An overzealous grape-buying spree at the farmers' market last weekend led to the creation of this recipe. Autumn Royal, Flame, Crimson, Cabernet Sauvignon – all sweet and tart and wonderful, but after awhile we craved a change. And then we remembered how, when baked, the grape we think we know so well transforms into something plump and luscious and altogether new.
This recipe is a riff on our old Fig and Lavender Goat Cheese Galettes. We kept the galette dough and goat cheese (without lavender this time), replaced the figs with grapes, and added a few savory touches: pine nuts, rosemary, and black pepper.
This is a dessert for those who enjoy sweet-savory combinations. Baking grapes in the oven intensifies their flavor and sweetness, but the other creamy, warm, and spicy ingredients keep this from being cloying. Use a mixture of different grapes if you can; it will give the galette a more complex flavor and interesting appearance.
Goat Cheese and Grape Galettes
Makes 4 (7-inch) galettes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
7 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 pounds grapes
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
Freshly cracked black pepper
8 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon melted butter
To make dough
(Adapted from Alice Waters's Chez Panisse Fruit)
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut 4 tablespoons butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, mixing until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Cut in remaining 8 tablespoons butter with pastry blender, just until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of large peas.
Dribble 7 tablespoons ice water into the flour mixture in several stages, gently tossing and mixing with your hands between additions, until the dough just holds together. Do not pinch or squeeze the dough together or you will overwork it, making it tough. Keeping tossing the mixture until it starts to pull together. If it looks like there are more dry patches than ropy parts, add another tablespoon of water and toss until it comes together. Divide the dough into four pieces, firmly press each piece into a ball and flatten into a 3-inch disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
To roll out the dough, take one disk from the refrigerator at a time. Let it soften slightly so that it is malleable but still cold. Unwrap the dough and press the edges of the disk so that there are no cracks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the disk into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before using.
To make galettes
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut any large grapes in half; keep smaller ones whole. Combine grapes in a bowl with pine nuts, rosemary, and a couple generous cracks of black pepper.
In a separate bowl, combine goat cheese and honey.
Remove rolled-out dough from the refrigerator. Spread a fourth of the goat cheese mixture over each dough round, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Divide grape mixture between the galettes, mounding it on top of the goat cheese.
With cool hands, fold the dough border up over the grapes and form pleats. (Don't worry about making it perfect; galettes are meant to be free-form.) Brush dough with melted butter.
Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Transfer galettes to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
(Image: Emily Ho)