Sunday, 9 March 2014

Squash and leek galette




I have very fond memories of my grandma's baking when I was younger. She was a very traditional cook, so used to make a lot of pies, among other things. Homemade pastry of course. My brother and I used to love that pastry so darn much that she used to make up a separate batch so we could have extra with whatever we were eating. I could pretty much just eat it on it's own like a snack.

I still love pastry to this day. It's buttery, crumbly goodness take me back to those days and I don't think anything can beat a pie as the ultimate winter comfort food.

So when I decided to stop eating gluten I did worry how I would get my pastry fix. I just don't think I could live a life without pie. Then I discovered Mrs Crimble's Pastry Mix and was relieved!

I do normally try to make everything I eat from scratch, but have to admit that the world of gluten-free baking is quite a daunting one. It seems to require a lot of different speciality flours - which ends up being quite expensive and they are often hard to find. So this mix saves you all that hassle and is sold at my local Sainsburys - easy!

I was very impressed with how the pastry turned out. It was easy to make - just add butter/margarine and water - and easy to work with, and once baked it had just the right consistency of crumbliness while holding together well. I would definitely recommend it if anyone is thinking about going gluten free.

I decided to use the mix to make a galette. Up until recently I thought a galette was a traditional French version of a crepe, made with buckwheat flour. But it turns out that a galette can also be a kind of free-form pie or tart- you basically wrap the pastry round the filling as opposed to neatly putting in a baking tin. Which sounded ideal! It's meant to be "rustic" and slightly wonky? Fine by me!

So here is my first attempt at a gluten-free galette. The leeks and squash are cooked long enough to get a lovely sweetness, which is balance out by some salty goats cheese, and the walnuts add a bit of a crunch and a nutty flavour.

Of course, you can use normal pastry for this if gluten isn't a problem for you. But either way, don't worry about it being too neat!

Squash and leek galette
(Serves 4 - with side salad)

1 leek, sliced
1/2 acorn squash (or similar), finely sliced
3 garlic cloves
50g goats cheese
10g walnuts, roughly chopped

Mrs Crimble's pastry mix
90g butter/margarine
70ml water

1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbs water
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Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/ 190C/ 170C for fan assisted ovens.

Prepare the pastry as per the instructions and leave to rest while preparing the filling.

Saute the leeks, squash and garlic in 1 tbs of olive oil for about 20 minutes, until soft.

Roll out the pastry into a vaguely circular shape (remember- not perfect!) until it's about 5mm thick. Prick the  centre of the pastry a few times with a fork.

Add the leek, garlic and squash mixture into the centre of the pastry, leaving a border of about 5 cms. Fold the border into the centre, pleating as necessary to create folds encasing the filling. Brush the edges of the galette with the egg and water mixture.

Place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove and top with goats cheese and walnuts. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry turns golden and the cheese has started to melt.

Serve hot or cold with a crisp salad.