This week, we’ve watched the first in Rick Stein’s new series, Rick Stein’s Road To Mexico. His first port of call was California where he met up with Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse. While there, one of her chefs was filmed making a rhubarb galette – it looked amazing. It’s no longer rhubarb season, so I’ve made a pear galette instead.
I much prefer rustic, unfussy food like this to haute cusine with all its foams, purées and the like. A galette is just the kind of rustic dessert I crave on a cold autumn evening. A circle of sweet pastry covered with in-season fruit and roughly folded in on itself, free-form.
Instead of a pear galette (or rhubarb), you could make one with stone fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines or apricots. How about apple & pecan, fig, blueberry or cherry?
A savoury galette with autumn & winter vegetables is also a great idea; carrots, beetroot, caramelised onion… with cheeses and/or herbs – the variations are endless!
It’s such an easy, versatile dish to prepare and cook – pastry with whatever meat, veg or fruit that you have to hand.
- 320g/11oz plain flour
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- ¼tsp salt
- 115ml/4fl oz cold butter, cubed
- 4tbsp cold water
- 2 dessert pears
- 3tbsp Demerara sugar
- 2tbsp fine semolina
- 25g/1oz flaked almonds
- 2tbsp melted butter
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, caster sugar and salt
- Using a food processor (on pulse) or hand pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the butter is evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces
- Add the cold water all at once
- Pulse until it begins to come together
- Empty the pastry on to 2 lengths of cling film layered one over the other at right angles
- Form the dough into a ball by lifting & bringing together the 4 ends of the cling film
- Flatten the dough into a disk inside the cling film and chill in the fridge for at ½ to 1 hour
- Once chilled, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
- Core & evenly slice the pears and put them into a medium-sized mixing bowl
- Sprinkle over 2tbsp of the Demerara sugar and toss to cover the pear slices evenly
- Tear off 2 sheets of parchment paper of at least 35½2 (14"2)
- Roll the dough out between the two sheets into a 30cm (12") circle
- Slide the dough on to a baking tray
- Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the semolina evenly over the top of the dough
- Lay the slices of pear on to the top of the dough in a circle - leaving a 2cm/¾" gap from the edge. Make the slices slightly overlap and ensure you cover the entire surface
- Sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of the Demerara sugar and the flaked almonds
- Fold the edge of the pastry over, making sure you overlap it on to itself as you go around
- Brush the melted butter over the crust edge
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown
- Slide the parchment with the galette on to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes before consuming
- Serve warm with cream or ice cream