Ladies – What I’m about to say is incredibly cliche but the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. I know this means that we then uphold ancient domestic gender stereotypes but it’s pretty primal with the fellas (or at least the ones I’ve come across) – feed a boy’s belly and he will really, really like you. Sure there are other important “skillz” to master. But those are more fun mentioning in a different setting while under the influence of a few pink cocktails.
By feeding I’m not talking about something that “someone else” made and shoved in a bag or box that wound up in your market’s freezer section. I’m talking about something you make yourself. It doesn’t have to be complicated. But you need to get down and dirty and use your hands. (And yes – we are still talking about food here…hehe)
As was the case last week when I decided to dabble in unchartered territory – homemade pie crust. I could have taken a shortcut I have happily used many times before when I make quiche. However, I wanted this time to be special. Not to mention I had to face my fear – How could I call myself a baker and not have ever made pie crust from scratch.
The hubs had no idea what was coming . All he knew was that I was whipping up something new, more so for the blog than for him he thought, and that it would be ready around 11am. If it turned out as intended, we’d have a great brunch. If not, he would have to fend for himself. (Oh yes, steer clear of this chica during baking fails.)
But fend for himself he didn’t. He had no idea what a galette was but after he tried it, he couldn’t get enough. And neither could I. I mean, what’s not to love here – flaky pie crust, potatoes, cheese, caramelized onions…YUM to the OH! Once you get over the fear of making the crust, the rest is pretty simple. And the hard part, is waiting for it to finish baking.
I am making the crust a few more times before I write up a tutorial post to make sure I didn’t just have beginner’s luck. But for my first take, I knocked it out of the park. I’m not just saying that because I made it. This beauty of a crust was everything a crust should be – flaky, golden brown, crusty, buttery and utterly delicious. If you don’t believe me, ask the hubs, who almost everyday since has been making a case for my needing to “practice” and have a few pie crusts ready to roll out in the freezer.
And that’s because they way to his heart is indeed through his belly.
Potato, Onion and Gruyere Galette
For The Flakey Dough
1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
1 1/4 cups (61/4 ounces) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For The Galette
1 recipe for Flakey Pie Dough
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion (12 ounces), thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
6 ounces of gruyere cheese, coursely grated
1 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, washed and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 egg lightly beaten
For The Dough
Freeze cold and cut pieces of butter in the freeze for 20 minutes.
Mix the salt into the flour. Then place the flour and frozen butter into a bowl and using a pastry cutter cut the pieces of butter into the flour until mixture resembles crushes crackers or peas.
Start to add the water one tablespoon at a time to the flour and butter mixture while "fluffing" it with a wooden spoon. Continue to add water until the dough starts to come together. It won't form a cohesive dough at this point but a bowl of shaggy crumbs and clumps of dough. The dough is done when it hold together, even if a few pieces fall off.
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and need it gently 3 to 6 times. If it won't come together and still looks dry return it to a bowl and add a little bit of water. Flatten the dough into the shape of a 6 inch round disc, wrap it in plastic or parchment and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
If your dough was refrigerated for more than 30 minutes it may be too firm to roll out and crack in which case you should let it rest until it becomes malleable but still cold. Dust your work surface, top of your dough disk and rolling pin with flour and imagining a clock, turn your dough every 2 hours while rolling it out. For the galette, roll the dough into a 13 inch circle. Dust off any excess flour. Roll it on to your rolling pin and then transfer it to a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
For The Galette
Heat a 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the onions. Sit them occasionally until they are soft and browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. If this process seems like it is taking longer, help it along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the thyme, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Once done, set aside to cool.
Using your hands, combine the onions, cheese and potatoes in a bowl. Mound them on the center of the chilled tart, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border at the edge. Fold that border at the edge making rough pleats and leaving the center open. Lightly brush the pleated dough with the beaten egg to give it shine and help it brown in the oven. Bake the galette for 45 to 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the potatoes are soft when tested with a knife. Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Support the bottom of the galette while moving it to serving platter. Slice and serve warm.