If your Thanksgiving dinner involves too many children hoovering up all the desserts, try this grown-up alternative to cherry pie. Instead of sickly saccharine cherry goop from a can, this galette uses frozen sweet cherries with no (or, if you’d like, just a touch of) added sugar. The sweetness comes from the fruit itself and is understated and welcome after stuffing yourself on the rest of your Thanksgiving spread.
Sharp Gruyere cheese and dark chocolate mixed into a cream-cheese filling give it an edge that will make picky eaters wrinkle their noses, leaving more for the adults. It's kind of like a fancy after-dinner cheese plate, but on a pie crust. Make sure you use a real Gruyere—there are a lot of weird processed cheeses that are labeled Gruyere but are definitely not. You'll probably have to hit up a bougie grocery store like Whole Foods or Wegmans, or stop by the cheese counter at the Wine Source.
Though you may be tempted to use a shortening-laden pre-made pie crust, I promise it really isn't too difficult to pull together a homemade pâté brisée (this is just a pretentious way of saying pie crust). I like to use David Lebovitz's recipe for sweet galette dough from Fine Cooking—the dough comes together in a few minutes with a food processor, and just a few more if you do it by hand. If you want to cut down on last-minute prep, it can even be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. And it is more buttery, tender, and flaky than anything you can get out of the refrigerated section.
If you're into leftover pie for breakfast (who isn't), this is definitely a top contender. Make it and see for yourself.
Chocolate Cherry Gruyere Galette
4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 ounce Gruyere cheese, finely grated
3/4-ounce dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 disc galette dough, chilled for at least 1 hour
1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1 12-ounce bag frozen sweet cherries, thawed, sliced in half, and patted dry
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Finely chopped dark chocolate for garnish (optional)
Stir Gruyere cheese and dark chocolate into the softened cream cheese until fully combined. Set aside.
Heat your oven, along with a pizza pan or baking sheet, to 400 F.
Flour a large cutting board and rolling pin. Roll out your dough, flipping and turning as necessary to get a roughly even circle with a diameter of 12 inches. The nice thing about a galette is that it's supposed to be rustic, so don't worry if it's slightly misshapen or has ragged edges.
Transfer the dough circle from the board to a piece of parchment paper. The easiest way to do this is to gently fold it in quarters, pick it up and place it on the paper, then gently unfold it. I find it helps to put the parchment paper on top of another pizza pan or baking sheet before assembling so you can easily pick it up and transfer it to the preheated pan in the oven.
Gently spread the cream cheese mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border clean around the edge. Take care that you don't tear the dough while spreading, as the chocolate chunks make the filling a bit jagged.
If you like things more sweet, evenly sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar over the cream-cheese mixture. It's up to you—I have a huge sweet tooth but personally prefer this without the added sugar.
Starting in the middle, place the cherry halves in a single layer, cut side down. Do this all the way to the edge of the cream-cheese mixture.
Fold the edge of the dough over, pleating as you go. Once again, this isn't a perfectly crimped tart, so don't get too hung up on getting it all just so. Once folded over, use a pastry brush to coat the exposed crust with melted butter.
Use the parchment to slide the whole shebang onto the preheated pizza pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and once again tug on the parchment paper to pull it onto a wire rack to cool. If you let it cool on the pan, the bottom may get soggy.
Let cool before cutting. Enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature. Top with some chopped dark chocolate if desired, and cut into wedges to serve. This is best served the day you bake it, but can also be stored wrapped in the fridge for 3 days—just bring it back to room temperature before serving.