Gallette with chard, porcini mushrooms and savory almond custard


Savory almond custard? That’s right! Savory almond custard. Every once in a while I’ll start to muse about why some things are sweet, and other things are savory. Usually at 3 am. Vanilla, for instance. Why always sweet? Why? The other day, as I was making a bakewell tart, I started thinking about frangipane, or almond custard. I love almonds in savory situations, be they ground or slivered or chopped. So why not in a sort of custard? And then came the day I started watching youTube videos of french pastry chefs creating Galettes des Rois – a tart made with puff pastry and sweet frangipane. I got a bee in my bonnet to try to make a savory version. And so I did.

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!)

Here’s Monty Alexander with King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown. I’m sure he brought them a galette des rois! (Thanks, Tony!)
Continue reading