My mom made the savory pies from The Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest for my late-teen birthdays and other special occasions around that time. My college roommates would also make them for me, on the opening nights of plays or on my birthday or whatever. It was the primary dish that could put an ear-to-ear grin on my face. In my adult life, I've made them often, but probably not often enough. Nothing is more nostalgic and comforting. This fall version is meant as suggestion for a particularly nice seasonal flavor profile, but also as a jumping off point to whatever flavors suit your fancy.
First, rye pie crust
- 1 cup white flour
- a generous 1/2 cup dark northern rye flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 5-8 tsp ice water
Freeze the stick of butter. Place the flours, salt and cut/crumbled butter into a food processor and blitz. Many quality pie recipes discourse on the fine pleasures of rubbing the butter in with your hands. I agree, but it is easier to get perfect, flaky crust by forming pebbles of cold butter, and this is much more achievable in the food processor. After blitzing for 30 seconds or so, stop, check, then pulse. Add 2 teaspoons of water, pulse again and move to another bowl.
Add cold water, one tsp at a time, until the dough balls up. Roll the dough ball in flour, wrap in plastic wrap, then place in the fridge- 45m-hr.
Second, squash/mushroom galette filling
- 1 red kuri or sweetmeat squash
- 1 medium or two small shallots
- 1/2 pound (or just slightly less) of wild mushrooms
- Hungarian paprika
Cut the skin off the squash, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, then cut into long strips. Cut pieces about 2 1/2 inches long. Dress the pieces with a mixture of melted butter and olive oil.
Cut the top off of a head of garlic, peeling the excess papery skin off too. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and set in the center of the squash. Bake at 400º for 30-45 minutes, moving the pieces of squash around in the oil, scraping off the bottom of the pan and adjusting the placement of the pan every 10 minutes or so. When the squash is tender and has begun to darken in color, take it out. If the roasted garlic isn't quite there yet, remove it to another pan and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until soft/spreadable/meltingly tender.
Slice the shallot thinly, then chop the thin slices aggressively. Coat the bottom of a thin pan with oil. Heat on high until the oil shimmers, then drop in the shallot pieces. Add salt. Leave for approximately one whole minute, then agitate. When they've started to crisp up, turn off the heat. The shallots will finish cooking in the hot oil. Drain and remove to a bowl, ready to be sprinkled on at the end.
Break apart the little ball of chèvre (the kind that comes rolled in paprika is great for this) into little pieces. Place in a bowl at the ready.
Take the frozen, open galette dough out onto a work surface. Spread the roasted garlic in the center circle like a pizza sauce. Set the squash pieces on top of the roasted garlic spread. Bake at 425º for 10 minutes, then at 375º for 20 minutes, then at 325º for 10-15 more minutes to finish. By the time you're down to 325º it will be all cooked/ready. You're just waiting for the crust to brown slightly and flake to perfection.
During the last 10 minutes the galette is in the oven: heat some more butter and oil in the pan that recently held the shallots. Break apart the wild mushrooms into your preferred size. When the oil is hot, add them to the pan. Cover with a lid for one minute. Remove the lid and agitate the mushrooms. They'll have tenderized and gotten too moist; now you're cooking the excess moisture out of them. Press down on them with a spatula. Hear the water sizzle out of them. The pan-side edges should start to turn appetizingly brown. Flip over those mushrooms to do the other side. When all is pretty much done, turn down to low and hold until the galette is done.
When the galette is ready, pull it out and drop the chèvre pieces evenly over the squash. Scatter on the mushroom pieces, then sprinkle with the crispy shallots. Sprinkle the Hungarian paprika over the pieces of chèvre and add a light dusting of flaky salt on the sweeter, squash-heavy areas.