I suppose the black walnut trees out back that are already turning yellow and letting go of their leaves are my cues to hurry up and get this very summery recipe posted before we're all seeing the world through pumpkin-colored glasses. This time of year is so bittersweet for me...I'm glad to get a little relief from the heat but sad because I know in a few short months our time outdoors will be reduced to quick 10-15 minute spurts of snow play bookended by double that time spent bundling up and then peeling off cold, wet layers. However, the fall has an almost magical quality here in the Midwest, with all the apple orchards and fall festivals around here, and that is something to look forward to.
I made this galette and a few other savory galettes for a friend that paid us a visit back in the middle of the summer. It may seem like a strange time to fire up the oven while it's so warm out, but fresh, peak-of-its-season summer produce is practically begging to wrap itself in buttery, flaky pastry dough. If you're wondering what the heck a galette is, it's basically just a French word for a rustic pie without the pie dish. It's free-formed on a flat baking sheet and therefore gets a little crispier around the edges and the bottom, in my opinion. They can be sweet or savory, and are hearty enough to stand on their own or can make a really fun side dish.
This corn and tomato galette was hands-down the crowd favorite that night. I love the way the sharp, salty cheddar and creamy ricotta really provide that savory contrast to the sweet corn and tomatoes. And the fresh chopped basil brings the whole dish a fresh-from-the-garden quality that just feels so bright and summery. Oh, and I'm sure I don't need to sing the praises of the rich and buttery pie dough...but wow, I could really do that all day. It's not too late to try this recipe, as I've still seen plenty of fresh sweet corn in the grocery store, although I'm sure that fact is geographically dependent. If you can't find fresh corn anymore, I would recommend using frozen corn kernels over canned.
Hopefully I can get some fall recipes up before winter hits this year, but if not, I hope you and your family enjoy what is arguably the best season of the year. And if you happen to live in a place that's warm year round, I hope you can crank up your AC and pretend. Cheers.
Corn and Tomato Basil Galette
This savory pie is the best of both worlds - healthy, flavorful produce, and rich, buttery pastry crust. I love the way the sharp, salty cheddar and creamy ricotta really provide that savory contrast to the sweet corn and tomatoes. And the fresh chopped basil brings the whole dish a fresh-from-the-garden quality that just feels so bright and summery.
Yields: one 8" galette, about 4 servings
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cold, and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg - for egg wash
For the filling:
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup corn (fresh off the cob)
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tsp. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a food processor, blend together the flour and 1 tsp. salt (from first set of ingredients). Add the cold butter cubes and pulse/process a few times until the butter is cut down to pea sized clumps. Add the ice water (measured without the ice) and turn on the machine. It will start to clump together and then after about 30 seconds or so, it will come together and form a ball (if not, add a tsp. more cold water at a time until it does). Turn off the machine.
- Flour your work surface liberally, and turn the dough a few times with your hands, forming a round ball. Roll out the dough into a circle 12" in diameter. Keep flouring as needed so the dough doesn't stick. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, cheddar, chopped basil, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Spread the ricotta mixture out on the dough, leaving at least 2 inches bare around the edges.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the fresh corn and tomatoes with the olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Spread out the corn and tomatoes over the ricotta mixture.
- Fold the edges of the dough in over the filling, overlapping the folds every few inches (see gif above). It's okay if it isn't perfect! Galettes are rustic! Whisk the egg in a small bowl, and brush the egg wash all around the dough edges, including the folds.
- Bake in oven at 400 F for about 45 minutes, or until the edges are very golden brown and the corn and tomatoes are cooked well (rotate pan 180 degrees, halfway through baking time to get even browning).
If you can't find fresh corn in your grocery store, you can use frozen corn kernels.
If you don't have a food processor, you can just use your fingers to "cut" the butter into the flour/salt mixture. Just rub the butter in between your fingers until it is "cut" down to pea-sized clumps. Add the ice water and stir together with your hands or a wooden spoon until it comes together into one mass. Flour your work surface, and knead the dough a few times. Now you're ready to roll it out.