Where I’m from, July means pie season: apple pies, peach pies, and cherry pies, made with freshly picked fruit and crowned with a lattice of crust.
But while I love a traditional summertime pie as much as any other red-blooded American, lately I’ve fallen hard for the pie’s rustic, French cousin.
Meet the galette. If you’ve never made one, know that a galette isn’t just delicious, or photogenic in its own homely way - it’s also fantastically easy to make. Where American pie recipes are full of anxiety about mastering the perfectly flaky crust, galettes give a relaxed, Gallic shrug. After you’ve made your dough (in the food processor: even easier), it’s rolled out in whatever oblong shape comes out. Fillings are dolloped in the centre, and its shaggy-edged dough is folded unevenly over them, so it only covers half of what’s inside.
The result is as low-key as July baking gets. Though you can fill your galette with whichever ingredients are at hand - both sweet and savoury - I’ve opted here for beautifully dappled heirloom tomatoes, which are just coming into season. Paired with basil, whipped goat cheese and a nutty, pistachio-based crust (a favourite recipe of mine, which I’ve borrowed from Bon Appétit), the result is sublimely summery.
With a handful of dried lavender and a drizzle of honey to finish things off, these galettes are also a nod to Gunnamatta, Yeastie Boys Earl Grey IPA. Dry and unbelievably drinkable, yet perfumed with floral notes, it’s one of my very favourites (despite a punishing moment of overindulgence at a karaoke night last year—but let’s not get into that now). With a galette on the side, it’s just the can you should be cracking open at your next picnic.
Heirloom Tomato, Basil, and Whipped Goat Cheese Galettes
Makes 4 individual galettes
For the dough:
Adapted from Bon Appétit
65g raw pistachios
330g all-purpose flour
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp coarse sea salt
225g cold unsalted butter, cubed
110ml ice water
Additional flour, for rolling
Add the pistachios to your food processor. Pulse until they’re semi-finely ground, and no large pieces remain (you’ll likely need to pause and scrape down the bowl once or twice).
When they’re uniformly ground, add the flour, sugar, and sea salt, and blend until the mixture is evenly combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mix resembles coarse meal. Then, with the motor running at a low speed, pour in the ice water in a steady stream until the dough just comes together.
Remove the dough from the food processor - it will be relatively sticky, so flouring your hands and work surface is advised - and divide into two even pieces. Pat each piece into a flattened circle, wrap with cling-film, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
For the whipped goat cheese:
250g soft (rindless) goat cheese, room temperature
75ml double cream, room temperature
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Add all ingredients to a food processor. Blend, pausing to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Set aside.
For the galettes:
1 ½ tbs olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Whipped goat cheese
4 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch basil leaves, torn
1 tsp dried lavender
Chile-infused honey, to taste (can substitute regular honey)
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Flaky sea salt, to taste
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes, or until it’s fully softened and beginning to darken and caramelise. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
Ensure your work surface and rolling pin are well floured. Remove one of the two rounds of dough from the fridge and unwrap. Divide it into two equal pieces. Roll one out using the rolling pin until it’s approximately 1/8-inch thick, or approximately 9-10 inches wide. Transfer the dough to one of the baking sheets, placing it as close to one end as possible (you will need to fit two galettes on each baking sheet). Repeat with the second piece of dough on the second baking sheet.
In the middle of each piece of dough, dollop ¼ of the whipped goat cheese mixture, spreading with the back of a spoon until evenly distributed, and leaving approximately one inch of dough around the edge. On top of the goat cheese mix, add roughly one-quarter of the onions and one-quarter of the heirloom tomato slices. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and fold the edges of the dough over the tomato mixture (the edges will overlap each other; don’t stress too much about the appearance). Using a baking brush, coat the edges of the crust with the beaten egg mixture.
Repeat this process with the second round of dough; you will have four galettes in total. Do be certain to construct the galettes on the baking sheets themselves; if you try to add the toppings while they’re on the counter, they will be fragile and very difficult to transfer.
Bake the galettes for between 30-40 minutes, pausing to rotate the baking sheets halfway through, or until the crust is golden-browned, the tomatoes are roasted, and the mixture is bubbling beautifully. Leave them for a few minutes, as they’ll be mouth-scaldingly molten straight out of the oven.
When ready to serve, top each galette with some halved cherry tomatoes, torn basil leaves, ¼ tsp of lavender, a drizzle of honey, a drizzle of olive oil, and more flaky sea salt to taste.
Claire M. Bullen is a professional food and travel writer, a beerhound and all-around lover of tasty things. When she's not cracking open a cold one, she's probably cooking up roasted lamb with hummus. Or chicken laksa. Or pumpkin bread. You can follow her at @clairembullen. Pick up Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta or at our online shop.