This Pear Galette with Ginger has all the elements of my ideal dessert; flaky crust, lightly sweetened fruit and a hint of spice.
When we go out to dinner I don’t often order dessert, but when I do it’s virtually always some type of pie or tart. And when I do order dessert, this is the type of dessert I hope for but rarely get. A flaky and crisp pastry crust with fruit that is lightly sweetened and has just a hint of spice for interesting flavor. The ginger-sugar highlights the fruit but doesn’t drown the pear flavor.
Last week I baked a bunch of pies to celebrate “Pi Day“. With each pie crust I rolled I ended up with some dough scraps. Normally I’d use those scraps to make Pie Scrap Cookies, one of my family’s favorite treats. I had so many scraps that I bundled them together and used them to make this galette. Lesson here; don’t be afraid to use the dough scraps after making a pie. This dough is pretty forgiving.
Once again this recipe is not really a recipe, but a concept. You could make a galette using thinly sliced apples with a little cinnamon, or make a mixed berry galette. Since a galette bakes quickly the fruit mostly stays intact. So even soft fruits like berries can be baked into a galette without turning into mush. I use just enough sugar to enhance the fruit’s flavor, but not so much that is creates a saucy liquid. The bread crumbs will absorb juices so the tart doesn’t become soupy and fall apart when you cut it.
If you own a pizza-stone, this is a great time to use it to create a nice crisp crust.
I use a tapered french rolling pin to roll all types of dough. I feel it has better control than a rolling pin with handles.
- 1/2 Recipe pie crust
- 3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz, 40 grams) vanilla sugar (see note)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 egg
- 3 Ripe Pears (I like Bartletts)
- 2 Tablespoons Panko or any unflavored bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. If you have a pizza stone preheat that in the oven at least an hour before baking.
- Roll the pie dough to a 14" round. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour and fold into quarters. Wrap the dough and rest it in the refrigerator while the other ingredients are prepared.
- In a small bowl combine the vanilla sugar (see note) and ground ginger. In another bowl, whisk the egg to make egg wash. Peel, core and slice the pears into 1/2" thick slices.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold. If you're baking on a pizza stone put the dough on a cornmeal-dusted wooden peel. If you are not using a pizza stone put the dough on a parchment lined half sheet pan.
- Sprinkle the dough with the bread crumbs, leaving a 1" border all around. Leaving a 1" border, arrange the pear slices in circles, pointing the narrow end of the pear towards the center. Sprinkle the ginger sugar over the pears, reserving about 2 teaspoons for the crust
- Bring the dough border over the edge of the fruit, folding over as necessary to form a neat circle. Brush the border with the egg wash and sprinkle with the reserved ginger sugar.
- Slide the tart onto the preheated stone or slide the sheet pan into the bottom rack of the oven.
- Bake until the crust is nicely browned and the fruit has softened a bit.
- To promote browning on the edges of the fruit you can turn the oven up to 400°F for the last few minutes of baking or run it under the broiler (be careful not to burn the crust!).
- Best served slightly warm or room temperature
If you don't have vanilla sugar you can either rub the seeds from 1/4 of a vanilla bean into the sugar or toss 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract with the pear slices before arranging them on the dough.
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