10 October 2008

Autumn Gallette with Better For You Crust

After making the butternut squash ravioli, I had about two cups of roasted squash left over. Since the ravioli didn't wow me, I wanted to do something sort of exciting with the rest of the squash. I resolved on making a sweet butternut squash galette for desert. I went as far as making the pie dough before realizing that I wasn't particularly hungry and Zach wasn't home so it was rather pointless to bake. The next day at work, I was thinking of how to turn the sweet galette into something acceptable for dinner (only on my breaks, of course). I started talking with my co-worker S-- about ideas. I suggested goat cheese to balance out the sweetness of the squash and add some visual color contrast and she suggested craisins (dried cranberries) for more flavor. We both agreed that walnuts would be an excellent addition for some crunch (and a little bit of healthy fat to balance out the pie crust) but I knew they would have to be easily removable since Zach has an aversion to nuts.

The resulting galette came together in about ten minutes and was on the table 40 minutes after that. Along with some green beans, it was a totally satisfying dinner. Very comfort foody and rich with the pie crust, but not totally unhealthy since I had made a lower-fat crust* and butternut squash packs a Vitamin-A power punch. I will definitely make this galette again, maybe without the crust for something a bit healthier. With the crust it makes a great option for a vegetarian dinner, or as a side dish for a dinner when you have both meat-eaters and vegetarians in the crowd.

* I really didn't set out to make a low-fat pie crust. I was all set to make make a regular one when I took a look at the recipe. There was no way I was going to put a whole stick of butter into a cup of white flour. I decided to go with a two to one ratio of white to wheat flour and decreased the butter from eight to five tablespoons and told the little voice in my head to be quiet. The crust turned out way better than I expected- it was still flaky and crumbly and the addition of wheat flour went really well with the butternut squash. The best part- I didn't feel nearly as guilty eating something in pie crust for dinner as I normally would.

Autumn Galette
Serves 4

2 C. butternut squash, cut into 1 in. cubes and roasted (see below)
1 recipe pie crust (see below)
2 oz. goat cheese
1/4 C. dried cranberries
2 T. walnuts, chopped

- Preheat oven to 450F.

- Roll out pie dough in the plastic bag (see below) to a circle about 12 in. in diameter. Leaving a 2 inch border on the outside of the circle, add the squash then sprinkle on the goat cheese, cranberries and walnuts. Carefully fold up the sides of the galette to cover the outer edge of the filling. If the crust breaks just pinch it back together.

- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve. The galette keeps very well in the fridge for a day or two. Reheat in the toaster oven.

Better for You Pie Crust

2/3 C. (4 oz.) white flour
1/3 C. (2 oz.) wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
5 T. butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1/4 C. ice water.

- Mix the flours and salt in a bowl. Add the chilled butter cubes. Use the tips of your fingers to work the butter into the dough using a rubbing motion between your thumb and index fingers (like you are feeling a piece of fabric) until the butter is is evenly distributed and the mixture looks like coarse sand.

- You want to be able to form the dough into a ball using the least amount of water possible which will depend on your flour and the humidity of your kitchen. Start by adding two tablespoons of the ice water and stir together. Add more water only if needed.

- Form the dough into a ball and then place it into a gallon size ziploc bag. Flatten the dough into a disk and (if you have time) refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. The dough can be made several days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator- just take it out about 30 minutes before you need to use it or the butter have made it a solid mass that is impossible to roll out.


kat said...

Oh my this does sound wonderful

Jen said...

Thanks Kat!