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Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galettes

December 16th, 2013

by Ali of Alexandra’s Kitchen

Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galette Recipe wisconsin cheese christmas appetizer food yum fontina holiday party  
I fell in love with Wisconsin Fontina about this time last year, when I discovered a most delectable appetizer: the Barefoot Contessa’s baked Fontina, a bubbling combination of cheese, garlic and herbs served in a piping hot cast iron skillet. This idea has become my most reliable party trick, the quickest to disappear at the hors d’oeuvres table, the most-often requested recipe at the end of the evening.

Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galette Recipe wisconsin cheese christmas appetizer food yum fontina holiday party

Fontina, as many of you might know, melts beautifully. Its mild taste lends itself well to countless herbs and seasonings, and this time of year pairs especially nicely with thyme, rosemary and garlic. It has become my go-to cheese for grilled cheese because it not only melts well, but also quickly, and its buttery taste is adored by children and adults alike.

Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galette Recipe wisconsin cheese christmas appetizer food yum fontina holiday party

In this galette, a buttery, cornmeal-flaked crust envelops caramelized onions and sweet pears melding below a layer of earthy Wisconsin Fontina. Cut into thin wedges, this rustic pastry makes a festive first course for a holiday gathering. Served aside a wintry salad of bitter greens, shaved fennel and sweet oranges, this savory galette makes a lovely vegetarian entrée, too. If you’ve yet to discover the melty wonders of Fontina, there’s no better time of year than right now. Stir it into risottos, melt it between crusty bread slices or grate it into a morning omelet.

Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galette Recipe wisconsin cheese christmas appetizer food yum fontina holiday party  

Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galettes
By Ali from Alexandra’s Kitchen

Servings: 2 as main course; 4 to 6 as an appetizer

Ingredients:
 
For Cornmeal Dough:

9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup medium or fine grind yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup ice-cold water

For Caramelized Onions:
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups onion slices (from about 3 to 4 small to medium onions)
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon red wine, white wine or white balsamic vinegar, optional

For Galettes:
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Fontina Cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked
2 small rounds cornmeal galette dough
1 cup caramelized onions
2 pears, thinly sliced
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon milk or cream

Cooking Directions:

For Cornmeal Dough:
Cut butter into small cubes and place in freezer for approximately 5 minutes.

In food processor, pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt until blended. Add butter and pulse until butter is size of small peas. Add ice water. Pulse at 1-second intervals until dough starts to form, about 10 seconds total. Dough should hold together when pinched.

Scoop half of dough onto center of sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap, forming dough into ball and pressing into disk: chill. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour, if possible.

For Caramelized Onions:
Heat butter over medium heat in large sauté pan. Add onions with pinch of salt. Cook, covered, 15 minutes.

Remove cover, stir and increase heat slightly. Continue to cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to reduce sticking. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes, stirring more frequently until onions have turned a nice deep brown.

Add vinegar, turn off heat and scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon or spatula to remove any browned bits. Remove pan from heat and transfer onions to large bowl to cool.

For Galettes:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. In small bowl, combine Fontina, salt, thyme, rosemary and pepper. Set aside.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured work surface, roll each dough round into 8- to 10-inch circle. Use flour as needed to prevent sticking and pat dough together if it crumbles. Fold each round into quarters and transfer to prepared baking pan.

Unfold one galette round and top with layer of caramelized onions, leaving 2-inch border exposed. Cover onions with layer of pears. Top with layer of herb-Fontina mixture. Lift edges of dough and fold them inward, pleating as you go, to form folded-over border, pinching together any tears. Brush egg-yolk mixture over exposed crust. Repeat assembly with remaining galette. Chill assembled galettes 15 minutes.

Bake until crust has browned and Fontina has melted, 35 to 45 minutes. Carefully slide t galettes off parchment and onto cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Fontina, Pear and Caramelized Onion Galette Recipe wisconsin cheese christmas appetizer food yum fontina holiday party

6 Comments
  1. Rene' permalink

    Oh my. Goodness. Word. Fact. True.

  2. beth permalink

    This was very tasty! Instead of rolling the dough on a floured surface, I rolled it between two sheets of parchment paper and then just transferred it to a baking sheet and removed the top sheet of paper. Can’t wait to try more recipes!

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