Making a pie, whether sweet or savory, can be a bit of an undertaking…but not with Dorie Greenspan by your side. She’s crafted up this easy to execute, gorgeous and delicious potato-parm tart (from her new cookbook, Baking with Dorie). If you want to look like a professional pastry chef, this is the ticket.
“There are three things I know about this not-baked-in-a-pan tart,” she writes. “It is fun to make, it looks beautiful and it delights everyone. The buttery crust, a favorite, is flat and round, like a pizza crust and prebaked so it shows off its best qualities. The filling is a thin, satiny layer of cream cheese and Parmesan—add scallions, chives or shallots, if you’ve got them. And the topping is simply a potato sliced as thin as chips, so that the slices bake quickly and curl just a bit under heat. I like to serve this as a starter or, cut into small pieces, as a warm nibble with drinks.”
It’s a pretty versatile recipe too. You can use another unsweetened crust instead of this galette dough recipe, or a round of store-bought pie dough or puff pastry if you want to skip steps one through three entirely, Greenspan explains. “To play around with the flavors,” she adds, “replace the potato with an apple, preferably one with red skin. Or, for fun, make the tart with alternating slices of potato and apple.”
Excerpted from Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty, & Simple © 2021 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2021 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Winter Squash Galette with Caramelized Onions and Gruyère
Savory Galette Dough
1½ (204g) cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons/4 ounces/113g) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
¼ cup (60ml) ice water
3 ounces (85g) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
⅓ cup (33g) finely grated Parmesan
2 to 4 tablespoons finely sliced scallions, snipped fresh chives or minced shallots (optional)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium potato (red, yellow or russet), scrubbed but not peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
About 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
Fleur de sel or flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Small fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs (optional)
1. Make the savory galette dough: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse a couple of times to blend. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut into the flour. At first, the mixture will look like coarse meal and then, as you pulse more, you’ll get small flake-size pieces and some larger pea-size pieces. Add a little of the ice water and pulse, continuing until all the water is in. Then work in longer pulses, stopping to scrape the side and bottom of the bowl as needed, until you have a dough that forms bumpy curds that hold together when you pinch them.
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead it gently to bring it together. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk and put it between two large pieces of parchment paper. Roll the dough into an 11-inch round. Don’t worry too much about getting the exact size or about having perfect edges—ragged is pretty for a galette. The dough will be thicker than you think it should be, and that’s fine—it’s what you need for a free-form pastry.
3. Slide the rolled-out dough, still between the sheets of paper, onto a baking sheet or cutting board and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated, wrapped well, for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months; thaw before using.) When you’re ready to use the dough, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes so that it’s pliable enough to lift and fold without cracking.
4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Place the rolled-out dough on the lined baking sheet and prick it all over with the tines of a fork. Cover it with a sheet of parchment and put another baking sheet on top of it. Or, if you don’t have a second baking sheet, put a baking pan or tart pan over it—you want to weight it down.
5. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and the top sheet of parchment and bake until lightly golden, 5 to 8 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and cool the crust slightly before you fill and top it—it can be slightly warm, but it shouldn’t be hot. (Leave the oven on.)
6. Make the filling: Meanwhile, working in a small bowl with a flexible spatula, beat the cream cheese and milk together until the milk is mostly absorbed; the mixture will be lumpy. Stir in the grated Parmesan and scallions, chives or shallots, if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.)
7. Make the topping and bake the tart: Working with a mandoline or other slicer, or the slicing blade of a food processor, cut the potato into very thin rounds. (Or use a sharp knife to cut the thinnest slices you can.)
8. Spread the filling evenly over the crust, leaving a ½-inch border. Starting on the bare edge of the crust (or, if you prefer, just where the filling starts), arrange the potato slices in concentric circles, slightly overlapping them, to cover the entire surface. Brush the potatoes with a little oil and sprinkle with the cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper and if you’ve got herbs, scatter some of them over the tart; set the rest aside.
9. Bake the tart until the filling is bubbling (it may bubble over the edges, but that’s fine) and the potatoes are cooked through and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. (If you’ve left some crust exposed and it looks as though it’s coloring too deeply, shield the edges with foil after about 10 minutes.) Transfer the tart to a serving platter and, if you have fresh herbs, sprinkle the rest over the tart. Wait for about 10 minutes before cutting the tart into wedges.
Note: While you can make the crust and filling ahead, the tart is really a make-it-and-eat-it affair. It’s still fine at room temperature an hour or so after baking, but it’s so much better just out of the oven.