The best things come to those who wait, right? I’ve been waiting to test this recipe that has been slowly gestating in my brain for the past 9 months. At conception, I was in no way prepared to deliver what would become one of my all time favorite recipes. All I knew was that I wanted to incorporate the flavors of French Onion Soup into some kind of baked good, and I wanted it bad. I didn’t care where or how I’d get it, I just needed it. Instead of testing recipes, I immediately went all the way and made a deeply satisfying batch of French Onion Soup without even considering the development of my future recipes. It was good while it lasted, but it got me nowhere.
Then I got busy. I started preparing to run my first half marathon and didn’t have time for such indulgent pleasures. Life got in the way and my obsession with French Onion went by the wayside. Months later, I felt an insatiable urge to taste those bubbling hot, rich and deep flavors again. I flirted with the idea of a French Onion Galette for a couple of months, but then summertime was in full swing and I lost interest in getting hot and heavy in the kitchen. So, I made a summery savory galette, a BLT Galette with Pecorino Pepper Crust, to scratch the itch. It was glorious, full of bright and sunny flavors that got me through my dry spell.
And now the time has come. We are midway through October, and after months of recipe development, I’ve finally delivered a bouncing, beautiful spankin’ new recipe for a French Onion Gruyere Pear Galette. It has all of those deep and intense flavors of slowly caramelized onions, a salty bite of gruyere and a subtle kiss of sweetness from thinly sliced pears. All of the ingredients get real intimate when baked together on a bed of flaky, tender crust and once it pulls out of the hot oven, the whole thing gets topped with a fresh nip of thyme. Ohhhh yeah.
Now, when I look at this recipe, I am filled with pride that comes from a slow cooked labor of love that is only fully appreciated when mixed with equal parts passion and patience. Sometimes, we want something so badly that we don’t think we have it in us to wait, rushing into something we aren’t prepared to take on. It ain’t worth it. Slow your roll and enjoy the journey, the reward awaits and tastes of sweet and savory success. It’s worth the wait.
Like many things in life, this This French Onion Gruyere Pear Galette cannot be rushed. The crust takes time to perfect, the onions need to cook low and slow and then you’ve got to wait for the whole dang thing to bake together in the oven for 40 minutes. It will take a while but the best things really do come to those who wait.
- prepared pie dough - 1 disk
- yellow onions - 2-3 small - medium sized
- pears - 2
- butter - 2 tablespoons
- gruyere - 3/4 cup, grated
- white wine - 2 - 4 tablespoons
- fresh thyme - 1-2 tablespoons
- salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- pepper - to taste
- egg - 1
- You will need 1 disk of flaky pie dough to begin. I use my favorite All Butter Vodka Pie Dough Recipe. *If frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature for about 90 minutes until soft and pliable.
- Peel the onions, chop in half and then slice them into thin strips.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a stainless steel, cast-iron skillet or a dutch oven until melted.
- Add all the onions to the pan and stir them gently to coat with butter. Stir the onions and scrape up any fond that forms on the bottom of the skillet. Exact cooking times will vary with the number of onions you're cooking and how much liquid and sugar they contain.
- *It will take 40 minutes up to an hour to get fully caramelized onions. Check the onions every 5 to 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes they will start to become translucent. If at any time they look they are starting to burn, adjust the temperature from medium to low. Around the 20 minute mark they start to soften and begin to change color slightly.
- *After 30 minutes they will start to turn a deep blonde color and begin to get jammy. 40 minutes in they should be smelling really caramelized and will begin to take on that deep golden brown color. For a deeper caramelization and richness, keep cooking them until about 50 minutes.
- *Low and slow is key here to the process, you don't want to overheat the pan as the onions will burn.
- When the onions have finished cooking down, pour 2-4 tablespoons of white wine, balsamic vinegar, or water into the pan with the onions. While the liquid bubbles up, scrape up the fond and stir it into the onions. Salt the onions to taste.
- Transfer the caramelized onions into a bowl and set aside to cool. Thinly slice the pears and grate the gruyere.
- Once your pie dough disk feels ready to roll (it should still feel slightly cold and somewhat firm but pliable enough to roll out) lightly flour a smooth surface and roll the dough into a 12"-14" round about 1/8" thick. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
- Layer on 3/4 of the caramelized onions on the center of the rolled dough disk, leaving about a 2" border all the way around. Top with a little of half of the cheese and give it a few cracks of fresh pepper to taste. Layer the pear slices on top of the onions, and top with remaining onions and all but 1-2 tablespoons of remaining gruyere.
- Carefully lift and fold the edge up and over the filling, allowing the dough to naturally pleat at 2 inch intervals as you fold. It should pleat around 10 times as you work your way around.
- Preheat the oven to 375° and chill the galette in the fridge for 15 - 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Whisk the egg and lightly brush over the exposed dough, sprinkle the top of the galette, crust included with remaining gruyere just before baking.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through until the crust is a deep golden brown and your kitchen smells like heaven.
- Allow to cool at least 15 minutes, top with fresh thyme just before serving and slice into 6 - 8 wedges.
- *For super detailed and thorough instructions on how to prepare perfectly caramelized onions, see this post from those smarty pants over at The Kitchn. They've got this thing nailed.