I made a similar Pear Almond Galette for Thanksgiving. Or should I call it Almond Pear Galette? I can’t decide. Either way it was simple yet beautiful, nearly elegant, with only a couple ingredients. (Simplicity is prime these days.) By the cover, it was a sure winner. But you know what they say—don’t judge a book by its … they were right.
I made my normal galette crust. That wasn’t the issue. So I blamed the pears. They weren’t the issue either. I, me, my tried to oversimplify with just a scant of sugar and some almond paste crumbles. In theory, the recipe was simply brilliant.
But in practice it was bland, horribly bland. Maple whipped cream couldn’t even save it. Poor thing. After posting “last but not least” as the caption to my Instagram picture, I couldn’t bear to tell everyone it was beyond least. Needless to say, we ate pie crust and whipped cream for Thanksgiving dessert, discarding the bland pears.
Back in the day, my mom would get on to me for trying new recipes the day of Thanksgiving or Christmas. She’d usually have a backup in case my baking adventure flopped. Most times, my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach worked. Minus the time the wheat rolls turned into hockey pucks. Or the time my said decadent fat-free chocolate cake turned into cylindrical cardboard. She may have been onto something.
I probably should have stuck with the trusty Maple Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving. But because the galette was much too pretty to toss altogether, I decided to rectify it. Just in time for Christmas.
A little sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg and sea salt did the trick. Plus a crumbled pat of butter on top. This galette is now equally beautiful on the inside and out. It’s still simple, just a couple more ingredients deep.
Sometimes life needs a couple extra tablespoons of sugar and a pat of butter to make things better.
- Make crust. Whisk together flours, sugar, and salt.
- Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour until it is pea-sized.
- Add in the cold water. Use a pastry fork and work dough until it comes together. Gently knead with hands to incorporate any loose pieces. Do not overwork dough. If dough is too dry, add more water until it just comes together. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. This can be done ahead of time.
- Make filling. Cut pears in half. Remove the core, stem, and bottom. Flip pear over onto the flat side (skin side up) and thinly slice down, keeping the pear in its original shape. Discard (eat!) the outer slices (the slices covered in peel).
- In a small bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- Prepare the galette. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat; set aside.
- On a well floured surface, roll the crust into a circle, until just enough overhang to fold over the pears. Crust will be on the thin side. Carefully move crust to the baking sheet by folding in fourths. (If crust has been in the fridge for awhile it may need a bit of time to soften before rolling.)
- Crumble almond paste on the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture on top.
- Place the pear halves on the crust with the widest part of the pear facing inwards. Fan each half out.
- Carefully fold the crust around the pie. Brush the crust with cream or egg. Sprinkle with turbinado. Pour remaining sugar mixture over top of the pears. (If your pears are on the sweet side, use your good judgement and reserve some of the sugar mixture.) Crumble pat of butter over top.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove and serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or plain. Galette can be made up to 1 day in advance. Reheat in oven on broil, watching carefully not to burn.
*If you don’t have oat flour on hand, finely grind rolled oats in food processor. Or sub in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour. The oat flour definitely yields a light texture helping to ensure a flaky crust.