There’s some recipes I forget about for the better part of the year, but suddenly find myself coming back to wondering, “where have you been?” And then, I can’t imagine anything more satisfying. No surprise that I”m suddenly drawn to this warm, savory tart: It’s inextricably married in my mind to the gentle chill that’s insinuating itself into the morning air, the burnished colors of autumn leaves, and the warmth of the indoors in the increasingly darker evenings.
It’s a recipe I’ve been making since finding it in Gourmet several years ago (obviously–Gourmet’s demise is no longer a recent event). I’ve even used it as a launching pad for other dishes but haven’t yet blogged it. It’s time.
What’s great about this recipe is that all of its component parts can be done in advance thus making it, with a bit of advance planning, a fast weeknight meal. Or, even with no advance planning–the wait time is manageable even when you don’t start until 6pm (which is about when I am able to get going). I made the dough and let it chill while I roasted the squash and sautéed the leeks. (You could do any, or all, of these steps a day or two before). The vegetables were removed from heat and allowed to cool just enough, after which I crumbled in a log of goat cheese with the tines of my fork. The pastry dough was removed from the fridge, rolled out and filled.
Edges folded over casually rather than fussily, and the pie was slid into the already warm oven. I was enjoying a flaky, savory-sweet slice (followed by another) just an hour later.
- For pastry:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
- Cream or half-and-half
- For filling
- 1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2- by 1/4-inch slices (4 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced crosswise
- 6 ounces soft mild goat cheese, crumbled
- Pulse flour, butter, sage, and sea salt in a food processor until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles cornmeal. With the motor running, drizzle in ice water and pulse until it just forms a ball. (The motor’s sound will change as this happens. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.) Gently press dough into a disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.
- Toss squash with sea salt and 1 Tbsp oil and arrange in 1 layer in a 17-by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
- Meanwhile, wash leeks, then cook in the 2 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of salt over medium heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Try not to let the leeks brown, you just want them to soften). Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.
- Add squash, goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently.
- Lightly flour a surface and place the dough on top. Flip the dough over (so that both sides have a light dusting of flour) and roll out into a 13-inch round. Some ragged edges are fine. Transfer to a baking sheet (you can use the edge of the baking sheet to gently de-stick any dough from the surface and then slide it on.
- Arrange filling in an even layer in center of dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary.
- Brush pastry with cream (I just pour the cream into a shallow dish and dip my fingers in, then “fingerpaint”).
- Bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.
While [url href=”http://threecleversisters.com/2011/07/22/perfect-pie-crust-by-hand/”%5DI like making my crust by hand[/url], in this case I took the easy way out–in part because I figured the blades of the food processor would finely distribute flecks of sage throughout the dough more uniformly than if I tried to chop the herbs myself. Dried sage, on the other hand, being so fragile as it is, probably would crumble quickly and distribute itself easily, even by hand.
The dough can be chilled up to 1 day. The filling can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.