Ok, I will get to the Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Corn Galettes with Cheddar Crust in a minute. First, I just need to start by saying that it’s been an emotional week, in a good way, and I am feeling so many feelings right now. So if this post gets a little too real for ya, just skip ahead to recipe.
I’m a straight shooter so I am just going to go right out and say it, my early childhood was not easy. The first few years of my life I was raised by a girl who found herself as a single mom at age 20. We didn’t have much and struggled through some pretty tumultuous times full of fear, trauma and poverty. As much as I think I’d like to forget some of those early memories, at times, I know that they shaped me into the person I am today. The scars, both emotional and one pretty gnarly scar that covers most of my inner right arm, are with me for life. And they are part of my story.
Yikes! That got real, quick. Enough Debby Downer business. Thankfully, things turned around for both my Mom and I. She is now a committed and caring social worker who works with families in far worse situations than we endured and helps them restore their lives and families. She married a man who’ve I’ve had the honor of calling Dad since I was 4 years old and they are together and in love to this day. My Dad picked us up out of a pretty dire existence and turned our lives around. Soon after they were married, we all moved into a tiny white house in a part of town that wasn’t quite as shady as our previous apartment. For the first time in my life I had my own space and they let me decorate it as I wished. I vividly remember lining up my few worldly possessions along one wall, a tiny hand painted antique chair with a woven seat, an old worn out teddybear named Maynard with hard plastic eyes, and a happymeal box and toy from McDonalds. That may have been the happiest moment of my tiny little life, up until that point.
Another turning point came that spring when my Mom bought me a package of cherry tomato seeds and we planted them together in our small backyard garden. After years of eating mostly pre-packaged, non-perishables from the Food Bank, I developed an undying love of fresh vegetables. Cherry tomatoes had become my favorite candy and growing my own was a dream come true. I can still taste the green grassy flavors, followed by an acidic burst of sweet and tart tomato goodness of those vine ripened miracles. Those hand grown cherry tomatoes were honestly the best thing I had ever tasted. To this day, I seek out those itty bitty cherry tomatoes every summer and pop them like candy.
As an ode to my deeply rooted love of tomatoes, I developed this recipe for Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Corn Galettes with Cheddar Crust. The heirloom tomatoes, both large and small, taste of bright summer sunshine. The grilled corn just adds to that summery goodness with sweet and lightly charred flavors. Then, inspired by my all time favorite recipe, my Apple Cheddar Pie, I incorporated Tillamook smoked black pepper cheddar into the savory crust. Because if sharp cheddar tastes good with apples, it is ridiculously yummy when paired with ripe and juicy heirloom tomatoes.
These Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Corn Galettes with Cheddar Crust are the epitome of savory summer flavors. All of the ingredients play off one another and create a no fuss, no muss, picture perfect summer staple. If you have access to the bounty of tomatoes offered up by the sweet sunshine, I highly recommend fixing up these Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Corn Galettes with Cheddar Crust. And if you’re lucky enough to have a small space to plant tomato seeds, you can literally reap what you sow. And who wouldn’t want to reap a heap of garden fresh tomatoes?
If you could taste summer, it'd taste something like this. Juicy, colorful tomatoes bursting with brightness combined with fresh, charred corn bring the sunshine to the savory and peppery cheddar crust.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into small 1/4" cubes
- 1 teas fine sea salt
- 3/4 teas fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup ice cold vodka
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese preferably white cheddar
- 4-5 heirloom tomatoes
- 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 2 ears fresh corn
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme to taste
- 1 egg
Whisk the flour, salt and black pepper in a mixing bowl with high sides.
Blend the cold butter cubes into the dry ingredients using a food processor, pastry blender or the butter knife method. Stop mixing when the texture of the flour changes from silky to mealy; this shouldn't take long. Sprinkle in the cheddar cheese and mix until just incorporated. Don’t worry if a few larger chunks of butter remain, this gives the crust its flaky texture.
Drizzle the vodka into the flour mixture while gently pulsing in food processor or mixing with a fork or pastry blender until fully incorporated. Check the hydration of the dough by gathering a small fistful; if it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough is still too dry, slowly add some ice cold water; 1 tablespoon at a time, testing the dough by pinching it occasionally.
Carefully gather the dough together into a rough disk, then divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Shape each section into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1-2 hours before rolling and forming.
Double line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. Slice the heirloom tomatoes into 1/4" thick slices and place them on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and cover with another layer of paper towels. This process will help pull the moisture out of the tomatoes and prevents a soggy galette. Set aside.
Husk the corn and lightly butter. Place corn directly on a hot grill and cook over medium high heat, turning occasionally, until it's tender and charred on all sides. About 10 minutes. Once cooled, slice the corn from the cob.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the chilled dough disks into a 6-8" rounds, 1/8" thick. Place on a lined baking sheet and store in the fridge while you form the galettes, one at a time (so the dough doesn't get too warm and soft).
Top the dough round evenly with a layer of tomatoes, corn and a sprinkle of herbs. Then top with a few heirloom cherry tomatoes.
Carefully lift and fold the edges up and over the filling, allowing the dough to naturally pleat at 1-2 inch intervals as you fold. It should pleat around 8-10 times as you work your way around. Once shaped, chill in the fridge while you shape the rest of the galettes.
Preheat the oven to 375° and allow the galettes to firm up and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes while the oven warms.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and place 3 galettes, evenly spaced, on each baking sheet.
Whisk together and egg with a few cracks of black pepper. Gently brush the edges of the galettes with egg wash 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 chill to room temperature. Top with fresh herbs and serve with a nice crisp glass of your favorite white wine.