Ever really wanted some pie, considered making one, and then thought it was too much effort and fallen asleep on the sofa instead? Enter: the galette.
A galette will bring you the joy and happiness associated with eating pie, but with none of that ‘finding the right tin’ and ‘making sure the pastry doesn’t tear’ and ‘blind baking’ stuff that all seems like a bit of an effort. It’s free form. It’s rustic. You don’t even need a dish or a tin – a flat baking tray will do the job admirably.
What you get is delicious, crisp, more-ish pastry, cuddling up informally with the filling of your choice. Here, I’ve gone savoury, with this spinach, artichoke, and blue cheese number. But you can use any pie filling you like (including sweet ones, if you omit the herbs and spices from the pastry), and still enjoy a delicious pie-like treat.
The best thing is that a galette is meant to look rustic. The pastry is inherently cracked and folded. You don’t need to worry about perfect pastry technique. If you’re nervous about rolling and shaping pastry, the galette is your friend. And it looks appealing and impressive enough to be pretty fancy, if that’s what you’re looking for. But it’s also easy enough to just be dinner. A really tasty dinner. I’m going to go and snack on some galette now.
Pretty liberally adapted from this recipe.
You may be wondering about the grated mozzarella. I would normally always go for a ball of mozzarella, rather than grated, but for this (and pizza toppings, incidentally), grated tends to work best because it’s not too wet, and is easy to distribute through fillings. That said, if you have whole mozzarella you’d rather use, that’ll be okay too if you shred it finely.
for the pastry
150g plain flour
150g wholemeal flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1-2 tsp very finely chopped fresh thyme
175g cold butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk
2-4 tbsp cold water (start with 2)
for the filling
300g fresh spinach
Glug of olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
Generous pinch of cayenne
Juice of ½ lemon
300g artichoke hearts, drained, any huge pieces cut in half (from a tin or a jar is fine)
115g grated mozzarella (see note)
Salt and pepper
80-120g blue cheese, broken into chunks (choose the amount according to how much you like blue cheese/how much you have lying around)
Handful of walnuts
1 egg, beaten
Handful of fresh basil leaves, to garnish
- Pop a small bowl of cold water in the fridge. Put both flours, salt, pepper, and chopped thyme in the food processor. Blitz briefly to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until everything is combined and looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and two tablespoons of your fridge-cold water, and pulse again. If it’s starting to come together and looks like pastry, you’re done. If it still looks dry, add another tablespoon or two of cold water until it just comes together. Tip your pastry onto cling film, knead briefly to bring it to a disc shape, then wrap in the cling film and chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Heat your largest frying pan over a medium heat, add the spinach and cook until wilted, then keep cooking for a couple of minutes to drive some of the moisture off – you might have to do it in batches depending on the size of your pan. Tip the spinach into a sieve and get rid of as much excess liquid as you can – don’t be too precious about it, though, because you can spend your whole life trying to get liquid out of spinach.
- Put the spinach back in the pan and add the olive oil and the garlic. Cook the spinach with the garlic gently until it starts to smell tasty – 2 or 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the cayenne, lemon juice, artichokes, grated mozzarella, salt, and pepper, then leave the filling to cool – pop it in the fridge if you’re in a hurry.
- When your filling is cool, take your pastry out of the fridge. Flour your work surface and roll the dough to about the thickness of a £1 coin – aim for a circle-ish shape, but it doesn’t really matter. Transfer your pastry to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Leaving approximately a 7cm border around the edges of the pastry, top the dough with the spinach mix, then scatter on the blue cheese and walnuts.
- Fold the edge of the dough over the filling – don’t worry if it cracks a bit, you’re going for rustic. Brush the crust with the beaten egg. Place the galette in the fridge for 15 minutes, or until ready to bake – if you want to get ahead, you can leave it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 4. Bake the galette for 45-55 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crisp. Let it sit for five or ten minutes, then top with fresh basil, and serve.