Alright, Thanksgiving over. That time of year when we all justify over-eating. I justify it too. After all, you spend an entire day cooking up a delicious hot mess and fasted for one big meal in which you take in all of your daily calories. And then you eat pie. But, hey, you’re with family and friends. And the amount of laughter rolling in waves across the table counts as exercise. So does the hellish clean-up when you curse the film of potato clinging to the sides of the pot and wonder how many black flecks of burnt fat you can chip off of the bottom of your pans before one hits you in the eye. All in all, I’d say the preparation plus clean-up plus jollity of the day balance out the insane 30 minutes of faceward food shoveling.
If you’re a traditionalist when it comes to this holiday, then you succeeded in deeply saturating your taste buds with the typical flavors of the season. You do not want to see anymore turkey or cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie until Christmas. Because you ate and ate, and ate until you hated yourself, and then snuck another bite. What’s more, you’ve graciously sacrificed your stomach even further and trudged through the leftovers (oh, the martyrdom). Now you are vowing only to consume salad and Thai and sushi and everything as far away from Thanksgiving as possible now that the last stuffing sandwich with gravy spread has had its final burp.
But. You know there are multitudes of ways you could’ve eaten everything, and I bet you a plate of cookies you didn’t make this galette. Your taste buds are weary, I know. But they are curious too! After all, why would you be reading a food blog in November if you didn’t want more beautiful and new ideas to expand your palate, and improve you proficiency in the kitchen? Ah, you. I knew it! Your guise of a bleary eyed, tuckered out eater loafing comfortably in the corner recliner was all bashful deception! You just need a little prodding to get back on the food horse. Well here I am, forever diligently poking at you and wafting this golden seasonal pie into your nostrils.
This is a dish your taste buds will revive to, and I promise it tastes fresh and new compared to what you’ve been scraping out of tupperwares all week. This galette has all the flavors you know combined in a way (I hope) you didn’t consume on Thursday. Think of it as a lazy man’s savory pie. Its a simple pie crust, but blended into the little balls of butter are ribbons of fresh sage, and browned bits of shallot. You have a beautifully speckled pie shell loaded with even more indulgence than a buttery flaky pie crust already has. So if pastry is but a mistress in your life, this gal has slid into the silkiest, sultriest slip and garter. Its that good. You will drool.
Inside you have hearty slices of butternut squash neatly layered atop one another and dotted with even more shallot and sage. It all gets tucked into its bed of tender crust and baked until the smell of your house is enough to make you want Thanksgiving dinner all over again. Well, not really. I think once a year is enough for that. But the flavor packed into this little galette is enough. And you won’t hate yourself after you eat a slice.
Remember when I talked for far too long about the tricks to making scones? This crust follows the same rules. Stick you flour in the freezer for 20 minutes before you add your butter. Mix as little as possible. You will have such a wonderfully tender shell you’ll beam with motherly pride. Then you’ll get possessive and hoard the galette for yourself. Hey, holiday is over. You do it.
1 small butternut squash
2 Tablespoons butter, to coat frying pan
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
6 cloves shallot, or one bulb
1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for flouring your work surface
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 egg, for eggwash
Wash you sage and you squash. Pluck your sage off stem and cut into ribbons. Slice squash into 1/4″ discs. Halve these discs. Peel and mince your shallots.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, melting 1 tablespoon butter across the pan. Lightly sauté half of your squash. You are not really cooking the squash through, just coating it with melted butter and searing it. Place on a plate to cool. Repeat with another tablespoon of butter, the rest of your squash, and half of the sage and shallot. Place on plate to cool. Sauté your remaining shallot and sage on their own, with any remaining butter left in the pan. Add more butter if necessary so it does not stick. Set on small separate place to cool.
Meanwhile, sift your flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Cover and place in freezer to get super-cold for 20-30 minutes. Chop your stick of butter into m&m sized pieces, and return to the fridge to cool again (your fingers will have melted it a bit while cutting).
Once you squash mixture has stopped steaming, you can place it in the fridge to accelerate the cooling process. Do the same with the separate sage-shallot plate.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Once your flour chilled, add the small plate of sage and shallot, rubbing them into the flour with you fingers. Once incorporated, add the butter pieces you have already prepared, rubbing and squeezing the butter into the flour with your fingers. You are essentially making floury butter, you will still have flakes of butter throughout the flour. That is the point! That is how you get such a tender crust. Just make sure there aren’t any big flour patches left totally untouched by butter. (See photo above)
Begin to add your milk to the flour mixture. Add 1 Tablespoon at a time, gently tossing with a fork to incorporate it into the flour. Add your next Tablespoon in the driest area in the bowl. Repeat tossing/blending process. And your final Tablespoon where needed and mix until your bowl has a just combined, almost cottage cheesey look to the dough (see photo above). Take the dough in your hands and form into a ball. If you have time, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 20-30 minutes. This will keep the butter from melting into the flour more, and it will rest the gluten. What this means for your crust is flakiness and tender texture. If you don’t have time for this waiting process, it won’t be the end of the world. But I recommend it.
Prepare a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll out your chilled dough into as much of a “circle” as you can. Lift and rotate your dough often so it does not stick to the counter and tear. Add more sprinkles of flour as necessary if sticking. Roll to 1/8″ thickness.
Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. This is important! If you assemble your galette before this, it will be too heavy and fragile to transfer to a baking pan. Bummer. I know this for fact.
Layer your squash discs, once on top of the other, in a fan shape. Be sure to leave about 1 inch of outside dough so you can form your crust. Slighly overlap the squash until they form a full circle. Add as much squash as you can. Get all those good shallot sage bits on top of there.
Gently fold your dough overhang to tuck over the squash (see photo). You will form these pleats, or crimps, all along the squash. Pleat as tightly as you can without tearing the dough.
Beat your egg with a bit of water, and gently brush over the pie dough.
Bake! Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until you can’t stand how good it smells any longer, and the crust is a glowing yellow-gold. Test the squash with a paring knife to be sure; if it slides through without any resistance, you are done.
Cool for at least 5 minutes, really 10 though. This is a fragile baby, you don’t want all that work to fall apart when you try to transfer it to a plate.
Cut into slices and eat!