17 July 2013

Golden Galette

The other day, I was stood up. By an adult female. I'd gussied myself up for a mid-morning business meeting only to arrive at said business person's location, a Williamsburg Warehouse, with the attendee nowhere to be found, unreachable. A complete no-show. When I did get a hold of her she'd insisted she emailed me that morning that something came up (nope) and then suddenly changed the story that she'd filled the position she was interviewing for. Bullocks! As I get older, I seem to have less and less of a tolerance for this behavior. Does this kind of thing not mess with you for the entire rest of the day? (ok, yeah, if you're nodding--thanks!) So, whether it was the weather's tendency to incite forgetfulness and dispel motivation to disembark from the proximity of a window A.C,. or a complete lack of respect for others' time that caused my appointment to flake, we'll never know. The point is, in general I am peeved by flakiness. Except. Except! When those flakes come in the form of tart dough. And this should not come as a surprise. 

Prime-picked sliced golden summer squash, along with a bit of caramelized onion and a sprinkling of pan-fried corn, rounded out by a garlicky cheese mix and tucked into a half batch of flaky rye tart dough, folded in over itself just enough, brushed with egg yolk to make it shine, cooked off and sprinkled with a bit of basil and coarse salt. It will make your day. The theme here is  gold if you didn't notice. The zucchinis right now are so good. I mean, I don't have to tell you that because most likely you're aware, but man. This is the peak. And might I add, that if typical green zucchini are always shown getting all the attention, then the yellow squash sister is a worthy star, too. Actually, many times, I prefer the yellow, which is why I use it here. The flesh, melty and sweet and vegetal all at once, is so tender and ripe it even cooks more quickly than it would if it were, say, January. Duh. So, in point, summer squash is summer's gift. These squashes were meant to be barely roasted in the oven, or quickly pan-fried, enjoyed with good olive oil and salty cheese and sharp greens and whatever else you fancy. They are also prime material for stuffing galettes with, since, after being sweated a bit on a towel with some salt, they cook with the pastry.

The dough here is the same dough I used in the berry-peach mini tarts (I had frozen the second half and defrosted it in the fridge all day before rolling and filling) and Brussels sprouts galette from last year. Then the sheet pan took a quick chill in the freezer for 5 minutes before being brushed and baked. Since it is pretty neutral and nicely nutty from the rye, it is a fine base for sweet and savory fillings. But do note that brushing the sides of the tart with egg yolk before baking here is crucial for the ending golden, toasty hue. Don't skimp, and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt, too. The other thing you'll want to note is Size. I am a sucker for small batches, clearly, so I made this with half a recipe of tart dough I'd saved. The bake time with half the dough was about 30 minutes flat. There is no reason you could not use all the dough for a 9-10 inch tart as opposed to a 5-inch, or make two smaller ones if you need to use all the dough at once. Just adjust the fillings to double. I thought this was a nice size for two though-this sort of personal pan pizza-size. Since tart dough is more decadent than pizza dough, though, daintier portions are appreciated.You finish it off quite easily with a side or two, are not confronted with huge buttery tart slices, and you don't have to worry about storage. My favorite situation. So, all flakes aside, this one is special. It's a delicious way to spend a summer evening. Bake it off a bit before you plan to eat, then turn the oven the heck off, make a side salad and let it (and your home) cool. Drink a glass of chilled white wine in front of your air conditioning unit before heading to the table.

 Golden Galette 
Makes one 5-6-inch galette. 

*1/2 a recipe rye tart dough disc, chilled 
+A spoonful roasted Corn
++A spoonful Caramelized Onions
8-10 slices yellow squash, raw
2 T feta cheese, grated or crumbled small, divided
1 T grated pecorino
Sea Salt + Pepper
1 small garlic clove
1 T olive oil
1 egg yolk, beaten
Coarse Salt 

+For roast corn: shuck and shave kernals off a husk. Heat a cast iron skillet, melt a knob butter + oil, and throw in the corn, a pinch salt, letting it cook a few minutes. Toss, then lower the heat and cover for a minute. Take off the heat, add a pinch of minced garlic, stir and cool. 
++For caramelized onions, melt butter + oil in a skillet, slice an onion thin. Sautee onion 5 minutes on medium until transluscent, sprinkle with salt and decrease heat to low, cook about 40 more minutes. De-glaze pan with splash water, scrape onions and set aside. 

Oven to 400 degrees F
Prep the Veggies 
Spread squash slices on a towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit while you prep everything else. When ready to use, blot any excess water that surfaced. I had a jar of roasted corn and caramelized onions on hand so I threw a Tablespoon of each in for contrast. Set those out too. You want everything at your ready as you don't want the pastry to sit out too long.

Make the Spread:
Mix both pecorino and most of the feta save a pinch, with half the egg yolk, a pinch each salt and pepper and half the garlic. It will not be very wet and may seem clumpy, dry and that is ok. Set aside.

Roll out your dough  into a rough circle, between 2 pieces of parchment, rotating the circle to get the edges, not too thin, not too thick--mine was 8-ish inches. My kitchen was hot so at this point I put the parchment lined dough into the fridge for a few minutes. Take off the top piece of parchment, scoop the cheese mixture onto the center and spread into a circle. Next Scoop the onions and corn on. Arrange the squash so that it is exposed, concentrically. Fold in the edges, using the parchment to help if needed. Sprinkle the remaining oil and garlic over the squash, along with the reserved pinch of feta. Transfer on parchment, to baking sheet. Put the tray in the freezer for another few minutes, then brush the edge with the remaining egg yolk, sprinkle with salt, and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is puffed, the squash wilted and the crust nicely browned. Let cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes and serve warm or room temperature.

*Rustic Rye Tart Dough from Kim Boyce:
Note: Allow at least 3 hours from when you make it to before you plan to use this dough. For best planning, just make the dough when you randomly have time and assemble the tarts another day.

1/2 c rye flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 T very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. 
4 T ice water

Sift Dry ingredients into a bowl. Cube butter. It is a good idea to set the dry ingredients and the cubed butter into the freezer while you prep everything else. Next, add butter on top of flour and work flour and butter between your fingers or with a pastry blender, so the dough forms pea size crumbs. Add the cider vinegar and the water. Working from the sides, gather dough to center so it forms a ball. Transfer to a piece of plastic wrap, shape/flatten it slightly into a ball,  wrap tightly, refrigerate an hour minimum.

Get out a rolling pin and lay a piece of parchment or plastic out. Sprinkle it with flour, lay the dough disk on the parchment, sprinkle with flour very lightly. Place plastic or parchment on top of the dough if desired. Now roll it into a rectangle.

Now, fold the dough like a letter, the left side in then the right on top of it.

Roll it out again into a rectangle, rotate, fold like a letter again. You are creating layers. Do this twice more, then roll into a rectangle again.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate again for an hour minimum, up to three days, or freeze for a few weeks and thaw in fridge for a day.

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