I’ve always been a fan of cream cheese pastry dough—and I have my own little tricks for making it. It’s just that fresh goat cheese takes this really good thing, and makes it even better. It’s a subtly delicious partner for berries in the galette recipe that follows. You can leave it at that, or dial-up the goat cheese flavor by adding a little to the filling as well. Have it your way.
-To make 4 galettes (each serves 2): divide the ingredients into 4 parts. Roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch circle and leave a 2 -inch border around the fruit. Bake 20-25 minutes.
-To make 6 individual galettes. Divide the ingredients into 6 parts. Roll each piece of dough into a 6 ½-inch circle and leave a scant 1-½ -inch border around the fruit. Bake about 20-25 minutes.
Serve galettes within a few hours of baking—ideally as soon as possible after they are completely cool. (Some of you are thinking, “why not serve them warm?” so I will share that—having tasted them hot, warm, lukewarm, and completely cool—they have the best flavor and flake after completely cool. But of course, it’s up to you…) —Alice Medrich
- Serves 6 to 8
1 1/4 cups
(160 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
(12 grams) sugar
salt (I use fine sea salt)
(4 ounces/113 grams) could unsalted butter
(113 grams) cold fresh (creamy) goat cheese, with or without herbs or lavender
3 1/2 cups
(14 ounces/400 grams) blackberries
(36 grams) sugar
1 1/2-2 ounces
(42-56 grams) additional goat cheese, optional
1 1/2 tablespoons
(22 grams) cold unsalted butter
- First make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Cut the butter in 3/4-inch cubes and scatter them over the flour. Pulse until butter pieces range in size from very coarse breadcrumbs to hazelnuts.
- Crumble or break the 4 ounces of goat cheese into teaspoon size chunks and add them to the processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like crumbs—it should not come together into a dough or look cohesive at all, but it should stick together when you pinch it.
- Pour the mixture into a plastic bag and press it very firmly into a compact ball, don’t worry if you notice unblended bits of butter or cheese; this is correct. Twist the top of the plastic bag and refrigerate the dough for at least two hours and up to three days before using.
- Not, fill and the bake galettes. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap and cut it in half, and let it rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until just still firm, but pliable enough to roll; it should not be soft or squishy.
- Set one piece of dough on a flour-dusted surface and press it into a thick patty. Sprinkle it with flour and roll it into an 11-inch circle 1/8-inch thick, sprinkling dough and rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. As you work, slide the dough around and/or slip a metal spatula under it frequently, and sprinkle with more flour, as necessary to avoid sticking. Don’t bother to trim the circle; uneven edges are part of the charm here. You don’t have to patch the edges if they tear a little, but do patch any breaks or tears in the center of the dough, using bits from the edge, to prevent juices from leaking.
- Roll the pastry up around the rolling pin and unroll it on a sheet of parchment—or slip a flexible cutting mat or baking sheet under it to transfer. Brush off excess flour if necessary— and set aside.
- Repeat with the second piece of dough, transferring it to another piece of parchment.
- Distribute half of the berries over the center of each circle, leaving a 3-inch border. There will space between berries. Sprinkle the berries on each pastry with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. If you like, break the optional goat cheese into small pieces and divide and distribute them over and between the berries on each galette. Cut the butter into slivers and distribute them over the berries. Trying not to tear or break the pastry (or juices will leak out), fold the edges up and over some of the berries, letting the pastry pleat it as you go.
- Use a pastry brush dipped in water to moisten all of the exposed pastry around each galette and sprinkle each with half (1 1/2 teaspoons) of the remaining sugar. Trim parchments so that both galettes will fit—with their parchment—onto one baking sheet.
- Bake galettes until pastry is golden to deep golden brown and very deeply colored around the bottom and underneath (you can lift the parchment slightly and peer through it underneath), 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Juices will be bubbling and may seem thin; they will thicken as the galettes cool. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Serve once cooled.