Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pear Galette

It's that time a year again when you see all the Halloween decorations come out in the stores, the kids go back to school and there's a different feel to the air.  I'm sitting here thinking about how I would describe that feeling but I think you know what I mean.  It's the season the landscape changes to beautiful orange, browns and golds and you starting seeing leaves floating through the air.  I think the first sign of fall I have seen is the many kinds of pears showing up in the market and on my pear tree.  Unfortunately, they all seem to ripen at exactly the same time.   Usually I eat a few and give away most of them.  This year I thought I'd actually do something with them and I'm so glad I did.

I started thinking about a Pear Crisp or pears cooked down served over ice cream but then I came across this Martha Stewart recipe for a Pear Galette.  I had never made a galette so it was intriguing and the recipe seemed simple enough. The first step is making the Pate Brisee.

A Pate Brisee sounds fancier than it is.  Most of us call it a pie crust.  It's basically flour, salt, sugar, cold butter and ice water mixed until a dough just forms.  The key is not over mixing the dough.  You want it just holding together so it will be nice and flaky!

Look at all that yummy butter.  How bad can it be, right?  Make sure it's cold and that you cut it into cubes so it will mix more evenly.

See how the dough is just starting to come together.  This is where you STOP mixing.  It'll be hard to stop but pinch some crumbs together and if they stay together - your done.

Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap.  The dough needs to be chilled at least an hour.  One must be patient to create a masterpiece.

Now for the pears.  Unfortunately I spaced when it came to taking pictures of the pears.  So this is it.  But it's simple at this point and the full recipe is listed below.  Keep in mind, you could use any fruit in this galette so give it a try.  It's delicious with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Pate Brisee

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon course salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water

Place the first 3 ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Add the chilled butter and pulse until resembles crumbs.  Slowly drizzle water in until dough starts clumping together.  Stop and press crumbs together.  If they stick together, it's done.  Do not process longer than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface.  Bring it together a little bit but only so you can divide it in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.  Makes two 8-10 inch single crust pies or one 8-10 inch double pie crust.  For a galette, it makes two large or 3 smaller galettes.  This is great to make ahead and store in the freezer for last minute desserts.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Print Recipe

Pear Galette

1/2 recipe of Pate Brisee
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large ripe pears, peeled (I used Bartlett)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
Sanding sugar
3 tablespoon apricot jam

Line with parchment or spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Roll out dough on a floured surface to about a 1/4 inch thick and in a circle.  Place rolled out dough on baking sheet.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar and salt.  Cut up pears in bite size pieces.  Mix cornstarch mixture with pears in a large bowl.  Mound pear mixture in center of rolled out dough.  Leaving at least a 3 inch border all the way around.  Fold dough over pear mixture, overlapping all the way around.  Place in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes.  

When ready, brush edges of dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Dot top of galette with butter.  Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour.  Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan or in the microwave.  Remove galette from oven and transfer to a wire rack.  Brush jam over pears.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Serves 8.  It's great for breakfast too!


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