Courgette & Goat's Curd Galette by Anna Higham

Here at Neal's Yard Dairy, we get to meet and work with a lot of talented people like baker extraordinaire Anna Higham. Author of The Last Bite, and former pastry pro at some of London's finest restaurants - Lyle's, Flor and River Café to name a few-  Anna is soon to open her own venture Quince Bakery  alongside business partner Paris Barghchi. We are very excited for her next chapter and whilst we eagerly anticipate opening day, Anna was kind enough to share her recipe for the perfect summer lunch, Galettes! 

Lunchtime is a bit of an institution at Neal's Yard Dairy and we love to cook and eat together every day at our offices & maturation facilities in Bermondsey. So this recipe comes tried and tested, with the seal of approval from many hungry cheesemongers. We enjoyed it for lunch with delicious sides of roasted vegetables and grains but it would also work well served with a fresh green salad.

Courgette & Goat's Curd Galette by Anna Higham

A tart perfect for this time of year when courgettes are everywhere and the goats cheeses are at their most delicious. You can make the pastry a day ahead or make a double batch and freeze some for another galette (Peach! Fig! Blueberry!).

I like to add some wholegrain flour to my pastry to give further depth of flavour but this recipe will be very forgiving whichever flour you use (if you use a low gluten or gluten free flour this will be much trickier to work with). Try ½ white and ½ spelt or buckwheat to add something special.

For the rough puff pastry:

  • 300g very cold butter, diced
  • 400g stoneground flour (you can do all white or add up to 50% of wholegrain)
  • 5g fine salt
  • 100g (plus extra) ice cold water

Combine the butter, flour and salt in a large bowl. Toss the butter in the flour to make sure each cube is covered and then use the tips of your fingers to flatten the butter into thin pieces. You want to keep large sheafs of butter as this will help create an extra flakey texture in your final dough.

Once all the butter is well coated in flour and flattened out add ¾ of your ice water. Squeeze the dough together rather than kneading, add a little more water if there is a lot of dry buttery flour. I like to dip my hand into the water and drip it into the dough to make sure I only add a small amount at a time. If you use more wholegrain flour it will be thirstier so you may need more than your 100g, just add it gradually.

Squeeze the dough together into a neat rectangle, wrap it in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. After it has chilled, roll the dough out to a long rectangle the depth of your worktop. Brush off any excess flour and fold the dough into thirds like you would fold a letter. Wrap the dough back up and chill for 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding one more time and chill until ready to use.

This dough will keep in the fridge for a day or will freeze very well at this stage.

For the filling:

  • 3 courgettes
  • Fine salt
  • 300g Neal's Yard Creamery goats curd
  • 100g Neal's Yard Creamery creme fraiche
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Slice the courgettes thinly: a Japanese mandolin is perfect here but a sharp knife and a little care will also work. Place the sliced courgettes in a bowl and season generously with fine salt. Mix well so that each slice is seasoned and transfer to a colander set over a bowl. The salt will draw out any excess water in the courgettes. Let them sit for about 30 minutes, giving a squeeze every now and then to help things along.

In the meantime cook the peas (I just pour a freshly boiled kettle over them and drain after 5 minutes). Combine the goats curd, creme fraiche, olive oil and cooked peas together in a bowl. Use a microplane or fine grater to grate the garlic cloves and add to other ingredients. Grind the fennel seeds and add along with a few grinds of black pepper and pinch of salt. Mix well and taste for seasoning adding more salt, pepper and fennel as your palate likes. The garlic will be punchy but will mellow when cooked. If you have them, herbs like mint, parsley, dill or basil would be a lovely addition.

Preheat the oven to 200c (fan). Take your chilled dough from the fridge and roll out until it is about the thickness of a £1 coin. You can roll it into a beautiful round or roll it to fit a rectangular baking tray. Place onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Take your goats curd mixture and spread it evenly over the base leaving a 1 inch border around the edge of the dough. Give your courgettes a good squeeze to remove any last liquid from them and scatter evenly over the goats curd mixture. Fold the edges of the dough over the courgettes to create a crust. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for around 30 minutes.

The pastry should be a deep golden and the courgettes starting to colour on the edges. I like to slide a spatula under the galette to check the middle of the base is cooked and a good golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. You could go the extra mile and finely grate some Spenwood over whilst it is still warm or thinly shave over a young fresh goats cheese like St Tola or a firmer Sinodun Hill.