The colder seasons may lack the array of summer fruit, but that doesn’t mean underwhelming desserts. This rustic pear galette nestles juicy pears inside a flaky, buttery crust flecked with spicy cinnamon, sugar, and ginger. The muted palette may seem underwhelming, but the beauty of this easy pear galette is in its simplicity and depth of flavor.
How to make the easiest pear galette?
It’s fair to say I’m a fan of galettes. Typically, I opt for Tartine’s consistently excellent approach of cutting thin strips of butter into a dough not too far removed from a rough puff pastry. Here, I’ve swapped my rolling pin for the food processor for a faster yet still tender, flaky crust. After a few pulses, flour, butter, and water whir together into your galette dough.
Once the dough comes together, roll it out into a circle. Cut the pears so you can fan the slices on top of the dough, leaving about a one-inch board before sprinkling with cinnamon, sugar, and ginger. I use two types of ginger, ground ginger and crystallized ginger, for a double punch of spice. I like to squeeze half a lemon over the top for a bit of acidity. I wouldn’t call it necessary, but it helps cut through the sweet.
Remember that untouched border of dough? Roll it up to the edge of the pears to create a buttery retaining wall. All that pear juice will mix with the sugar and crystallized ginger and concentrate. This is something we definitly want to happen.
For a pear galette with a perfectly golden, crispy crust, I use a two-stage bake. I start at a high temperature to set the crust, then turn the heat down to set the filling. Once the crust is golden brown, serve a wedge with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What is crystallized ginger?
A little spicy, a little sweet, crystallized ginger adds a warm punch of ginger to cakes, yogurt — really anything. Crystallized ginger starts by cooking peeled ginger in a thick simple syrup until soft and tender. Then, it is sprinkled with coarse sugar giving it that eponymous name.
Crystallized ginger is easy to make and can be found in most grocery stores or online.
Can a galette be made ahead of time?
This pear galette recipe can absolutely be made ahead of time and freezes beautifully. The frozen galette can go straight from the freeze right into a hot over. I actually always freeze my galettes fully prepared before baking if time allows. Freezing the dough beforehand ensures cold butter, which is necessary to create flaky, crunchy layers of pastry.
Pear and Ginger Galette
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 11 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Bosc pears cut into 1/16-inch slices
- 1 1/2 tbsp Crystallized ginger finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- 1 tbsp pistachios chopped
Heat the oven to 375°F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse together flour and salt. Add 10 tbsp of butter (reserving 1 tbsp for later) and pulse until mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist, but not wet. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Finely dice the crystallized ginger and set aside. Slice the pears in half lengthwise and core. Cut each half into ¹⁄₁₆-inch (1.5 mm) thick slices. Slice all the way through, but keep the pear halves together.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch to 13-inch round 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Evenly sprinkle all of the sugar-spice mix and the crystallized ginger over the galette dough.
Arrange the pear halves on top, separating the slices like a fan, leaving a 1-inch (5 cm) border around the edge. Zest half a lemon and squeeze the juice over the pears. Roll the edge of the crust to the pears (adjusting the position of the pears if necessary) like a pie crust.
Beat the egg yolk and heavy cream in a small bowl, then brush over the crust. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of the egg wash. Dot with 1 tbsp cubed unsalted butter. Freeze the galette for at least 30-minutes (or cover and freeze overnight).
Bake at 375°F frozen for 20 minutes before reducing to 350°F and bake for another 45-50 minutes. Once the galette is browned, remove and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.