Everyone loves homemade pie and these beautiful, single-crust flat pies are the entertaining secret for summer.
You can begin by making your crust either the night before or early in the morning. Use my delicious all-butter pie dough recipe or make your own favorite one. Shape the dough into a nice round disk, wrap it well with plastic, and chill until you are ready to bake. This could be only one hour or as long as 36 hours. Or increase the recipe to make a bunch of well-wrapped discs and keep them in the freezer for up to four months. Then you are ready to make a lovely galette at the last minute.
Get your filling ingredients ready well before it's time to bake. Precook anything that might not cook enough during the 20-minute bake time for the filled galette. The butter in the crust will prematurely melt if you put hot fillings on it. Everything that goes on the crust should be cold.
Only then are you ready to roll out the dough. A fourteen-inch circle is a good size. Place it on parchment paper so it's easy to slide onto the baking pan. I use a round pizza pan but a cookie sheet will work as well.
One way to think about galette fillings - use them as a way to glorify high-quality leftovers. Do you have any dips or spreads in the fridge? Something with the spreading consistency of humus works well. Or start with a layer of shredded or crumbled cheese. This is especially functional because the cheese will melt and protect the bottom crust from becoming soggy. All the fillings should be on the dry side otherwise they will ooze out onto the pan. You don't really need recipes for fillings . Just get creative with the things you have on hand. Slice uncooked produce very thinly so it will quickly cook in the heat of the oven. Make sure all fillings are well seasoned with intense flavors. This pie is crust dominant so the fillings really need to stand up to that.
Make more than one different kind to tantalize a crowd. Galettes can be sweet or savory.
Layer the fillings on the rolled-out dough and spread to about an inch and a half from the edge of the circle. Fold the edges over the dough, gently pleating as you do it. If possible chill the uncooked pie for about thirty minutes so the butter in the pastry can get cold again, ensuring flaky layers when baked.
Some filling combinations to try :
-Homemade harissa topped with parboiled carrot strips and grilled red peppers. Top with nutty dukkah after baking.
-A mixture of beaten egg and pimento cheese spread over the crust before topping with the summer's finest sliced heirloom tomatoes. It's a good idea to sprinkle salt over the tomatoes and let them drain on a paper towel prior to placing them over the cheesy filling.
-Mix together some cream cheese and crumbled feta and spread over the crust. Top with sliced roasted beets and drizzle with a balsamic vinegar reduction. Add fresh dill after baking.
- Shredded gruyere or swiss cheese topped with sauteed mushrooms and shallots that were mixed with a beaten egg and a spoon full of mayonnaise. After baking top with chopped parsley.
- Fresh sliced pears mixed with cinnamon sugar and a sprinkling of cornstarch to thicken any juices that are released during baking
- Pesto made with basil, pine nuts, and parmesan topped with thinly sliced and salted zucchini. Drain the salted zucchini first. Top the baked galette with fresh basil.
Favorite All Butter Pie Dough
For one galette-
Combine in a food processor by pulsing for fifteen seconds
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of baking powder
Cut into the flour mixture using bursts of power until butter is the size of green peas
1 stick of unsalted butter , cut into small cubes and frozen
Do not over pulse. This process takes less than fifteen seconds.
Dump the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in just until damp crumbs form
1/4 cup ice water mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar
Knead the mixture a couple of times and shape it into a perfectly round disc. If the disc is truly round you will be able to roll out a circle of dough much more easily. Wrap the disc in plastic and use a rolling pin to roll the disc into the edges of the wrap creating a tightly wrapped puck of dough.
Chill until needed, at least one hour and up to 36 hours. For longer storage freeze the dough. Allow an hour on the counter for defrosting.
Roll the dough into a twelve or fourteen-inch circle. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet . Trim the circle with scissors or a knife for even edges if desired. Fill as desired and fold the edges of the crust up around the filling .
Preheat oven to 425F and bake the galette until nicely browned on the bottom and the filling is set and well cooked. This could be 18-25 minutes depending on your oven. This is best eaten on the day it's made but leftovers can be frozen or refrigerated . To reheat , use an oven or toaster oven. Never a microwave which will not do justice to the crisp crust.