butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

11:23:00 AM

Remember when I said I was posting another white-flour-and-butter dish his week?

This is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the best way in the entire world to use flour and butter.

I know that’s a strong statement.

I love Smitten Kitchen for a thousand reasons, one of which is because everything I’ve ever made from that blog has been outstanding, but about 700 of those reasons are because of this specific recipe.

I am obsessed with this galette.

Now, I am not a baker. I hate working with flour. I hate the mess it makes. We own a stand mixer, but it lives in the cupboard above the fridge where I can't reach and I've never taken it down. I hate how I can make the exact same pizza dough recipe five times but because it happens to be raining one day or because my yeast is two days older than yeast I’ve used before, my dough turns out differently. Also, despite the recipes I’ve posted thus far that prove otherwise, I really don’t use flour all that often. I don’t make desserts much because I have zero self control, so we can go weeks without me noticing we’re out of flour.

I’ve made this galette 3 or 4 times now. It was so good the first time I made it that I actually made it as the main course of a special meal I cooked for my parents when they came over, because I really couldn’t think of anything better than this. I made an arugula and beet salad, a 44-clove garlic soup, this galette, and a delicious caramel flan for dessert. 

I’ve changed the ingredients before, like the type of cheese I used, but the last time I made this galette, I made it almost exactly to recipe. And it was perfect. Do you know how rare that is? It’s rare that I follow a recipe exactly as it’s written, because I egotistically always think I can make it better.

But there is something about this particular combination of textures and flavors that is a thousand percent spot-on, and for that reason, I might have to say this is my favorite recipe. The butternut squash is nutty and tender and roasted, the caramelized onions soft and sweet, and the fontina cheese is the precise type needed for this pastry. The flavor and moisture content work perfectly, and it melts so beautifully.  I’ve made it with other cheeses before, but they were either too soft or oily and got the crust a little soggy. Fontina is the way to go here. 

The only things I altered were the timing. The original recipe has you placing flour and butter in the freezer for an hour to ensure everything is very cold. I found an hour WAY too long for my butter, as it just became too hard to work with, and I had to wait for it to soften enough for me to work it back into the dough. Fifteen minutes worked perfectly for me.

The recipe also says you can caramelize onions in 20 minutes, which kills me. I want to find the person who can caramelize onions in 20 minutes. You can saute onions in twenty minutes, get them mildly darker in color, but you can’t get that very deep golden color and rich meltiness in 20 minutes. Nah, this process takes an hour. Which is A-OK, because that’s how long you have to refrigerate the dough.

The thing is, even though there are a lot of components to this little tart, it’s actually a super leisurely recipe to make, which is why I love it. It’s so great for a weekend afternoon if you’re doing other stuff, like housework or internet-ing or whatever. There are lots of pieces, but they’re mostly hands-off. After you make the dough, you can let it rest in the fridge for an hour and start on your onions and roast the squash. It’s easy to clean as you go since you’re not hurrying. 

This would be a fantastic Thanksgiving side dish, and pairs lovely with a nice green salad, and is really perfect for any meal of the day. I love it for a decadent breakfast.

I think I could open a bakery and serve only this beautiful, rustic galette, and stay in business forever.

butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup sour cream (I’ve used light sour cream and it works fine, regular is better)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup ice water

1 butternut squash, about 1 lb, cut into ½-1 inch cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp butter
1 large or 2 small/medium onions, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
2-3 oz of fontina cheese, grated
½ - 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage

Make the dough: Combine butter and salt in a bowl, place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove bowls. Make a well in the center of the flour, add the butter to the well, and work it in with a pastry blender (I don’t have one so I improvised with my hands and a potato masher with decent results.) In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, and ice water.Once the butter is worked in, make another well in the mixture, and add about half of the sour cream mixture. Using your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove these lumps and repeat with remaining sour cream mixture and flour. Pat the lumps into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour. Be careful not to overwork the dough. 

While the dough rests, make the caramelized onions. In a large pot, melt the butter, then add the sliced onions and salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep brown and caramelized. 

Roast the butternut squash. Toss the squash pieces with oil and some salt and pepper, then spread out on a large baking sheet lined with foil (for easy cleanup). Roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until roasted and browned in spots. (I use the convection setting on my oven for this.) 

When onions and squash are done, combine in a large bowl with the shredded fontina and sage.  This is your filling.

Remove dough from fridge, and roll on a floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Then, transfer the dough to an ungreased baking sheet. (Do not do what I did once and try to assemble this on your floured surface and then try to move to a baking sheet. Assemble it directly on the sheet!) Pile on the topping in the center, leaving about a 1 ½ inch border around the edge. Fold the border over the filling, pleating it. The center will remain open, as pictured. Don't worry about it looking perfect - it's supposed to be rustic!

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes (mine took 40). Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. 

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  1. I can vouch for the deliciousness of this recipe--thanks for sharing!

  2. How about you make this for Thanksgiving and then I don't have to screw it up myself? Kthx.


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