onions, apple, and ricotta cheese, this one is a little of both. The dough’s whole wheat flour is a perfectly nutty compliment to the savory-sweet fall filling. Enjoy!
As with may flaky pastries, you want to keep the dough on the coldish side as you prepare it, but I’m not a stickler for the rules. I make my dough in a food processor with cold butter, and then I pop the dough in the fridge while I’m preparing the filling. Some recipes will tell you to refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or two, you could do that if you have the patience.
With the dough chilling, I roast a small sweet pumpkin. Just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and place both halves cut-side down on a greased baking sheet in a 350F oven until soft. Once the pumpkin is done roasting a remove it from the oven, and let it cool to the point where I can handle it without getting burned. Then I remove the pumpkin flesh and mash it slightly to make it smooth for spreading in the galette. This time I did the removal and mashing right on the baking pan.
While the pumpkin’s roasting I prepare the onion and apple. I’m still learning how to caramelize an onion. I’m glad that this Bon Appetit article supports my claim that it’s tricky business. For the longest time I burned my onions. Now, I’m finally getting the hang of it, but I admit that I’m often impatient and take them off the heat before they are fully caramelized, as I did with this dish. If you have the patience, caramelize to the end! And towards the end of cooking your onions, you can add the sliced and peeled apple to let it cook slightly.
Pre-cooking the apple is more important if you’re using a hard and crisp apple that won’t break down easily during cooking. For example, we used a Fuji because Calder loves them. If I had my way, I would have picked up a McIntosh. Fuji apples are not really considered a baking apple because they don’t break down easily, whereas McIntosh apples do. If I were using the latter, I may have skipped the cooking step and just arranged the fresh slices in a nice pattern on the galette.
When all of my fillings were prepped, I rolled out the dough and layered everything on, leaving a border of dough for turning over. First the ricotta, then the pumpkin, then the onions and apples. After the edges of the dough are turned, it goes in the oven to cook, and out comes the most delicious savory pastry. It pairs perfectly with soups or can be eaten alone as a delicious lunch on a crisp fall day.
- 2/3 cup white flour
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
- 1 egg
- whole milk or cream
- 1 small baking pumpkin
- 1 medium onion
- 1 apple, sliced and peeled
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- dash of garlic powder
- In a food processor, pulse together the flours, salt, and butter until just combined with butter-flour chunks the size of peas.
- In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the egg and add enough milk or cream until it measures 1/3 cup.
- Drizzle the egg mixture over the flour mixture. Pulse the mixture until it just starts to blend together but is still in large chunks (not a huge goopy ball).
- Remove the dough, place it on a floured surface, and lightly knead it until it's one piece. Form it into a ball and place it in the fridge to chill while preparing the filling.
- Halve and roast the pumpkin in a 350F oven until soft. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before removing and lightly mashing its flesh.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the onion and apple. Thinly slice the onion and begin caramelizing it in a pan. I used water to deglaze the pan while caramelizing, but I think any variety of liquids, from chicken stock to white wine to beer, would work well with this dish. As the onions are nearing done, add the sliced and peeled apple (if you have a harder eating apple).
- Prepare the ricotta by mixing it with the thyme and a few dashes of garlic powder. I also think some grated parmesan would taste fantastic in the ricotta, but I forgot to add it to my galette!
- Once the fillings are ready, prepare the galette. Roll out the dough into a rough circle and place it on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Layer in the fillings with the ricotta on the bottom, the pumpkin in the middle and the onions and apple on top. Fold the sides of the dough over the filling, pinching the excess dough together where necessary.
- Place the galette in a 400F oven for approximately 40 minutes. I knew mine was ready when I could smell it at bits of the apple were just starting to get toasty. When done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing. This is just as delicious when served at room temp as it is when warm.
And yes, we’re eating modified pies a week before Thanksgiving. There’s no better way to start the holiday season than with flaky pastry. You have to prime your palette.