I took a day off from work today. I do that occasionally, when there is a work pile up and things start stressing me out mentally. I find that staying away from work sometimes, from what I do everyday, from the people I see everyday – I feel better and think more clearly about new ideas and projects as then, I am in my own comfort zone. I need my “me” time to realign my thoughts and turn up with more things to work on in a good frame of mind.
Today was one such day. I decided to stay at home and do absolutely nothing (well, somewhat) except just relax, clear up my room and maybe give some thought on the execution of a new project I am working on. The relaxation part involved some food experimentation too.
I had a round of Brie cheese lying in my fridge for some time. Brie was one of the varieties of cheese that I, somehow, had never tasted earlier. I had seen it earlier and even bought it (and discarded it post its expiry – Yes, I am guilty of that) but I never managed to eat or cook with it anytime. I never really thought what stopped me from doing that. Maybe it was the fact that brie was generally regarded as a cheese that is best paired with fruits and in India, we rarely have events that give us an opportunity to celebrate the fruit and cheese platter. Indian celebrations have their own amazing range of food and these do not ideally pair well with cheese platters.
Anyway, last month, I had gotten some Brie cheese again and having stocked up on it, was determined to make something this time round. And, today was the day it seems.
Since fruit is an ideal pairing with Brie, the half pineapple that lay in my fridge post my dad’s experimentation on a “Pineapple vegetable” recipe last Sunday seemed like a good contender for the part. Believe me, prior to today, I had absolutely no idea how brie tasted or how it would pair with the pineapple but I was playing a hunch and went ahead with it.
Thus, happened this experiment today – Galette with Brie, caramelised pineapple and dried cranberries.
Turns out, it tasted amazing. The thick, smooth texture of the warm cheese on the crusty pastry fresh out of the oven blended absolutely divinely with the sweet, caramelised flavour of the pineapple with the cranberries adding a slight tang. The brie, on its part, is one of the most delightful cheese’s I have ever eaten. I wonder why did I stay away from it for so long. It is creamy, smooth and simply melt in the mouth. This one has definitely made it to my list of top cheeses (My first favourite is Goats cheese).
Try out the Brie with other fruits. I guess, pears would work pretty well and maybe figs too with a drizzle of honey and some walnuts possibly.
GALETTE WITH BRIE, CARAMELISED PINEAPPLE AND CRANBERRIES.
For the Pastry
Plain flour – 1 cup
Chilled, cubed butter – ½ cup
Powdered sugar – ½ cup
For the fruit
Fresh pineapple – cut into ½ inch slices and the slices cut in half
Dried cranberries – a handful
Sugar –1 to 2 teaspoons [depending on the sweetness required]
Pomegranate molasses – 1 teaspoon [Optional]
100GM round of Brie cheese
For the Pastry
- Sift the flour and sugar in a bowl.
- Add in the chilled butter chunks and rub the mixture using your fingertips. Avoid using your palms as they will warm the pastry up. You want it to be cold.
- The mixture should resemble coarse breadcrumbs once the butter is mixed in it.
- Bring it all together using maybe a couple of tablespoons of cold water.
- Make a ball and cover it with cling wrap.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Take it out only once you are ready with the fruit mix.
- Once taken out, dust a stone surface with some plain flour and roll the pastry in a round shape, about ½ CM thick.
- Transfer this quickly onto the baking tray. If it tears a bit in the middle, quickly stick the pastry by joining the sides. The pastry is quite forgiving that way.
FOR THE FRUIT
- Heat up a grill pan and sprinkle a bit of sugar on it.
- Once the sugar caramelises, place the pineapples on it.
- Sprinkle the balance sugar on it.
- Press the pineapples using a spatula or spoon so that they get well grilled.
- This should take about 5-7 minutes.
- Once you see the grilled marks setting in on the pineapple, drizzle a bit of the pomegranate molasses on top. This will give it an added tang and flavour. This is optional, however.
- Take the pineapples off the pan and leave aside.
- On top of the rolled- out pastry in the baking pan, place the brie cheese cut in thin slices or cubes, whichever you prefer. Arrange the cheese in the centre of the pastry making sure to leave about 1 inch borders on the sides uncovered.
- On top of the cheese, place the caramelised pineapples.
- Carefully, fold the left-out borders over the filling so that it is encased inside. The centre of the Galette will remain uncovered but the pastry shall cover up from the sides. (see the picture)
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Centigrade for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.
- After about 15 minutes in the oven, take it out and sprinkle the cranberries over the pineapple. Place to bake again.
- From my personal experience today, my cranberries got a bit too caramelised being in the oven too long since they were the dried ones. Hence, best to add them just a few minutes before the galette is cooked to avoid the slight burn.
- You might need to play around with the oven time since every oven has a different setting. Use your instinct and experience with your oven and bake this accordingly.
- This tastes best when served warm as the cheese is all oozy and literally melts with the pineapple.