"Pie dough really can be simple—people get intimidated by it, but it's not all that different than making biscuits. I use All-Purpose White Lily flour, ice water, and really cold butter. That's it. There's no secret. I always use my hands—I like the control—and I try to work really fast. If I feel like the dough is getting soft or limp, I pop it into the freezer or the fridge for a bit.
Also, I always make more than I need—that way there's always a batch on hand in the freezer when the need strikes. My feeling is, if you're going to make a mess, you may as well make the most of your efforts!
People don't always think of savory tarts, but they can be such a great, quick meal. Galettes—rustic tarts you make without a pan—are especially forgiving, and I love how you can change them up depending on the season. In summer, I might do a version with squash or zucchini; definitely tomatoes. The possibilities are endless, but I always gravitate toward sharp cheeses and herbs and the savory end of the spectrum.
This onion galette is perfect for the cooler months and combines all my fall favorites. It's light enough and shareable that you can whip it up if you have impromptu guests coming by for drinks or need a holiday hors d’oeuvres—but you can also serve it as a side with roasted chicken and a salad at Sunday supper. And boy, will it make your house smell good.
In fact, here's a funny story: I could hardly cook in college, but when I had my first apartment with friends, I would fill foil packets with onions, garlic, and olive oil and leave them in our oven for hours like an air freshener! That scent of roasted garlic and onions—I think it is just the ultimate comfort. When you smell it, your shoulders go down, you relax. It's like this universal signal that says: you made it through the day—now break bread and enjoy this time together."
Caramelized Vidalia Onion Galette
2 cups White Lily All Purpose Flour
⅓ teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
3 lb. Vidalia onions
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1 large egg, beaten
Make the pastry dough:
1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work into the flour with your fingertips just like making biscuits until the mixture has the consistency of grated Parmesan cheese.
2. Mix the cold water in by the tablespoon, using your fingers until the dough holds together in a rough ball.
3. Flour a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Dump the dough onto the paper. Flour the top of the dough and cover with another sheet of paper.
4. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
5. Let dough rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling out.
Make the galette:
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the mustard.
3. Heat the oven to 400°F.
4. Place the prepared dough on a sheet of parchment and roll it into a large rectangle that is about 14- by 10-inches. Lift the parchment and transfer it to a baking sheet.
5. Sprinkle the dough with ⅓ cup of the Parmesan. Then spoon the onions onto the dough and spread them into an even layer, leaving a 2-inch border bare around the edges. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the onions and brush them with the beaten egg.
6. Bake until the crust is just golden, about 10 to 15 minutes, then sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Return the pan to the oven and bake until deeply browned, about 15 to 20 minutes more.