It’s tomato clean-up time. I have tons of cherry tomatoes in the garden that need to be eaten all at once, so I made two tarts; a savory tomato galette and a sweet tomato jam tart. Both tart shells have rye crusts. I love the contrast of dark, earthy, spicy rye flour with the bright, sweet, tart tomato.
For this galette crust, I blended the rye with some Sonora wheat flour. The Sonora brings a lot of levity and tenderness to the tart. As I was making this tart I was thinking of all the flaky crusts I’ve made and all my little quirks I’ve developed to get it just the way I like it. Somehow without realizing it I’ve developed a whole belief system around the making of flaky crust. For one thing, I’m a bit of a purist about it. No vodka, sugar, cream cheese. Just flour, water, salt and butter. Especially when I’m using interesting flours, I want to just let those flavors shine. I’ve also synthesized a bunch of tricks I’ve picked up from different bakers along the way. Maybe a flaky crust tutorial is in order… for now, it’s all in the instructions.
I’ll probably be making a few more of these before the tomatoes are all gone- I’ve almost never seen anything I’ve made get eaten this quickly at home. Was maybe even better warmed up for lunch the second day.
For the dough
75 ml ice cold water
½ tsp sea salt
113 g dark rye flour
113 g Sonora wheat pastry flour
150 g very cold butter (preferably 82% fat or higher)
For the filling
2 pints cherry tomatoes
4 oz (113g) soft goat cheese, room temp
½ bunch fresh thyme, picked
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
For egg wash
1 egg, separated
1 Tbs heavy cream
Pinch sea salt
1. Dissolve the sea salt in the cold water and set aside in the freezer until ready to use.
2. Whisk together the rye and pastry flours.
3. Cut the butter into small cubes, roughly ½ inch
4. Toss the butter and flour together so that the butter cubes are coated. Pile the butter and flour on a work table and, using a bench knife, pastry cutter or chef’s knife, chop the butter into the flour.
5. Use a rolling pin to flatten and smear the butter into the flour until the mixture is a shaggy pile with lots of butter smears.
6. Scoop the flour and butter back into your mixing bowl. Pour the cold water and salt into the bowl. Use a fork to gently push the flour around until it is combined.
7. Scoop the mixture out of the bowl onto the work surface again and gently press the dough together into a cohesive ball. You should be able to still se chunks of butter.
8. Chill for 1 hour.
9. After 1 hour, give the dough a fold. To do so, remove it from the fridge and roll it into a long rectangle, roughly 4 inches on the short side and 12 inches on the long side. Fold the top third of the dough over the middle, then fold the bottom third over that. Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll it out again, roughly 4 inches by 8 inches this time. Fold it in half and press down so that the block is solid.
10. Chill for another 2 hours or up to overnight. The dough can also be frozen at this point for up to a month.
11. When you are ready to roll the dough out, remove it from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make the square into a circle, use the rolling pin at to make an x on the square, with the points of the x terminating in the angles of the square. Roll it out a little so that the corners of the square are flattened. This will leave some lumps of dough in the sides of the square. Then roll those out so that the sides of the square start to round out a little. Continue to flatten the corners and tease the sides outwards until you have a rough circle. Roll, moving the dough and the changing the angle of rolling pin frequently as needed until you have a large round of dough, roughly 10 inches in diameter.
12. In a small bowl, stir the egg white well until the are no more strands of albumen. Use a pastry brush to brush the dough evenly with the egg white. Place the rolled-out round on a lined sheet tray and chill for about 15 minutes before filling and shaping.
13. Once it’s chilled, spread the goat cheese evenly in an 8-inch circle in the middle of the dough. Leave about 2 inches around the edge for folding over.
14. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the cheese. Sprinkle with thyme, sea salt and black pepper. Fold the edges of the dough over the edge of the tomato layer, pleating as needed.
15. Mix the egg yolk and cream together well with the pinch of sea salt. Use a pastry brush to brush this egg wash lightly on the folded over edges of the dough.
16. Chill again, for 15 minutes to an hour before baking.
17. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until the pastry is golden brown and the juices from the tomatoes have started to reduce.
18. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes for the tomato juices to set before serving.
19. Keeps well, wrapped in the fridge, for up to 3 days.