Our pear tree was really productive this year and when all the pears ripened seemingly at once, we had to get creative. Pears in lunch boxes. Pears canned as pear butter. Pears in oatmeal. Pears halved and frozen. And pears for dessert in these pear galettes. I’m a big fan of galettes! I love that they’re simple – less than 10 ingredients and no special pan! – and IMO they’re insanely delicious.
I’ve made quite a few galette recipes over the years but this one is my favorite. The dough is perfectly flakey and most of the sweetness comes from the fruit. The combination is a not-too-sweet, rustic, and perfectly fall dessert that’s great to serve for a weeknight family meal or a dinner party. This recipe is adapted from Once Upon A Chef’s rustic apple tart recipe changed to our preferences and to make use of the ingredients we stock in our pantry. Improvise, substitute, change it as you like…galettes are forgiving!
Another thing I love about galettes, they can be dressed up or down. If you want a really pretty galette, use pears that are just just barely ripe that way they they hold their shape when you slice them and then lay them in a pinwheel. Our pears were on the ripe side of ripe and mushed together a lot. Equally as delicious and still pretty, but less perfect.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- dash salt
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 12 tbsp salted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup cold water
For the filling:
- 3-4 large ripe pears
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon (add nutmeg and cardamom too, if you’d like!)
- 2 tbsp salted butter, melted
- dash salt
For the assembly:
- 1 small handful (~1 tbsp or so)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar or decorative sugar
For serving (optional):
- vanilla ice cream
- fresh thyme
- pear butter
Make the dough. I like to make the dough in a food processor, but you could also do this by hand. Combine flour, sugar, and salt and pulse a couple times until combined. Add butter in one bit at a time and then mix until the butter is the size of peas, just a few seconds in the food processor. Slowly add cold water while mixing, adding just enough so dough is moistened but still crumbly.
Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead a few times until it comes together. Sprinkle dough with a little flour to keep it from sticking and then pat into a round disc. With a rolling pin, continue to roll out dough until it forms a 10” circle. Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge.
Make the filling. Core pears and cut into thin slices (~1/8” thick). You can peel the pears first if you like, but we leave the pears on for a little extra heartiness. Place pears in a bowl with the sugar, vanilla, spices, melted butter, and salt and gently stir with your hand until it’s just combined, taking care not to break apart the pear slices as best as possible.
- Make the galette. Remove the dough from the fridge and slide parchment paper off the cookie sheet and onto a solid surface. Roll dough out (while still on the parchment paper) until you have a large round-ish shape about 1/8” thick with uneven edges. Patch any tears or wholes with dough from the edges. This is a rustic galette, it doesn’t have to be perfect but holes in the dough will let the juices escape while baking.
- Sprinkle a small handful of flour into the center of the dough and spread it out a bit so it will be underneath the fruit. Place pears on top of the flour, arranged as you like. Fold dough over the fruit in small sections, working in a circle. Brush top of dough with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Slide parchment paper back onto the cookie sheet and bake at 350-degrees for 50 minutes or until the top is a deep golden color. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and topped with fresh thyme.
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