Every season should have its own galette.
Don’t you agree?
I love galettes for their rustic elegance (or is that an oxymoron?) and the ease with which they can be prepared. Even if you cannot roll out dough into a perfect circle, it does not matter. If it looks rugged, well, that’s because it is supposed to.
Or as my father likes to say: “You need to be able to see its homemade”. This phrase can be usefully applied to almost any DIY project, too. However, in the case of DIY projects your inability to cut straight or paint without visible brush strokes might end up irritating you every time your eye falls on said project for years to come. No such danger with a galette. First, its homemade character is the point and, second, it will be gone quickly anyway. Because everybody likes galettes, don’t they?
Since the only vegetable suitable for making galettes that I can harvest in January is leeks, leek galette is what I am currently baking regularly. Slowly sauteed with a bit of thyme (also homegrown) and a dash of wine and cream, topped with goat cheese and baked in the buttery crust, leeks are no longer the humblest of winter vegetables.
Even though I have several recipes for galette dough in the archives and they are all good, this one, with a mix of all-purpose and rye flour, is my current favorite. It is even more flaky and crispy and generally more luxurious. But it also requires you to have several more ingredients on hand than this recipe, for which all you need is flour, butter, salt and water. Feel free to use whichever recipe suits your pantry.
Leek and goat cheese galette
Adapted from Deborah Madison: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
⅔ cup/80 grams all-purpose flour
⅔ cup/90 grams rye flour or whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
heavy cream, as needed
1 stick/113 grams unsalted butter, cut into big pieces
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
For the filling:
4 medium leeks (about 450 g/ 1 pound)
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp thyme leaves
60 ml (¼ cup) white wine
60 ml (¼ cup) cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped parsley
100 g (3 oz) goat cheese
Make the dough:
In a medium bowl, mix the flours, sugar and salt. Lightly beat the egg and add enough cream to make up 80 ml (1/3 cup), lightly whisk together.
Add the butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter (or your fingers) to break up the butter. You want some pea size chunks of butter left. Drizzle 60 ml (¼ cup) of the egg/cream mixture over the dough and toss until it start to come together. Add lemon juice and zest (if using) and knead the dough shortly on a floured counter to make a uniform dough. Press it into a disk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
When ready to bake the galette, preheat the oven to 200 degrees (400 F).
Wash and slice the leeks. Melt the butter in a medium skillet, add leeks, thyme and a pinch of salt. If the leeks are too dry, add a splash of water, but I generally find that the residual water from washing them is enough. Sautee over medium heat, stirring frequently until they are tender – about 10 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until it is reduced. Add the cream and stir until it just coats the leeks and a little liquid remains. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool a little, then stir in the parsley.
Roll the dough out into a 30 cm (12 inch) round. Transfer the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the sauteed leeks over the dough, leaving an edge of about 4 cm (1 ½ inches). Crumble the cheese on top. Pleat the dough over the filling and brush the edges with the remaining egg/ cream mixture. Bake until golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before slicing.