The pastry recipe used here is from "Baking With Julia" by Julia Child (Morrow, 1996); Oakton resident Tim Artz makes this galette with pears and honey from his back yard.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Make Ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. The pears can be poached in their spiced simple syrup, cooled and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. The strained simple syrup can be used to make a granita; freeze it in a shallow pan, using a fork to rake through it occasionally after ice crystals begin to form. The galettes are best served the same day they are made.
Yield: Makes two 8-inch galettes
- For the crust
- 3 tablespoons sour cream (may use low-fat; may substitute low-fat yogurt or buttermilk)
- About 1/3 cup ice-cold water, plus more for the finishing sugar
- 1 cup flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
- For the simple syrup and pears
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 to 3 coin-size slices of fresh (unpeeled) ginger root
- Several lemon slices
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 firm (not quite ripe) Bartlett pears, cored, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted (see NOTE)
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mild-flavored honey
- For assembly
- Coarse sugar, such as raw sugar or Demerara sugar
For the crust: Whisk together the sour cream and ice water in a small bowl.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to incorporate.
Add the butter pieces and pulse to form a coarse mixture with some pea-size crumbs. With the motor running, add the sour cream mixture and process just until a soft dough forms, with moist curds.
Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
For the simple syrup and pears: Combine the sugar, water and vinegar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the wine, ginger and lemon slices, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring to a boil, then add the pear halves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Transfer to a container and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have a large baking sheet at hand.
Lightly flour 2 sheets of parchment paper. Working with one disk of dough at a time, roll it on the paper to about a 12-inch round.
Drain the pears, reserving and straining the syrup for another use, if desired (see headnote). Cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange a mound at the center of each 12-inch round of dough. Sprinkle equal amounts of the walnuts, then the raisins, over each mound. Drizzle honey to taste on top.
Fold the edges of the doughs inward to form 2 rustic galettes, so that much of their filling is exposed in the center.
For assembly: Brush the surface of the dough with a little cold water, then sprinkle evenly with the coarse sugar. Transfer the galettes on their paper to the baking sheet, folding the paper under as needed so that neither galette is covered. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the galettes are golden and crisp.
Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges.
NOTE: Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring or shaking the skillet often, until they become fragrant.
From Oakton resident Tim Artz.
Tested by Emily Kotecki.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.