Thursday, 21 June 2018

A galette s'il vous plait


The French are the masters of pastries, as most of you may know. One of my favourite French pastries is the galette, an open rustic crusty pie. It can be sweet or savoury. I have been craving this dish for some time. So, I set out to make one for our family this week.

The first ingredient arrived in my vegetable box: a beautiful bunch of asparagus, which is in full season now. I came across the other ingredient in an Italian deli in Soho that I visit regularly: a creamy and lovely ricotta di bufala. When I thought of putting both ingredients together in a galette, my mouth watered. France meets Italy.

What a joie de vivre!


Ingredients for the filling.
Spread the filling over the dough...
...and fold the edges towards the centre.
My rustic asparagus galette.

Hazelnut galette with ricotta di bufala and asparagus

This recipe will make enough dough for two galettes that serve 6 people for a starter, or 4 people for a main. The filling recipe is for 1 disc.

I love making my galette dough using hazelnuts. They add a nutty flavour and crunchier texture.

Ingredients for the dough

125g organic whole grain spelt
125g organic white spelt
200g organic unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small square pieces
60g organic blanched hazelnuts
1 tsp fine sea-salt
1 tsp sugar
6-7 Tablespoons ice water

Method

Mix the hazelnuts, flour, salt and sugar, and pulse to combine. If you are not using a food processor, grind the hazelnuts and mix with the rest of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture becomes coarse (don’t over-process). With the food processor pulsing, add the ice water gradually until the dough holds together.

Take the dough mixture out of the food processor and onto a work surface. Form into one ball. Divide the ball in half and firmly flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap tightly in cling film (preferably a non PVC brand) and chill them for at least 30 minutes before rolling out and using the filling. This dough will keep well for 1-2 days in the fridge, and in the freezer for a few weeks.

Ingredients for the filling

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, big size and sliced
1 small onion, diced
½ fresh fennel, diced (optional)
2 garlic cloves, diced
150g ricotta di bufala or any other type of ricotta
Zest of 1 lemon
30g pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon capers
Asparagus - as many you can fit on top
Egg for eggwash (optional)
Sea salt and pepper

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200C degrees.

Sautée the leeks on extra-virgin olive oil, fennel and onions until caramelized; add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

In the meantime, mix the ricotta, lemon zest, capers and pecorino cheese.

When the leeks and onion mixture is ready, turn off the heat. Leave it to cool for a while so it’s not too hot to place on top of the ricotta mix.

Take one disk of the pastry from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface roll out the disk into a 30cm circle. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1⁄2 hour before using.

Spread the ricotta mixture followed by the leeks mixture on the refrigerated rolled-out dough, leaving about 3 cm of edges. Place the asparagus on top then fold the empty edges of the dough towards the centre.

If using eggs, brush the edges of the crust with them.

Sprinkle the remaining pecorino over the whole galette.

Bake the galette for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

A healthy note: Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis): contains selenium, calcium, zinc, copper and folic acid. It has some powerful compounds (indoles, isothiocyanates and sulforaphane), that promote cellular regeneration. It is a powerful stimulant to the liver and kidneys. Studies have shown that asparagus protects the liver from the effects of alcohol. It is a natural diuretic; helps to cleanse the arteries of cholesterol and is useful to control hypertension. 


Till next week!
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