September is always a bit of a transitional month. Summer slowly, then all at once, shifts into autumn. The harvest comes in, and the bright summer flavors are replaced with the deep, earthy winter ones. Cold soups to hot ones, tree fruits to root vegetables. With some corn and squash in between.
This is my first autumn away from New England. I know it's September, and it's still summer weather outside in my new home of Austin, Texas, but there's still a shift in the air somehow. My New England skin will still find summer temps here in November, when the rest of Texas is beginning to bundle up--last year I was outside in a bikini top sunning myself only to see jackets on the streets. But there's still a coolness beginning, a stirring in the seasons. New England is already getting cold, and I'm being advised to bring warm clothes for my quick jaunt back this week.
I've yet again embarked on a weight loss journey, and as I've said before, cutting carbs seems to work better for me than cutting calories but I'm trying a hybrid of both. I'm diligently tracking my food and imputing it into an app, working out regularly in the early hours... if you know me, you know this is a struggle.
So, to say goodbye to summer, and my last big dose of carbs before buckling down, I made this galette. My first galette ever, with dough made from scratch WITHOUT a food processor. The fresh burst of heirloom cherry tomatoes with the creamy ricotta and flaky, buttery crust... it's a complete marriage of summer and fall, bright flavors with a warm presentation. The recipe is long, but trust me... it's worth it, and honestly not as involved as it looks.
Heirloom Grape Tomato Galette with Ricotta Filling
(Crust based on instructions Food52)
- 2 cups flour
- 1.5 sticks of COLD butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup of ICE water
- 1 tbs garlic powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg (for glaze)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I used Heirloom)
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 1 heaping tbs herbs de provance
- ~1/4 cup ricotta cheese
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Mix together flour, garlic powder, and salt. With your hands, a pastry cutter, or a food processor, mix together the flour mixture and the cold butter. If using your hands: pinch together the butter into the flour until the biggest bits left are the size of peas. If using a food processor: Pulse until the biggest bits are pea-size.
-Sprinkle the ice water over the dough, folding gently and making sure the ice cubes don't fall in. With your hands, gently press the dough together until smooth. If too crumbly, use a tablespoon more water at a time.
-Spread some plastic wrap on the counter, and press dough into a disc. Wrap up, and put in fridge for at least 1 hour.
-Prepare filling: Mix together tomatoes, corn starch, herbs, salt. (A splash of red wine vinegar or balsamic might be nice here too!) Let sit for 5 minutes.
-Back to the dough... Pull it out of the fridge and gently roll into a circular, flat disc (Ideal thickness is about 1/3", but I think mine was closer to 1/2", oops). Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.
-Spread ricotta cheese in the middle of the disc, leaving about 3 inches or so around the edge. Pile tomatoes on top of the ricotta.
-Carefully fold the edges of the pastry up and around the tomatoes. Pinch lightly to make sure it stays closed.
-Whisk egg and use a pastry brush or your fingers to "paint" the edges of the crust. Sprinkle with more garlic powder, salt, or herbs if you'd like.
-Bake for 1 hour OR until the crust is golden brown. (mine took 35 mins)
-Transfer, GENTLY, to a cooling rack and cool completely before serving. Serve with slices of fresh basil.