One Word: Flakey!
By the way, is it “flakey” or “flaky”? I’m going with flakey.
If you like a flakey crust recipe, and you don’t mind the “rusticity” of a galette, then this recipe from Epicurious is for you!
Autumn roasting of fruit continues! That’s right, butternut squash is technically a fruit. Crazy, huh?
And yes, those are sunflowers seeds and slivers of toasted pepperoni!
I’m borrowing from a popular pizza joint in West Seattle called Pegasus Pizza. Their best selling pizza, Tom’s Special, has toasted sunflower seeds and shredded pepperoni, among other toppings.
I was surprised at how well I did with the food processor recipe for the crust. It was soooo flakey. Which is odd, because when I took it out of the fridge after an hour, it felt like it was going to be tough. So, if you want results like this, make sure and really just use the pulse button, and resist the urge to hold down the pulse button for too long! There’s a reason why it’s called a pulse button.
Keep in mind this is just one way that I decided to top this galette. If pepperoni and/or sunflower seeds are not your thing, maybe you can come up with another combination of ingredients that you would like to see. Add something a little crispy and/or crunchy. Drizzle a syrup, like balsamic vinegar reduction. Get creative.
For me, instead of what I did here, I can also see the combo of some fresh thyme, some crumbled feta, and maybe some toasted pecans or hazelnuts. Instead of mashing the squash, you can cut the squash into cubes, as in the original recipe, if you prefer. The possibilities are endless!
Even though you can’t see it here, I really really like the gruyere cheese I added to the warm butternut squash. It just melted in to it, but you can definitely taste it with the caramelized onion.
Butternut Squash Galette (adapted slightly from Epicurious’ Butternut Squash Galette recipe)
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons finely chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4-6 Tablespoons ice-cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 medium butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeded and roasted, then mashed like mashed potatoes, cooled**
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
6.5 ounces gruyere, coarsely grated
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 ounce of pepperoni, cut into sticks
To make the dough in a food processor, add the flour, butter, basil, and salt. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (I don’t know what that exactly looks like, so I just pulsed it for about 5 times, each pulse very brief, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but the food processor is so efficient, one must be careful not to overdo it, which makes the dough tough!)
Drizzle 4-6 Tablespoons of the ice water while pulsing a few more times. Be very judicious with the amount of pulsing you do. (I really thought I had under-pulsed it, because it barely came together, but that’s what you need to do.) It should barely come together. In fact, mine did not come together as a ball while in the food processor, which differed from what the original recipe suggested. Remove from the processor and form into a disk with your hands. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour, maybe two hours.
While the dough is sitting in the fridge, roast the butternut squash, caramelize the onions and prepare the pepperoni and sunflower seeds, if using.
Cut the butternut squash down the middle, in half. Remove the seeds, rub olive oil on the inner surfaces, seasoning with salt and black pepper on the surfaces without the peel. Facing up in a oven-safe dish, with one cup of water in the pan, roast at 375 degrees F, for roughly one hour, or until flesh is soft. Skin should be easy to remove after it has cooled somewhat. Mash with a potato masher or fork. (Original calls for cutting into 2 by 1/4-inch slices, but I prefer mashed butternut squash). If not using, right away, store in the fridge in a closed container after it has cooled completely.
**In retrospect, a 2 lb. butternut squash is a lot. As you can see in the bottom picture, the galette is quite thick. I like butternut squash, but next time, I might try to make it with less squash, maybe even more caramelized onions, if I make this again. Not that it wasn’t good, but it seemed like a lot of squash in proportion to the onions.
Caramelize the onions. Place the sliced onions and garlic in a medium pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 2-4 Tablespoons of maple syrup, stirring occasionally, on medium heat until browned and caramelized, which should take 20-30 minutes, depending on how much you’d like to brown it. Stir occasionally. Set aside.
If using, place the slivers of pepperoni on a parchment lined baking sheet and pour the sunflower seeds spread out over the pepperoni. Bake for about 5-8 minutes at 375 degrees F. Pepperoni might still look soft and not crispy when hot, but remove before pepperoni gets too brown, as it will get crispier a few minutes after removing from the oven. Place the sunflowers and pepperoni sit on a plate lined with a paper towel until ready to use.
Warm up the squash if it is cold by placing it in a large sauce pan on medium high heat and stirring until warmed enough. Doesn’t need to be piping hot, but hot enough to melt cheese.
Add the onions and grated cheese to the squash. Fold in with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
To assemble the galette, remove dough from fridge and if it’s really cold, knead a little to make more pliable. Otherwise, using a rolling pin, roll into a roughly 13-inch diameter circle. Since this is going to be rustic, it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle shape.
Add the butternut squash mixture in the middle of it, spread outwards up until a couple of inches towards the edge. Fold edges of dough up towards the center to hold the filling, pleating the dough as needed.
Brush the edges with the slightly beaten egg and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Mine took exactly 35 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the sunflower seeds, pepperoni, and parsley on top, if desired. Or the toppings of your choice.