French Onion Galette

updated Feb 26, 2021
French Onion Galette

This rustic savory pie features an easy homemade crust and is filled to the brim with deeply caramelized onions and melty Gruyère cheese.

Serves6

Prep30 minutes to 40 minutes

Cook1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes

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french onion galette sits whole out of the oven
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

I was a senior in college living in a 400-square-foot studio apartment the first time I caramelized onions. I tended to them for over an hour, in meditation, until they were chestnut-hued and practically jammy — and I was totally enamored of the lengthy yet deeply rewarding task. I’ve been obsessed ever since, although I’ve learned to always crack the windows before I start. (With my bed practically in the kitchen in that shoebox-sized apartment, I spent the night in tears, thanks the pungent scent of onions).

There are thousands of things to do with a big batch of caramelized onions, but my favorites have always been those that let the onions star. They’re the clear center of attention in this galette, which is a playful spin on French onion soup. It boasts a buttery, black pepper-spiked crust, mounds of melty, nutty Gruyère cheese, and, of course, caramelized onions, which are scented with thyme and made extra rich with a splash of sweet balsamic.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

The Cheesy, Ultra Cozy Recipe That Cures My Cooking Fatigue

A galette is essentially a rustic, free-form pie, and I find this lazy approach much more satisfying to make than the real deal. There’s just something about the rolling and folding of the crust that feels more artistic and inspired. When I’m deeply fatigued of cooking, this kind of homey imperfection is exactly what helps me reset. Even more so when I sit down to a warm wedge with a simple green salad and a glass of wine.

You’ll use two pounds of yellow onions to make the filling here. Consider saving the peels and scraps in a zip-top bag or airtight container in the freezer for a future batch of stock. If you’re as sensitive as I am, there may be tears shed in the slicing and caramelizing process — even in a large kitchen with those windows wide open. I promise, though, you’ll be rewarded.

Other French Onion Recipes You’ll Love

French Onion Galette

This rustic savory pie features an easy homemade crust and is filled to the brim with deeply caramelized onions and melty Gruyère cheese.

Prep time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 35 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 3 tablespoons ice water

For the filling and assembly:

  • 3 pounds

    yellow onions (about 3 large or 6 medium)

  • 10 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 ounces

    Gruyère cheese

  • 1/4 cup

    dry white wine

  • 2 teaspoons

    balsamic or sherry vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons

    Dijon mustard

Instructions

Make the crust:

  1. Freeze 1 stick cold unsalted butter until firm, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt together in a large bowl.

  2. Place a box grater over a small piece of parchment paper, cutting board, or large plate. Grate the butter on the large holes of a box grater. When you get down to a small nub of butter, chop that nub into 5 to 6 small pieces. Reserve the grater (no need to clean).

  3. Transfer the butter to the dry ingredients and reserve the parchment paper. Use your fingers to toss the butter in the flour, breaking up any clumps, until evenly coated.

  4. Drizzle 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoon ice water over the butter-flour mixture. Use a fork or your hands to combine and lightly mix until a rough dough ball forms; do not overwork the dough.

  5. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the palm of your hand to quickly gather and press the mound into a thick disk. Wrap in the plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling, at least 1 hour.

Make the filling:

  1. Halve and thinly slice 3 pounds yellow onions (about 11 cups). Strip the leaves from 10 fresh thyme sprigs.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 12-inch or larger, preferably high-sided, skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, half of the thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and reducing the heat if the onions start to burn, until the onions have reduced by over half, are very soft, and deep golden brown, 45 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, grate 6 ounces Gruyère cheese on the large holes of the box grater onto the reserved parchment paper (about 1 1/2 cups).

  3. Pour 1/4 cup dry white wine over the caramelized onions. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and continue to stir until the wine has evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 teaspoons balsamic or sherry vinegar.

Assemble and bake the galette:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a sheet of parchment paper about the size of a baking sheet. Lightly dust the parchment with all-purpose flour.

  2. Unwrap the dough and place it on the prepared parchment paper. Sprinkle the dough with more flour and, using a rolling pin, roll it out into a round about 12 inches wide. Carefully transfer the parchment paper, with the rolled-out dough on it, onto a baking sheet.

  3. Spread 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard evenly onto the dough with the back of a spoon or a butter knife, leaving a 1 1/2- to 2-inch border. Sprinkle half of the cheese onto the mustard. Spoon the caramelized onions onto the cheese.

  4. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pleating it about every 2 inches. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. (Don’t worry if some of the cheese gets on the crust — it will just result in some nice, golden-brown crispy bits like French onion soup!)

  5. Bake until the crust is firm and golden-brown, and the cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 35 minutes. Let the galette cool for at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the remaining thyme leaves and serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Re-warm in a 300°F oven.

Make ahead: The dough and caramelized onions can be made a day ahead of time. Store both in the refrigerator and let the onions sit at room temperature while the oven preheats before rolling out the dough and assembling.