Cowgirl Creamery is known for its finely crafted artisan cheese. Originally established in 1997 in Point Reyes, California, founders Sue Conley and Peggy Smith have won awards for their fresh and aged cheeses and are now found in hundreds of locations nationwide. The following recipe is from their book, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks.
A flaky, buttery galette makes a fine starting point for using the ends and bits of cheese in your fridge. You can top these with almost any kind of grating cheese. Two kinds of cheese are better than one. Here, we made a galette with onion, bacon, Ossau and Vella Dry Jack, and then we made a second version with onion, fresh ricotta, lots of herbs and paper-thin slices of lemon. You could also use this same dough for a sweeter galette made with mascarpone and fresh berries or stone fruit.
Make sure the butter is very cold before you start. Don’t roll the dough; use your hands to press it into a round. Don’t use a stand mixer or any mixer with this dough, you want small butter chips throughout because they’re what make the galette so tender and flaky. Make this dough ahead if you like: Form it into a disk, wrap securely in plastic wrap, and then refrigerate for a day or two. Give the dough at least 1 hour to come to room temperature when you’re ready to shape the galettes.
We say 1 tbsp of grated cheese below, but that’s not really how we do it. Just grate the cheese directly over the galette without measuring and suit your own tastes.
Sue Conley & Peggy Smith, Cowgirl Creamery Cooks, Chronicle Books (2013). Photography by Hirsheimer & Hamilton.
- 2 cups (255g) all-purpose flour
- Pinch sea salt
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, very cold
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ Yellow onion sliced into ½ moons, sautéed in 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Grated Ossau or any grating cheese
- 1 tbsp Grated Vella Dry Jack Cheese
- 1 tbsp Grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
- 1 slice Bacon, cooked crips and chopped
- ½ onion, thinly sliced into ½ half-moons, sautéed in 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small lemon (preferably Meyer), sliced paper thin
- 4 tsp. Fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 tbsp Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tsp Chopped fresh basil, lemon thyme or any fresh herb
- To make the dough: Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut half of the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Cut in the remaining butter until the butter is the size of peas. Drizzle on 3 tbsp of the cold water and stir just until moistened. Gather up the dough and knead it just a few times until it holds together. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- When the dough has chilled, shape it into a round with your hands. Don’t overwork it. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form the rim of the crust by gently lifting a small section of dough and pressing it inward. Mix the egg yolk with the remaining 1 tbsp water to make an egg wash. Set it aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/gas 6.
- To make the Ossau and Dry Jack Galette: Spread the sautéed onion over the dough. Sprinkle the grated Ossau, Jack and Parmesan over the onion. Scatter the bacon on top. With a pastry brush, moisten the crust rim all the way around with the egg wash. Bake until the pastry turns golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Slide the galette onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
- To make the Ricotta, Herb and Lemon Galette: Spread the sautéed onion over the dough. Arrange the lemon slices evenly over the onion. Drop small spoonfuls of the ricotta over the onion and lemon slices. With a pastry brush, moisten the crust rim all the way around with the egg wash. Bake until the pastry turns golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Slide the galette onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the herbs over the top, cut into wedges and serve.