An easy galette packed with texture and flavor, this Caramelized Onion and Fig Galette with Goat Cheese makes a fabulous appetizer or main. This recipe is vegetarian.
It was my Mam-Maw who first turned me on to figs.
She had an old Fig tree she’d pick from and would offer her haul. I usually refused, not knowing what I was missing. This was when I was younger and not as wise.
I don’t recall her ever really making anything with Figs, rather she’d eat them raw. Perhaps that’s one reason she lived a fairly healthy life up into her early 80’s.
It’s been four years now.
She was a Southern woman thru and thru. Growing up on a Texas farm, she told stories that would make one laugh until belly aches took hold.
Life was so different for her than what I experienced growing up. Instead of going to the local mall for the latest and greatest, salesmen would go door to door, selling the newest gadget. Now, one is just a few clicks away from whatever one desires landing on their door step.
My how things have changed.
We were pen pals after I moved from home and this is the time we became closer. I could always rely on a snail mail letter each month, sharing her adventures.
I got to know her better than ever before.
I always think of her when I see figs or when I go to the mail box and there’re no letters.
I miss her.
After she passed away, I had the opportunity to read some of the journals she’d been writing for years, long before cancer took her.
I learned more than I thought I knew about my pen pal. Her stories still make me laugh…
I continue to be interested in how interwoven food and memories are. Even the simplest of fruits, such as Figs, can trigger memories.
I listened to a podcast interviewing John Allen regarding food and memory this week:
“We all have our food memories, some good and some bad. The taste, smell, and texture of food can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back memories not just of eating food itself but also of place and setting. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body.”
My favorite part is when he discusses crispy. Now, what does that word do to you? Gah!
This Caramelized Onion and Fig Galette with Goat Cheese is a welcome to Fall. The crispy and flaky crust is so tender and buttery, with sweet and savory going on in between.
Drizzle on balsamic vinegar and sprinkle fresh herbs to your heart’s content.
I know Mam-Maw would love this galette.
Caramelized Onion and Fig Galette with Goat Cheese
For the Pastry:
For the Filling:
- 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs Unsalted Butter
- 1 lb, 8 oz Sweet Onions cut in 1/2 and sliced thin into 1/2 moons, 690g. About three small onions.
- 1/4 tsp fine Sea Salt
- 1/8 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 10 - 14 oz (290-400g) Figs 1/2 sliced into discs and 1/2 sliced into quarters, you'll need just under a pint of figs.
- 4 oz (113g) Goat Cheese plain or herb and garlic, divided, at room temperature.
- 1 Egg + 1 Tbs Water whisked. If avoiding eggs, you can brush the edges with milk of choice.
- 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
- Balsamic Vinegar for Drizzling
- Fresh Thyme and Chives for Garnish
For the Pastry:
- Cut the butter into 1/4" (.64cm) cubes using a knife, or a bench scraper. Pop the butter in the freezer for 5 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Whisk the milk, salt and apple cider vinegar together. Let set for 5 minutes to sour.
- Whisk the all purpose and white whole wheat flours together in a large bowl. Get the cold butter out of the freezer and drop it into the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the flour. Stop working the butter into the dough when the butter pieces are about the size of almonds, or slightly smaller.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the milk mixture. Use your hands to mix the flour mixture with the milk mixture. Dump the mixture out on a floured surface when the mixture resembles a shaggy mass. Use a bench scraper to gather all the bits of flour together shaping it and pushing it together into a rectangle and start folding and pressing the dough over and on top of its self, working in the milk mixture. The mixture will be crumbly. Just keep gathering, folding and pressing. If needed, add 1 - 2 tsp of cold water. Work quickly so the butter stays cold. Fold the dough over on its self about 9-10 times. Divide the dough in 1/2 (6.5 oz or 180g each), then shape each piece into a circular mass. Flatten each piece out using a to about 1/2" (1.27cm) making sure it is in a rounded shape. Wrap it securely in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate overnight or for at least one hour.
Caramelize the Onions:
- In a large nonstick pan melt the olive oil and butter together. When just melted, add the onions, salt and sugar. Caramelize the onions on low to medium low for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash or two of water if they start sticking after about 30 minutes of cooking. The onions are done when they're golden and very soft.
Roll out the Dough:
- Remove the pastry from the fridge. Have ready a sheet pan, plastic wrap, parchment paper, flour for dusting, a rolling pin and ruler.
- On a lightly floured work-surface, use a rolling pin to 'condition' the pastry by beating it down by about 1/4" (1.27cm). Turn the pastry as you work it.
- Flour the rolling pin and the top of the pastry to keep them from sticking to each other. Use the rolling pin to start rolling out the dough turning the dough 1/4 way around after a few rolls and continuing to do so until a round pastry takes shape. Keep rolling, adding a light dusting of flour under and on top of the pastry as needed to keep the pastry from sticking. Work quickly, if the pastry is sticking too much, place the pastry on the parchment lined sheet pan and pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes. Roll the pastry out between 9"-10" (23-25cm) round. Craggy edges are okay. If there's a tear in the edge, tap your finger into a bit of cold water and seal up the tear. Set aside at room temperature on a piece of parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Spread half the goat cheese over the pastry in a circular pattern. Leaving a 1 1/2"-2" (1.2cm-2.5cm) edge. Next arrange 1/2 the caramelized onions over the goat cheese. Sprinkle with a few thyme leaves. Place 1/2 the figs cut as discs around the edge of the filling, slightly overlapping if needed. Arrange 1/2 the 1/4 cut figs in the center of the galette, placing another disc in the center of the "flower". Fold the edges over the filling, overlapping the pastry as needed, leaving the center open. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to an hour before baking. Assemble and freeze/refrigerate the second pastry in the same manner.MAKE AHEAD TIP: An assembled galette can go straight from freezer to oven! Simply freeze the assembled galette on a parchment lined pan/plate. When ready to bake, egg (or milk) wash the pastry, then bake straight from freezer. If storing in the freezer for more than an hour or two, wrap the frozen galette snugly in foil, then place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to two weeks.
- Using a pastry brush, egg (or milk) wash the edges of the pastry.
- Bake on a parchment lined sheet pan at 400F (205C) for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the center is bubbling.
- Allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes, then cut each galette into thirds if serving as a main or into 8 pieces each if serving as an appetizer. It's delicious warm or at room temperature.
- Just before serving, lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top and sprinkle fresh thyme and chives.
- Store leftovers flat, and wrapped in foil in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a 350F (180C) oven for about 10 minutes.