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Sweet potato pie has a savory side

“Pies: Sweet and Savory,” (DK Publishing, 2013) is a beautiful tribute to pies of all kinds.

The step-by-step photos and beautiful close-up photography from William Reavell will inspire anyone afraid of crusts. There are whole chapters dedicated to meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian pies and tarts. On the sweet side, the chapters cover fruit, chocolate and other sweet pies and tarts.

Here’s a recipe from the hardcover book by Caroline Bretherton. It was released in February and the suggested retail price is $25.

Sweet Potato, Red Onion and Thyme Galettes with Chilies

“If you don’t have much time, use store-bought puff pastry rather than making your own. Buy a butter-based one and it will be all but indistinguishable from the homemade variety.”

For the filling:

2 medium sweet potatoes, 10 ounces peeled weight

2 red onions cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1/2 red chili, seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon thyme, chopped

For the pastry:

12 ounces store-bought puff pastry or make your own (recipe follows)

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 large egg yolk, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch slices or cubes. Toss the sweet potatoes and red onions in the olive oil in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the vegetables onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, until softened and golden at the edges.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 inches by 16 inches and cut into quarters. Lay the pastry rectangles on one or two baking sheets. Brush them with beaten egg yolk.

Toss the cooked vegetables with the chopped chili and thyme, and divide the mixture equally between the 4 pastry rectangles. Spread the vegetables out, leaving a 1/2-inch clear edge to the pastry.

Bake the galettes for 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown at the edges, and the bottom is firm to the touch and golden. It is best eaten hot, but set aside to cool for 5 minutes before serving with a leafy green salad. The cooked galettes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and warmed again before serving.

Yield: 4 galettes

Puff Pastry

From “Pies: Sweet and Savory,” by Caroline Bretherton

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons butter

Sift the all-purpose flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in 4 tablespoons cubed butter with your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs. Add 1/2 cup water and bring it together to form a soft, elastic dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll until it is a large rectangular shape, about 1/8 inch in thickness.

Dot 8 tablespoons cubed butter over the top two-thirds of the dough, then fold the unbuttered side over half the buttered side.

Fold the dough over again so the butter is completely enclosed in the layers of dough, then turn the dough over. Roll over the edges of the dough with the rolling pin to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Lightly flour the surface again. Repeat the rolling and folding process, but without adding the butter. Seal, wrap and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat again rolling and folding three more times, chilling the dough for 15 minutes between each turn. The dough is now ready to use.

Yield: 1 puff pastry