I’m a sucker for piecrust. Sweet or savory, if there is crust involved I’m all in.

I have deemed my friend Andrea the Piecrust Queen, and every year for my birthday she makes this amazing tart for me, knowing it’s one of my favorites.

It’s from an old issue of Gourmet magazine, which we both miss. It combines caramelized onions, sage, butternut squash and apples in a delectable crust, and can be served warm or at room temperature.

It is savory, but with a touch of sweetness from the apples and onions, so it’s perfect in a buffet of assorted dishes for brunch, lunch, a cocktail party or dinner. It makes a great appetizer at the start of a formal meal like Christmas dinner or for Christmas brunch with a baked ham, a frittata and a winter fruit salad.

And it’s as pretty as it is tasty.

 

Squash and Apple Galette

 Piecrust

1 c. flour

6 T. unsalted butter cut into ¼ inch cubes

1 ½ T. water

¼ tsp. lemon juice

¼ tsp. salt

 

Combine the water and lemon juice and chill until very cold.

Put the flour, butter, and salt into a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the mixture looks like sand. With the processor running, add the lemon and water mixture and process until the dough forms a ball.

Gather the dough and slap it onto a cutting board a few times to release air. Flatten into a disk or square, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Let the dough come to room temperature before rolling it out.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9 ½-inch square or round tart pan with a removable bottom so there is ½ inch overhang. Fold the overhang inward and press into the fluted sides of the tart pan.

Prick the bottom with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line the bottom with aluminum foil and add rice or dried beans to weigh down the crust, or use pie weights.

Bake the shell on a baking sheet in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove the weights, rice or beans and bake until golden, another 5-10 minutes.

Cool the shell in the tart pan, leaving it on the baking sheet. Once cool the baked shell can be covered and stored for the completion of the recipe the next day.

 

Filling

2 T. vegetable oil

1 ½ lbs. onions, sliced thinly or chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried sage

¼ tsp. dried thyme

¼ c. heavy cream

1 large Golden Delicious apple

½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise

¼ c. cold butter sliced thinly

 

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and cook, covered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened.

Add the sage, thyme and cream, bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

The mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, for a day in advance.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place the rack in the upper third of the oven.

Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the tart shell.

Peel the apple and core with a melon baller. Slice it crosswise in very thin slices.

Arrange the apple and squash slices overlapping and alternating them in a decorative pattern. Season with salt and pepper and top them with the butter.

Bake the tart for 15 minutes. Cover it with foil and continue to bake for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Let the tart cool in the tart pan before transferring it to a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Decorate the tart with sage sprigs.

Serves 8-10 as an appetizer or 4-6 as a luncheon entrée.

 

Or just me on my birthday.

 

Deb Pepin Bullock is a SouthCoast native, author, traveler and foodie who lives in Fairhaven. Follow her blog at deborahdishes.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/deborahwhodishes or on Twitter @deborahdishes.