When I was a child, my great grandmother would get boxes of pears from a local farmer every fall to can for the coming year. The scent was intoxicating. She’s plop me down in front a box, pick out a perfectly ripe fruit, and pass me a napkin. I can still feel the juice running down my chin. This galette is not overly sweet, so the delicate flavor of the pears shines through. If you’d like to boost the sugary quotient, serve it with whipped cream or ice cream. We found it to be perfect as-is with a glass of Pinot Gris. I used a combination of Anjou and Bartlett pears, but our farmers can direct you to other varieties that hold their shape while baking if you prefer. And don’t forget to get some pears for snacking — there’s nothing in the world like ripe pear juice dripping down your chin!
- 3 pears, that slightly give when pressed with your finger *
- 2 eggs *
- 3 Tablespoons softened butter*
- 2 teaspoons honey*
- 1 pastry pie crust
- ⅓ cup almond meal (finely ground almonds)
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Turbinado sugar
* available at the market
Roll out pastry dough into an 10-inch circle, making sure there are no tears in the crust. Prick the dough all over with a fork and refrigerate. Heat oven to 375°F. Whisk almond meal and flour together in a small bowl and set aside. In large bowl, use a mixer to combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat in thoroughly. Add the almond/flour mixture and mix together.
Combine ½ cup cold water with 2 Tablespoons lemon juice in a medium bowl and set aside. Peel, half and core the pears one at a time, and slice them into ¼-inch slices. (A melon baller works great to remove the cores.) Gently swish the slices in the water/lemon juice mixture bowl to prevent browning, set them on a plate, and prepare the next pear. Repeat.
Beat the remaining egg in a ramekin and set aside. Take the pastry out of the fridge and move it onto a large baking tray. Gently score a 1 ½-inch border all the way around the dough, but don’t poke through. Your inner circle should be about 8 ½ inches across. Smear the almond mixture on the inner circle of dough, and arrange pear slices on top of the mixture. (It may not take all of the slices.) Fold the 1 ½-inch border of dough inward, covering the outer parts of the pear slices. Brush some of the beaten egg over the pastry border and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the almond mixture is light brown in between the pears, checking it after 30 minutes to be sure it’s not overbrowning. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack. Melt the honey and stir in 1 teaspoon of boiling water. Brush the glaze over the visible pear slices. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Written by KJ Fields. She writes about people, projects and health from her place in Woodstock.