Smitten Kitchen cookbook adventures (3)

#4: Butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

This is one of the recipes that immediately hit me with a “Where has this been all my life?” kind of force. I love winter squash, lately I’m obsessed with caramelized onions, and anything that involves expanding my pastry dough repertoire is a fun challenge. I decided to make it for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s labor-intensive enough that I’d want to reserve it for a special occasion, but the results, at least in my opinion, are beautiful and very tasty: so worth it. I did see a few partial pieces left on people’s plates, but I also got a few nice compliments. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but certainly to some people’s.

The dough is made with a mix of flour, salt, butter, sour cream or greek yogurt, vinegar, and water. I’ve never made dough with something like yogurt or sour cream before, and I couldn’t tell you exactly what effect it had. Mostly what I noticed is that the dough was BUTTERY. My family pie dough recipe is shortening-based, and I usually use Earth Balance to make my pastry, so it was really noticeable to me — it tasted rich and decadent and even a little too much at times. It came together fairly easily — certainly easier than pie dough because you can just toss in the liquid ingredients and stir everything together, although requiring more effort to be worked down to the texture she specified (‘like couscous’). The dough has to be chilled for at least an hour and can go up to 2 days (I did mine overnight), so you definitely want to make it first.

I used kabocha squash instead of butternut, and found the prep a bit easier, but still labor intensive, because it has to be chopped before being roasted. I also ended up using Emmental cheese instead of fontina because (who’d have guessed?) Safeway doesn’t stock fontina. The assembly was pretty easy once everything was prepped, although I wish the recipe had reminded me to take the dough out of the refrigerator about the same time I started the baking/caramelizing, because it was a bit hard to roll out.

Nevertheless, the galette came out of the oven looking just like the picture, except without the egg glaze because I wanted to keep it egg-free (and I’m lazy). So overall, this was a huge win, and I intend to make more galettes in the future because they are awesome, although I may use a different dough to avoid the BUTTER situation and the necessity of buying ingredients I rarely use.

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