Butternut Squash, Leek, and Gruyere Galette is the flakiest, butteriest pastry dough ever filled with roasted butternut squash, caramelized leeks, and Gruyere cheese. This rustic, savory galette is a must-try!
If you were following my cooking school posts, you know that in Week 20 I had an improvisational exam prep where I had to create a dish out of butternut squash and spinach with no recipe. I made a galette, and I was so happy with it that I couldn’t wait to post it here. I made it at home the weekend after I graduated, but it needed more squash and leeks. This meant I needed to make it again to get the recipe just right, which I was more than obliged to do.
We need to talk about this pastry dough first and foremost. This dough was dubbed “Super Dough” in class because it can do no wrong. It’s so buttery and flakey, and while it benefits from chilling, it’s not necessary. Super Dough is made in the food processor, so it comes together in minutes, which I why I chose this particular dough to memorize for my improvisational exams. It’s perfect for pastry novices, because it’s got plenty of butter in it, which makes it quite forgiving. Even if your not a pastry novice, this is a pastry dough you need in your repertoire, because who doesn’t want a dough that’s super simple, forgiving, and doesn’t require chilling? This girl needs it.
This dough recipe calls for milk instead of water, and vinegar as well. The milk helps the crust brown more quickly, and the vinegar makes it super flakey. Super dough = super flakey.
The diagram above shows the steps for the dough. It may have helped if I’d labeled them right?
In the top left diagram, the flour and salt are placed in the food processor first and pulsed to combine, then the cold butter cubes are added. The mixture is pulsed about 30-35 times, until it resembles a coarse meal and the butter is in pea-sized chunks.
The top center diagram is what the dough looks like after the milk and vinegar have been added and pulsed until the dough forms moist clumps. You can do this further until the dough forms more of a ball, but I chose not to over process it, dump it out, and knead it gently into a disk by hand. At this point, you can wrap the flattened disk in plastic wrap and chill it, or just keep on going.
I rolled out the dough to about 1/8″ thick, and it was about 16″ across. It’s a lot of dough, so you can decide whether you’d like to make one large galette or smaller ones.
The leeks are the next important thing, and these can be done ahead of time, even a day or two before. Simply cut the dark green tops off the leeks, and cut them lengthwise down the center as shown in the first photo. Wash the leeks by placing them under running water and separating the layers so all of the dirt and grit can just flow out. Halve the leeks, then slice thinly. You’ll have a lot of leeks here, but they cook down to nothing, and you need plenty to top that dough, giving it lots of moisture.
The center diagram shows the leeks cooking with a parchment paper lid on very low heat. What the lid does is helps the leeks steam and soften. After 20 minutes, you can remove the lid and increase the temperature to get the leeks nice and caramelized, about another 15-20 minutes.
You’ll need quite a large butternut squash for this recipe as well, and I prefer one with a very long neck so I can get those pretty half moon pieces and fewer seeds. I roasted them on two rimmed baking sheets because if they’re overcrowded in the pan they steam instead of roast.
The squash should be soft, but not mushy, because it will continue to cook and caramelize during the galette baking time. I roasted the squash and cooked the leeks the day before so that all I needed to do on galette baking day was make the dough and assemble. That meant I got to eat it faster.
When assembling the galette, mix the leeks with a tablespoon or two of Greek yogurt. If you don’t have that, you can use sour cream or creme fraiche. This gives the leeks more moisture and some richness. Spread the leeks over the galette, leaving about an inch and a half of dough around the edges for folding. Next, layer the squash in a decorative pattern, and top with the Gruyere cheese. Fold the dough over, overlapping slightly, and brush with egg wash. In 30 minutes, you’ll have a beautiful, golden brown galette.
In school I served this galette with a spinach pesto and toasted walnuts, which was delicious, but I think it’s great on it’s own as well. The best part about this is that you can customize it to your liking…or quite possibly the best part is the fact that this galette means it’s perfectly acceptable to eat pie for lunch or dinner.
We all want an excuse to eat pie for lunch or dinner, don’t we? Consider this galette to be your perfect excuse.