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Cook this: Aged cheddar, smoked ham and apple galette from Cedar and Salt

Our cookbook of the week is Cedar + Salt: Vancouver Island Recipes from Forest, Farm, Field and Sea by photographer and food writer DL Acken, and recipe developer and olive oil sommelier Emily Lycopolus. Over the next three days, we’ll feature more recipes from the book and an interview with its authors.

Often accompanied by words like “rustic” and “freeform” (for good reason), galettes are ideally suited to the more relaxed bakers among us. If you struggle to roll out a perfectly symmetrical shape, galettes are the answer. They don’t need to be perfectly constructed to be beautiful.

Galettes, which can be filled with anything and everything, are perfect for everyday meals and special occasions alike. For Thanksgiving, cut DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus‘s aged cheddar, smoked ham and apple version into wedges and serve as a savoury starter, or have it join the other main dishes on the table.

“Apple and ham go together so well,” says Acken of the sweet and salty combination. “(And) it’s creamy and crunchy all at the same time.”

The authors call for all-purpose flour for the crust, but I substituted Red Fife (along with an extra tablespoon of water). Canada’s oldest wheat variety, the grain is cultivated on Vancouver Island as well as many other places across the country. It’s worth seeking out for the nutty richness it brings to pastries and breads, and Acken and Lycopolus offer several uses for it in Cedar and Salt. Try it in their easy artisan seedy soda bread, Red Fife flatbread, Red Fife honey scones with strawberry butter, or stuffed Red Fife crêpes with prosciutto, pear and buffalo mozzarella.

Cedar and Salt

Cedar and Salt by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus.

TouchWood Editions

AGED CHEDDAR, SMOKED HAM AND APPLE GALETTE

Pastry:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) cubes
5–6 tbsp (75-90 mL) cold water
1 large egg
1 tbsp (15 mL) milk

Filling:
1 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cups (185 mL) milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) grainy mustard
2 cups grated aged cheddar cheese
1 cup (2.5-cm/1-inch) cubed smoked ham
2–3 large baking apples, cored, cut into 6-mm (1/4-inch) slices (peel left on)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Step 1

To make the pastry, place the flour, thyme and salt in a food processor. Pulse once to combine. Add all the butter and pulse a few more times until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is cut down into pea-sized pieces. Add the cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing in between to bring the dough together.

Step 2

Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a disc. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 4

To make the filling, first melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the flour. Stir to combine and cook until the flour begins to brown and has a slightly nutty aroma. While whisking constantly, add the milk and continue to stir until the roux thickens. Remove from the heat and add the grainy mustard. Set aside.

Step 5

In a large bowl, place the cheese, ham, apple slices, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss lightly just to combine.

Step 6

Place the dough on a well-floured work surface and roll it into a 30-cm (12-inch) circle. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.

Step 7

Spread the mustard roux over the middle of the pastry, leaving a 5-cm (2-inch) -wide border along the perimeter. Top with the cheese, ham and apple mixture. Fold the bare edges of the dough in towards the centre to form a rustic crust.

Step 8

Make an egg wash by beating the egg with the milk. Brush the crust with the egg wash and bake the galette for 25–30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Step 9

Remove the galette from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5–10 minutes before serving.

Step 10

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Serves: 6-8

Reprinted with permission from Cedar + Salt by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus, 2019 TouchWood Editions. Copyright © 2019 by DL Acken and Emily Lycopolus.

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