Smell that Sydneysiders? Go on, step outside and take a few deep breaths. Doesn’t the fresh air smell luscious? That, my dear Aussie peeps, is the smell of spring! Heck yes! Now who wants to go frolic in the sunshine? And to my lovely northern friends, the smell of autumn is equally sublime isn’t it? Bliss!
Personally, I’m ecstatic for the seasonal change because that only means one thing… summer is coming! And Sydney is sure celebrating it in style with a gloriously warm and balmy week. Nothing personal to winter but dammit, I haven’t seen my legs in a long time outside of leggings and stockings and they’re starting to look terrifying and pasty white.
Tarts and galettes to me, are quinessential spring food. I love the free-form (i.e. lazy) approach to making these. No lining of tins needed = awesome. And the fillings are endless. Any flan, shortcrust or sweet pastry can be used for a galette. Here, I used my usual flan pastry that I simply adore. It can be whipped up in seconds in the food processor, requires little chilling time, is so beautiful to work with and thankfully, doesn’t shrink unlike my laundry delicates. It’s the perfect light biscuitty, melt-in-your-mouth texture that makes it perfect for tarts.
I’ve been in the mood for figs lately and even though they’re costing me a bundle, it’s worth it. Oddly, I prefer figs in savoury dishes because I have a huge soft spot for sweet and salty and figs are the perfect example of how fruit just works with savoury ingredients. It’s also brilliant with cheese. For this galette, I spreaded a layer of seasoned cream cheese, tossed some figs on top and finished off with prosciutto. I then lightly drizzled it with a good olive oil and baked with my favourite herb, thyme. Achingly simple but oh so good.
The cream cheese and fig also works brilliantly with a sweet galette. Drizzle the figs with honey or vanilla sugar and away you go. Ricotta is also the perfect alternative and you could also pair the figs up with pears or berries. So many salivating possiblities!
Oh yes, Spring is finally here, and I’m a happy happy girl.
This will make about 2 galettes of approx 18cm wide.
250g plain flour
125g cold butter, diced
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
40ml cold water
Add flour, butter, sugar and salt to a food processor and blitz until coarse crumbs form. Add egg and water and process until it just comes together into a ball of dough. Tip it out over a lightly floured surface and give it a few gentle kneads to bring the dough together. Use immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Pastry can also be stored in the freezer for a later date.
Fig, Prosciutto and Thyme Galettes
Note: This isn’t so much a recipe but more of a guide so feel free to adjust the amounts here or to make the galettes however way you wish.
For this galette:
Approx 1/2 cup of cream cheese – seasoned to taste with salt, black pepper and fresh thyme leaves
Figs – depending on size, cut into eighths or quartered
Prosciutto – shredded
a few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Divide your flan pastry into two portions. Between two sheets of plastic wrap / baking paper or a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a circle of approx 23-24cm wide and about 3-4mm thick. I usually roll it out slightly larger and use a 24cm round cutter to cut out a perfect circle. This makes for a neater galette with flush edges but is absolutely not necessary.
Slide the pastry onto the baking tray and peel off the top layer. Chill for 20 minutes or freeze for 10.
Spread out the cream cheese on the galette leaving a 2.5-3cm border. Top the cream cheese with figs and prosciutto.
Fold the edges over the topping, crimping or pleating as you go. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and top with sprigs of fresh lemon thyme. Brush the top of the pastry with an eggwash (an egg with a dash of milk, lightly beaten). Bake for approx 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
After it’s done, remove the thyme sprigs, grab the dried leaves off the stems and crumble over your galette. If you wish, you could also crumble some feta over the galette and serve with salad greens.