Brown Butter Pumpkin Galette with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese + Sage

Brown butter pumpkin galette topped with caramelized onions and tangy goat cheese. This savory pumpkin galette makes a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer!

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It's Thanksgiving week! Time to turn on the oven, crank up the tunes and bust out your fanciest pair of stretchy pants. We've got a lot of work to do.

Chaser has to work at the firehouse this Thursday, so I'll be heading down to my aunt's to help out with the cooking. It's always a bummer when he has to work on a holiday, but the silver lining is that we won't have to spend half the day in the car schlepping from one family to another. Instead, I get to post up in the kitchen all day, basting the turkey and sipping my wine without having to worry about being anywhere but present in the moment. I'm really looking forward to that, but I'll miss getting to see the other side of my family and Chaser's.
Close up of crispy sage leaves baked into a pumpkin galette.Top view of a triangle slice pulled out of a pumpkin and goat cheese galette.
When it comes to the big spread, we keep it pretty traditional in my family - and I like it that way. I don't want a chipotle brined turkey, chorizo and mushroom stuffing or a coconut cranberry layer cake. I'm sure they're all delicious, but to me, they're just not Thanksgiving. When I sit down at the table I want it to taste like the fourth Thursday in November, not like I just showed up at the trendiest new restaurant in New York. I want a simple, juicy roasted turkey with all the fixings. I want buttery herb stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, plain, unadulterated corn (the frozen kind), and I want to slather it all in a rich, flavorful gravy. I want pumpkin pie in its purest, most basic form: with canned pumpkin, evaporated milk and just the right amount of spice. I want my Grandma's apple pie and whipped cream from a can. It's the only time of year I get to indulge in this sort of food, and I'm not ever willing to stray.

I will admit, however, that there is a place on the table to get creative, and that's with the appetizers. Apps are often the most overlooked part of Thanksgiving because all the emphasis is on the big dinner. The only appetizer that's tradition in our family is wine. Besides booze, it's usually just your basic cheese and crackers or crudités, if anything at all. But then again, we eat dinner at like 2pm, so as long as you've had breakfast, you're not missing much. Top view of pumpkin puree spread on top of pastry crust on a parchment lined baking sheet.Close up of sage leaves baked into a pumpkin, goat cheese, and onion galette.
This galette is the result of mixing together a few of my favorite holiday flavors: butter, pumpkin, sage and PIE. I love the idea of serving a savory pie before the big meal, as many people are often too full to indulge in dessert (not me, for the record). It is my rule that everyone, even those without sweet teeth, must have pie on Thanksgiving.

I start by whipping up a classic French pâte brisée, which is a little bit different from my typical pie dough. The difference being that it uses all butter and the addition of an egg, but the technique of making it is exactly the same. I find the addition of that egg helps keep this free-form tart intact, and using all butter and no shortening really heightens the flavor of the brown butter in the filling. I switch it up for this recipe by using half whole wheat flour in addition to white flour. The slight earthy flavor plays up nicely against brown butter, pumpkin and sage. Plus, using the words "whole wheat" makes it easier to pretend this is actually healthy. All that being said, if you happen have some leftover pie dough lying around, by all means, use it.

Top view of a pumpkin, goat cheese, and onion galette on parchment paper on a wood table.Close up of a slice of pumpkin galette and a fork on a white dinner plate.

I have preached many, many times about the beauty and magic of brown butter. I just love the stuff. It enhances pretty much anything it comes in contact with, and it needs to be somewhere on your holiday table.  Might I suggest in this tart? It has all the familiar flavors of Thanksgiving wrapped up into a pretty little package, ideal for filling the tummies of hungry guests who would otherwise be tempted to start picking at the turkey skin. Everyone knows that all that brown, crispy skin belongs to one person and one person only: the cook.

And, hey! Remember those caramelized onions we made last week? They get put to good use in this here recipe. Their sweet, deep flavor is such a wonderful compliment to the tangy goat cheese and creamy, buttery pumpkin. Be sure to make a little extra - they'll be SO good on your turkey sandwich come Friday.

I hope you all have a warm, festive, safe and delicious Thanksgiving. I'm so incredibly grateful to have you all show up each week to read, watch, cook, comment, share and (hopefully) laugh. Make it a great one.

-Coley

Brown Butter Pumpkin Galette with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese + Sage

Top view of a pumpkin galette topped with sage leaves.
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Brown Butter Pumpkin Galette with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese + Sage

Brown butter pumpkin galette topped with caramelized onions and tangy goat cheese. This savory pumpkin galette makes a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 373kcal

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • 4 ½ ounces COLD unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

For the Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped, plus 6-8 whole leaves for topping
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree canned or fresh
  • 1 large egg plus another large egg beaten for egg wash
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup caramelized onions from about 2-3 onions. recipe: https://coleycooks.com/how-to-make-caramelized-onions/
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • flaky sea salt such as Maldon for sprinkling, optional

Instructions

Make the Crust

  1. Mix together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the flour for a few minutes, until the butter is broken into pea sized pieces.
  2. Whisk together the egg and two tablespoons of cold water, then pour it into the flour mixture. Use a fork to stir the mixture until it comes together, adding one to two additional tablespoons of water until it forms a ball. Do not knead the dough or mix any further. Wrap the ball in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to rolling out.

Make the Filling

  1. Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Keep a close eye on it as it sizzles, foams, and eventually turns brown and smells nutty. Add the minced sage and immediately remove from the heat. Add the pumpkin puree to a bowl and pour the butter in. Add the egg and salt, then mix until the butter is fully incorporated.

Assemble

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the dough to about a 12" circle and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the pumpkin mixture in the center, leaving a 2 inch border around the outside. Distribute the caramelized onions evenly over the pumpkin, then crumble the goat cheese on top. Drizzle with honey, then scatter whole sage leaves randomly but evenly over top. Gather and fold the dough up around the sides to enclose the filling.
  2. Brush the exposed dough with the egg wash, then lightly sprinkle flaky sea salt (if using) on top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • To achieve a tender, flaky pie crust, the dough needs to stay cold at all times. Be sure to start with chilled ingredients and place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes if it's starting to get too warm. Placing the prepared tart in the freezer for a few minutes before baking ensures that the crust will be super flaky.

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 10400IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

Brown Butter Pumpkin Galette with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese + Sage | This amazing savory pie recipe makes the best Thanksgiving appetizer! #thanksgiving #recipe #appetizer #side #pumpkin #pie #savory #brownbutter | ColeyCooks.com

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    O-M-GOODNESS!!! We have a Pinterst Winner here!!! (Not that ALL of your recipes aren't Pinterest worthy... but this one... gahhhh)...
    Like the others have said... ALL my favorite ingredients... and I have sage growing in my garden... YAY!
    Regarding Thanksgiving desserts: We also have the traditional apple, pumpkin and chocolate pecan pies (oh baby!), but we started to do something a little different in the past few years. It's only immediate family that comes to Thanksgiving so we don't have to put on a big showy display... only about 9 of us there. We sleep over hubby's sister's house the night before... we bake and prep the bird, drink wine, put together a jigsaw puzzle. THEN... the next morning.... we.... eat,,, some of the pies! (shhhhhh). It's SOOOO GOOD in the morning instead of after a feast! We always have plenty of pie for after our tummies have digested, but the flavors are SO much better on an empty stomach.
    To everyone out there... Feel free to hijack this new tradition if you wish. You'll thank me later! Have a wonderful holiday, everybody!

    1. Hey Joy! I'm thrilled you love this recipe enough to PIN it!! What's so funny about this is that growing up, my grandma always invited over the extended family the morning of Thanksgiving to have pie for breakfast!! It was one of my favorite traditions of all time. We don't really do it much anymore, but I'm determined to bring it back. But maybe not until next year, because I'm planning on making pumpkin cinnamon buns tomorrow instead (recipe coming soon!). Happy Thanksgiving to you and the fam! 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Stop it! Just... STOP IT!!! I can only fit so much in this belly of mine, Missy! Pumpkin cinnamon muffins??? REALLY??? Dang! I want you as my adopted daughter... NOW! Hehehe!

  2. 5 stars
    It's like you made this galette especially for me! Seriously, I'm in love with every single ingredient listed here. I need to try this!

        1. Yes! I would make it ahead and freeze the whole thing. Bake it straight from the freezer, don't defrost first. The baking time will definitely take longer, probably closer to 45 minutes, possibly even an hour. But just keep an eye on it and take it out when the crust is golden brown. You may want to adjust the oven temperature as well - 375-400 would probably be better as the filling might burn at 425 if you keep it in the oven that long. Hope this helps!