I added chard and mushrooms (porcini & white), because they’re nice with almonds, and I like them together, and I like them in pies! The pie was delicious with chard and mushrooms, but it overshadowed the almond custard a little bit, so I fully intend to someday make a version with only the almond custard. Oh, and I added cheese, too, because I like cheese! I was full of indecision on this score. I could imagine any number of varieties of cheese tasting good here. In the end I decided on smoked gouda, because as I walked the boys home from school the smoke from fireplaces all over town incited a craving.
I used the soaking water from the porcini mushrooms to make a sauce. I combined it with port wine, shallots, herbs, and a tiny bit of cream.
I should mention that my puff pastry didn’t rise as dramatically as the ones in the youTube videos of French pastry chefs. It was very crispy and flaky and delicious, but it wasn’t made up of millions of little layers, and it wasn’t toweringly tall. I’m ordinary, I tell you! I use ordinary flour! I don’t take the temperature of my butter! (You could always buy puff pastry, I suppose!)
4 or 5 large chard leave, washed, drained, and very very finely chopped
1 clove garlic – finely minced
1 T olive oil
1/2 t each rosemary, thyme, basil
1/2 cup loosely packed dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup warm water
1 batch roasted mushrooms
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1/2 cup grated smoked gouda
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cups flaked almonds
1 T flour
1/2 t. baking powder
salt & pepper
First, soak the porcini in the warm water for at least half an hour.
When that’s all done…Remove the porcini from the water, but keep the water. Chop the porcini into very small pieces.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and herbs. Cook for a minute, then add the porcini and the chard. Cook till the chard is wilted and everything is hot. Tip this into a bowl to combine with the roasted mushrooms. Season well with salt and pepper.
For the almond custard…in a processor, grind the almonds. Then add the flour, the baking powder, and all but 2 T of the beaten egg. Process until smooth.
Okay, to put it all together…
Break your puff pastry dough into two even pieces. Roll one out to be about 12 inches across.
Now roll out your other piece of puff pastry to be about 12 inches across. Brush the margin left on the bottom piece with water, and then lay the top piece, well, on top. At this point, I rolled up the edges. I think this might have hindered the puffing process. You might, instead, want to press the dough firmly down to seal.
Using a sharp knife, make little cuts all around the edge of the galette.
Brush everything with the remaining beaten egg.
Using a sharp knife, very carefully slice through just a part of the top layer of dough. You can use little crescents in a spiral, or any pattern you like!
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes, until it’s puffed and golden brown.
THE PORT PORCINI SAUCE…
1 cup porcini-soaking liquid, strained.
1/2 cup port
1 T balsamic
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 t. flour
herbs (Thyme, sage, rosemary, a pinch each)
1 or 2 T heavy cream
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the balsamic, port, herbs and shallot. Cook for about 10 minutes, till it’s reduced somewhat. Add the flour and the porcini-soaking liquid, and whisk till smooth. Cook for 15 or 20 minutes, till everything is hot and thickened. Add the cream, salt and pepper, and serve.