April 21, 2018

Mushroom Galette

It's finally spring! The forecast is above freezing for the next 10 days, the farmers market is open, and Earth Day is tomorrow so I feel obligated to eat somewhat healthy. Also, I graduate in 3 weeks so my clearing-out-the-apartment diet is in full swing. Is there really a better time to write a recipe for an easy appetizer made with fresh veggies and all the cheeses and butter and baking staples I'm trying to get rid of? I realize these are fairly unique circumstances but I think everyone could use a good appetizer idea (or side or light dinner or even breakfast, if we're being perfectly honest here). This mushroom galette has a creamy, cheesy layer topped with piles of savory mushrooms all on a buttery, flaky pie crust with a secret ingredient. Yes, the crust also has cheese in it. You're gonna love it.

I suppose I should mention that a galette might sound like a scary challenge that is easy to mess up, but it's quite the opposite. A galette is a free-form tart, so you essentially spread the filling on to a big round of crust, fold the sides up, and pop it in the oven. You can easily transfer it to a tart shell if you aren't going for that rustic look.

I adapted my regular savory pie crust recipe to fit the flavor profile of this galette. It still has all of that buttery flavor and delicate, flaky texture, and it also has the nuttiness and richness of good gruyere cheese. As with any pie crust recipe, keep everything cold and handle it as little as possible and it will turn out just fine. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator until the filling is ready so it's easy to roll out and the flour has a chance to hydrate.

The mushrooms are pretty simple to let their flavor shine through. As with many of my go-to mushroom dishes, I typically use baby portobellos or button mushrooms. However, there are plenty of other amazing varieties out there, so see what looks good at your grocery store or farmers' market, and don't be afraid to mix a few together. I cook them with some garlic and thyme until a lot of the moisture cooks off because I don't want it to puddle out and ruin the cheesy filling. There is a delicate balance since they'll be cooked again in the oven and you don't want them to disappear entirely, but I've found that 6-8 minutes does the trick.

The cheese layer gives some bulk and textural variation to the galette. I combine cream cheese, parmesan, and gruyere for the perfect creamy, melty texture and nutty, sharp, slightly tart flavor. It matches the gruyere flavor in the crust and is pretty hard to mess up: just combine softened cream cheese, parmesan, and shredded gruyere and season to taste.

To assemble the galette, I roll the pie crust out to a very thin circle. It doesn't matter if your circle is inevitably lopsided because it will be folded onto itself anyway. I aim for 1/4" thick so that it holds up to the filling without breaking but still cooks through. It's easiest to transfer the crust to your baking tray here (even if it's too big and hangs over the sides) because the assembled galette is nearly impossible to transfer while raw. I spread the cheese filling in the center up to about 1-2" away from the edges; it is important that your cheese is soft and your crust is cold to avoid any tearing or rips. The mushrooms get spread on top of the cheese (you should have a pretty full but even coverage with no gaps) and that 1-2" border gets folded over to hold everything in. I like to brush a quick egg wash over the sides to get a golden, glossy sheen. After about 40 minutes in the oven, your galette is ready to serve to graduation guests, friends, family, fellow farmers' market lovers, or just your fridge if you feel like indulging later.

1 1/4 Cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Stick Butter, Chilled & Cubed
6 oz Gruyere, Grated (2 Cups)
1/2 tsp Thyme
2 Eggs
1 T Oil
1 T Butter
10 oz Mushrooms, Sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan

Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a food processor until combined. Add the butter, 2 oz (2/3 cup) gruyere, and 1/4 tsp thyme and pulse until small lumps remain. Whisk 1 egg and 1 T cold water together, then add and pulse until it just clumps together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm.

Heat oven to 400F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the oil and 1 T butter. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and remaining 1/4 tsp thyme. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened.

Combine the cream cheese, parmesan, and remaining 4oz (1 1/3 cups) grated gruyere. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll the crust out to 1/4" thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined cookie tray. Spread the cheese mixture onto the dough, leaving a 1-2" border. Spread the mushrooms on top. Fold the edges of the crust over. Whisk 1 egg with 2 tsp water and brush onto the crust. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden.

Serves 8
Recipe Adapted from How Sweet Eats

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