(by Toby Poser)
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch size cubes
5 - 6 T. ice-cold water
4 T. butter, divided
2 green pears, cored and sliced thinly
2 large leeks, chopped thinly
3 garlic cloves
2 T. olive oil
2 large bunches of Swiss chard (any color), chopped roughly, stems separated and finely slivered
red pepper flakes
4 T. cream cheese, softened
2 T. heavy cream
1 c. Gruyère cheese, plus 2 T., grated
fresh black pepper
1 T. milk
In a processor or by hand, mix flour and salt, then pulse or cut in the butter until a ragged mix of pea-sized crumbs form.
Little by little, drizzle in the cold water, pulsing or stirring with a fork until the dough is moist enough to just come together.
Gather dough, and turn it out onto a floured clean surface, quickly and gently pressing it into a ball.
If too dry, use very small drops of cold water to slightly moisten and combine dry crumbs.
Mold into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate unto ready to use.
(Dough can be frozen for future use. Thaw for an hour before rolling out.)
Melt 2 T. butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.
When butter foams, add a pinch of brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
Stir until butter turns brown and bubbly, about 1 - 3 minutes.
Place sliced pears flat in the skillet, overlapping as little as possible.
When pears begin to sizzle and turn crisp at the edges, turn and cook for 1 minute.
When pears are beginning to brown, remove and set aside.
Reduce to medium heat and melt remaining 2 T. butter.
Add leeks and cook, stirring often, for 12 - 15 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.
Add garlic, a pinch of salt, and a dash of vinegar.
Stir and cook an additional 2 minutes, or until caramelized, then transfer contents to a bowl.
Add olive oil, pepper flakes, and chard stems to the pan.
Cover and sauté, stirring often, for 6 - 8 minutes, or until soft.
Add chard leaves and cook, covered, for a few minutes, until wilted. Uncover and cook until most liquid cooks off.
Add a few cracks of black pepper and any desired salt.
Add cream cheese, and stir to combine.
Slowly stir in heavy cream.
When cream begins to thicken and slightly brown around the chard, turn off heat.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Flour a clean surface, and roll dough into a circle (bigger by two inches than the width of your sheet pan), about 1/8 inch thick.
(If dough is sticking, flip it and sprinkle flour on the sticky sides.)
Loosely fold the dough so that you can transfer and unfold it onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Sprinkle 1 c. Gruyère on bottom of the dough, leaving a two-inch border without cheese.
Spread chard mixture on top, followed by caramelized leeks.
Place pears in a pretty pattern on top.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and crack a few turns of black pepper over all.
Fold outer dough edges towards the middle, creating a shallow pocket on the edges while most of the galette is exposed in the center.
Pinch together any cracks or holes.
Whisk together milk and egg, and brush over the folded pocket of crust.
Bake on the center rack for approximately 40 - 45 minutes, or until the crust browns and the pears and cheese turn crisp on top.
Slide away the sheet pan, and let the galette cool on the parchment for 5 - 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and enjoy hot or at room temperature.
Serves 8 -10.
(Read The Wanderer, the story that accompanies this recipe.)