Galette is a delicate-sounding French word that refers to a rustic pie/tart hybrid, for which no pan is required. Because it calls for a single crust, the galette is an accessible introduction to pie dough. Without the structure of a pie plate, this free-spirited tart takes itself less seriously and welcomes bakers of all skill levels. It’s a gateway to cooking with seasonal produce and getting creative with what you have on hand.
As with pie, the galette has two distinct components: the filling and the dough. For the dough, I’m sharing my recipe for a hot-water dough, using a technique which allows for half butter and half olive oil. If you already have an all-butter or all-lard pie dough recipe in your tool kit, by all means use it. The galette is that flexible.
If this is your first galette rodeo, watch the two videos we’ve put together showing the steps of rolling dough as well as filling and assembly.
A few notes before you get started:
- This is a project. Set aside a few hours. If you want to do it in stages, make the filling and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the dough.
- Let the dough know who’s boss. Take charge, roll that dough with gusto and exude confidence. You’ve got this!
- Have fun. Nobody cares whether or not your galette is as pretty as an Instagram picture.
Sweet Filling: Rhubarb-Strawberry
1 cup sliced rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup strawberries, cut into 1/4-inch slices (Plan B: Use 2 cups any of the following fruit you have on hand: apples, apricots, berries, cherries, cranberries, figs, plums)
1 tablespoon cornstarch, arrowroot or quick-cooking tapioca
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar, to taste
Slight squeeze of 1/2 lemon
Place the prepared fruit in a medium bowl and add the cornstarch, salt, vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Stir gently until the fruit is completely coated. Taste and add more sugar as needed, then add the small bit of lemon juice. Let the fruit sit in its juices for about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, strain the fruit before filling the dough.
Refrigerate while you make the dough.
Savory Filling: Spring Greens and Cheese
- 2 bunches quick-cooking greens, such as spinach or chard, washed and stemmed (about 8 cups) or 2 10-ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions or leeks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, dill or mint, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper and/or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup chevre or feta cheese, crumbled or ¾ cup grated gruyere or sharp cheddar cheese
Place the greens in a microwaveable bowl and steam until tender and wilted, about 2 minutes. Cool under running cold water. With your hands, squeeze as much water out of the greens as possible; you’ll end up with a green ball about the size of a baseball. Chop coarsely and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt on top.
Plan B: Bring 6 cups water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. In batches, cook for 60 seconds, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Note: If using frozen spinach, skip this step and proceed to skillet. You will need to let water evaporate, about 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium heat, tilting the pan to coast. Add the onion and cook until softened and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, greens and fresh herbs, turning until completely coated. Season with the nutmeg, pepper and red pepper flakes, if using. Transfer the greens to a bowl and stir in the feta or goat cheese. Taste for salt and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt if needed. (If using grated cheese, wait to add until rolling out the dough.) Refrigerate while you make the dough.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- Optional: 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 beaten egg, for brushing
Place the olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the water in a small saucepan and heat until very hot. It need not be boiling but should be pretty close.
While the water is heating, measure out the flour. Remove 1 tablespoon and reserve for rolling out dough. (You may need a little bit more for your second rolling.) Place in food processor, along with the salt and baking powder and pulse a few times just to mix.
Add the butter. Pulse until the mixture looks and feels like fluffy sand. You should not be able to see butter clumps.
Measure out ¼ cup (4 tablespoons of the water) and add to the oil. With a fork, whisk together; it will look like a vinaigrette.
Pour the oil mixture on top of the flour mixture and pulse until the dough just comes together. It may slightly pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should feel soft, warm and pliable, not hard and crumbly. If the dough looks as it needs more liquid, add the hot water in 1-tablespoon increments, pulse and check the softness of the dough.
Lightly dust your rolling surface with flour and place the dough on top. Surround the dough with both hands to let it know you’re there, molding it into a cohesive clump.
Roll the dough in quick, even strokes, making a quarter-turn after every few strokes. As you rotate and roll the dough, check regularly to make sure the dough is not sticking. (A dough scraper is helpful at this stage.) The immediate goal is to make a rectangle roughly 9 x 11-inches. (Don’t worry if it’s not exact).
Fold the dough like a letter: Starting from the short edge, fold over a third of your dough. Take the opposite edge and fold it to the middle covering the first fold.
Make a quarter-turn, then roll out the dough into a new rectangle, dusting with flour as needed. Make another letter fold with the dough.
Give the dough another quarter-turn and roll in all four directions – north, south, east, west. Fold the dough in half into a 4- to 5-inch square packet. Roll light on top to seal the layers and surround the edges with both hands to tidy the dough.
Wrap in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. Unlike an all-butter dough, this dough never goes into a deep sleep and gets cold; think of it as a brief catnap after all that rolling and folding.
Rolling the Dough (see video for details)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat.
Dust your work surface with flour. Remove the plastic wrap and place on top of the flour and sprinkle a little more on top, as needed. With even, quick strokes, roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick. (Don’t fret if it’s a tad larger or smaller.)
With a bench scraper or straight-edged spatula, lift one edge of the dough and lightly drape over the other half. Transfer to the lined pan and carefully unfold the dough.
Brush the surface of the dough with a liner such as a thin layer of mustard, grated cheese, olive tapenade or a sprinkling of dried oregano, leaving a 2-inch border all around.
Spoon the filling into the center and spread out until evenly distributed, keeping the 2-inch border in mind. Working from the outer edges, lay the dough over the filling, pressing dough edges when they meet. As much as one-third of the filling in the center will be exposed; that’s okay.
Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash, then sprinkle with cheese.
Chill for 5 minutes in the refrigerator.
Place in the preheated oven and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes.