A truly autumnal treat with seasonal pears, sweet sticky onions and rich blue cheese. The gallette pastry is super easy to make and a lot more rough and ready than a perfect tart, leaving you more time to focus on the delicious filling. This can be shared whole as a light lunch or starter or part of a cheese board with red wine and all the trimmings.
250g plain flour
¼ tsp of salt
125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 tbsp water
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp olive oil
4 red onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
5 pears, peeled, cored and sliced vertically
150g blue cheese, such as roquefort
1 egg, to glaze
1. Begin with the pastry. In a food processor, blitz the flour and chilled cubes of butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse briefly as big flakes of dough form and it comes into a ball. Take out the dough and gently bring it together, kneading gently into a flat disc. Press out any cracks and wrap in cling film to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced onions with a good pinch of salt, then reduce the heat to sweat them down until really soft and translucent, about 25 minutes. Cover and stir from time to time to stop them from sticking.
3. When the onions have completely softened, add the sugar and sherry vinegar. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes uncovered, until they take on a deep caramel colour and any liquid has evaporated. Transfer the onions into a bowl to cool.
4. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 4.
5. Take the dough out of the fridge and on a sheet of baking paper, roll out to a large circle, about 30cm diameter and 3/4mm thick, pressing any cracks together. Trim around the edge to neaten up to a rough circle. Lightly beat the egg and brush all over the pastry.
6. Spread the caramelised onion mixture over the pastry, leaving a 5cm border around the edge. Arrange the sliced pears over the top of the onions and generously crumble over the blue cheese. Fold over the edge of the pastry and crimp to seal with lightly wet fingers to help the pastry stick.
7. Brush all over the rim of the pastry with the egg glaze.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins until the pastry is golden and cooked through. Leave for a few minutes to stand before slicing and eating warm.
Photography by Holly Farrier