Fall Harvest Tart

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I feel like I may be going backwards in seasons food-wise. What I mean is, my clothes are bright, unseasonably sparse, and I feel I may opt out of wearing socks sooner rather than later. My wardrobe and my mind are in spring-mode. It may be -15, windy and slushy/snowy/icing (we live in Canada here, it truly is different every day) but to me, it’s sunny and smells like worms.

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Palate wise however, I find myself still craving the warming spices of cinnamon, hot, milky lattes and gingerbready molasses (even the later has me baffled). I think that’s why this galette seemed so appearing. Besides the fact that it’s pie for dinner, filled with all my favourite things.

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What started as a way to create a transportable and vegetarian dinner to my friend’s house, resulted in another addition to my pie repertoire that I impatiently waited an allotted amount of time to make again. 4 days is enough time in between right?

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I played around quite a bit and I’ve adjusted the pastry quite a bit; as for the filling, well…I got greedy. I loved the idea of caramelized onions, but why not add apples. And pears. And maple syrup. Next time I may add some bacon jam…..the point is: this is a VERY versatile recipe. There’s so much you can change, depending on taste, fridge contents and seasonally. I do recommend keeping the onions and squash components though. The flavour and texture are incredible vessels for customization.

Fall Harvest Tart

Adapted form Smitten Kitchen cookbook

Pastry

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or amaranth if you want to go wheat-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lard (or vegetable shortening if you’re going all vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cracked black pepper

Filling

  • 1 small acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do)
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (or another nice melting cheese)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 medium apple, diced
  • 1/2 pear, diced
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Pastry

  1.  In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the lard in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour.
  2. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the centre.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well.
  4. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-lard mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Squash

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scoop out seeds – you can peel it later when it’s cooked and softened. Cut into a 1/2-inch-ish dice.

2. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil or parchment-lined sheet for 40 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly. Remove skins.

Onions, Apples + Pears

1. While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar and maple syrup, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes.

2. Add apples and pears after about 10-15 minutes.

3. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onion mixture, cheeses and herbs together in a bowl.

Assemble

  1. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.
  2.  Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
  3. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.
  4. Brush egg wash onto pastry, sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate.
  6. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6

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