My uncle grows the most amazing heirloom tomatoes. After my most recent pilgrimage to his garden to reload on these amazingly delicious red orbs, I was looking for a dish that truly showed them off and highlighted their sweet and savory flavor.
The result is this tomato galette. A simple and easy pastry dough, combined with garden fresh tomatoes and a very special cheese, create what has been described by my family as "a giant tomato croissant."
- 4-5 fresh heirloom tomatoes
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (for the dough)
- 1 large egg, whisked
- Sea salt and pepper to taste (for seasoning the tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup water or a 50/50 mixture of champagne vinegar and vodka*
- 1 8oz wheel brie or Camembert cheese
*NOTE:For an extra flaky dough, substitute vinegar and vodka. It won't affect the flavor of the dough, the alcohol cooks out, and the result is incredible.
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Step 1: Dough Prep
In a large bowl, mix 1/2 tsp salt with 1 cup flour and whisk until blended. Grate or dice 1 stick of butter quickly onto the flour and cut in using a dough cutter until a shaggy dough is formed. Drizzle in water or vinegar/vodka mixture until a slightly sticky ball forms. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to 2 days.
Step 2: Assemble
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice tomatoes thick, about 1/4 inch. Salt and pepper the tomatoes and let sit. This will dry off some of the liquid in the tomato and prevent the finished galette from being too soggy.
On a floured pastry board (I use a sifter to flour my board since it results in more evenly distributed flour), roll out the dough to an 8-10 inch round about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Slice the cheese and distribute in the center 8 inches of the round and then cover with overlapping tomatoes. Fold in the edges to form an octagon and transfer to a Slipat-lined heavy steel baking sheet using a pizza peel. These galettes can get very heavy, especially when doing several at a time, so the use of a heavy baking sheet is highly recommended.
Step 3: Egg Wash
Brush the edges of the crust with the egg and then bake the galette in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Step 4: Serve And...
Allow the galette to cool for about 10 minutes then slice and serve. I like to place mine on a small tapas plate in a little puddle of hot sauce.