Hello Autumn. This wonderful season of mellow fruitfulness and crispy crunchy leaves has arrived, and my lovely quince tree is heaving with fruit. Normally I make a big batch of quince jelly with its fruit, but this year we have so many that I thought I’d cook with them too. I made a delicious Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Galette topped with quince – and it was oh so good!
Quince is an unusual fruit. It looks like a hard pear and is covered in fuzz. They’re not so much an eating fruit, but one you cook with. They’re most commonly found in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cookery. Quince are perhaps most famously used in membrillo, a delicious thick paste served with cheese from Spain.
I’ve never made a galette before, I had one at a French cafe in Devon and thought that it would be a good thing to try at home. It’s a bit like an informal French tart. It’s very simple and a great thing to throw together on an Autumnal evening for a warming family meal. It looks pretty too doesn’t it?
It’s very simple, it’s a shortcrust pastry filled with whatever you fancy. I went for goats cheese and caramelised onion topped with finely sliced quince in a fresh thyme pastry crust. If you don’t have quince you could slice and apple or pear over the top and it would probably be just as good.
- For the shortcrust pastry -
- 100g butter
- 225g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves - I used fresh but dry would be fine
- tepid water
- pinch of salt
- For the filling -
- 150g of goats cheese
- 1 large onion
- knob of butter
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
- 1 quince, cored and finely sliced
- 1 egg
- 1. Make your pastry. Rub the butter and flour together in a bowl until they are like breadcrumbs. Add your thyme and salt and combine. Gradually add the tepid water a couple of spoons at a time into your bowl until you have a ball of dough that isn't too sticky and wet or too dry. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for half an hour or so.
- 2. Finely slice your onion and fry gently until soft and golden in the knob of butter. Once soft, season and add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook through. Set aside to cool a little.
- 3. Roll out your dough until it's about the thickness of a pound coin and roughly the shape of a circle approximately 30cm in diameter. Place on baking paper on a baking tray.
- 4. Slice or crumble your goats cheese (whichever works best with the cheese you've chosen) and place it in the middle of the pastry, leave an edge around the sides of about 6 or 7cms so you can fold the pastry up to make the classic galette shape later.
- 5. Top the cheese with your caramelised onions and then fan your finely sliced quince (or apple or pear) in an artistic circle on top of the onion.
- 6. Take a pastry brush and brush beaten egg around the visible edge of your galette. Now take a look at my picture of the finished galette. You will need to bring the sides of your galette over the sides and covering the top, leaving the middle of the galette open. Fold the sides in sections, working anti-clockwise so they roughly overlap. Gently press the folds together. It is meant to look rustic.
- 7. Brush with the beaten egg and dot the quince slices on the top with some butter.
- 8. Bake in a pre-heated oven 200°c for 45-50 minutes until golden brown.
- 9. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes, and then serve.
- This serves 6 for lunch, or 4 hungry people. I served my galette with new potatoes and salad.
My goats cheese and caramelised onion galette was delicious and easy to make. I really liked how rustic and hearty it looked, and it’s always good to bring something to the table which makes everyone’s tummy rumble. The French often make sweet galettes with plums and such like, I have a feeling we’ll be eating a lot of these versatile galettes this year.