Thursday, November 20, 2008

pumpkin galette

this super flaky crust is my new best friend

I'm totally in love with this pumpkin galette. The pumpkin and caramelized onion filling was so tasty, but the real star is the amazingly flaky crust. It's so flaky, it's like a croissant. I'm excited to try this crust with my pies this Thanksgiving and see how it holds up to more liquidy fillings. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, which has recipes for other galettes that I can't wait to try: wild mushroom and stilton galette and cabbage and mushroom galette.

I made a few substitutions. The original recipe calls for butternut squash, but I used Muscade de Provence, (Muskatkürbis) which is the most popular pumpkin here (note to americans: all winter squash are called "pumpkins" here instead of "squash," one linguistic change I wholeheartedly embrace). I learned in the LaughingLemon class I took a few weeks ago that fully brown Muscade are tastier than partially green ones. Last week at the Zurich Bürkliplatz market, all the Muscade were mostly green. But this weekend in London, I visited the amazing Borough Street Market and found a fantastic display full of only all-brown Muscat (shown below). It should have made me happy but I only got depressed because I don't live in London and can't visit that market every week.

Muscade de Provence in all its glory

Unless you're feeding an army, no one buys a whole Muscade - you get a monster slice like the one below. After cutting, the flavor starts to diminish. So avoid pre-cut slices, cook it asap, and don't scoop out the innards until you're ready to cook it.

To make the filling, you first dice up the pumpkin and roast it for 30 mins. Mine was almost mush after 30 mins. I thought perhaps I should cook it less so the pieces stayed distinct. Still not sure.

With my first galette, I piled the filling high in the middle and folded over lots of crust (shown below). The second time I spread the filling out, leaving only 1.5inches border and only folded over a small border. I prefered the second method.

This galette is so sweet and rich, it needs to be paired with something fresh and tangy, like this nüssli salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

Recipe: Pumpkin and Caramelized Onion Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen - I'm not fussy about my pastry, but the original recipe is, asking you to freeze the flour and butter for an hour, etc. If you are anxious about pastry making, consult the original recipe.

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 TB (4 ounces, ) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (2 ounces) sour cream - I used saucenhalbrahm (like sour cream but not sour) by accident the first time and it was just as good as the second one with sour cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound, 500 grams) - I used Muscat de Provence, with excellent results
2 TB olive oil
2 TB butter
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste
3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits - I had a hard time locating fontina (I have bought it before here, but it's not omnipresent) so I used raclette, which is a sister cheese to fontina
1.5 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves - I used 1/2 tsp dried sage with good results

1. Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut up the butter into 1/2in chunks and cut into flour using pastry blender or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this mixture to the flour mixture. With a fork, mix in liquid carefully until large lumps form. Do not overwork the dough. Place dough in plastic wrap and lightly and briefly knead with knuckles and until dough mostly sticks together, without lots of dry parts (like 30 seconds). Wrap tightly in the plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400F (205C). Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

5. Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.


Jenna said...

You are my hero! I love the pictures of the beautiful pumpkins. The crust looks melt in your mouth delicious. Your finished galette looks quite lovely. When are you making it next? I will have to accidentally be in your neighborhood.

Jack said...

very nice...I'll have to give that a try with some of my leftover pumpkins...Nice selections in London. Too bad you couldn't bring any back.

Alice said...

Looks delicious. I wish I could have tasted it

Jessica said...

That crust does look heavenly. Nicely done. I hope you post some exciting Thanksgiving recipes or what your family did to celebrate. Can't wait. I am also coveting your scale... niceee.

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