The best part about this dessert is that it looks impressive but it is SO easy to make! Roll out some dough, top it with some fruit, pop in the oven & you're done! And the varieties are endless. I made mine with some apricot preserves and fresh bartlett pears - but you could use apples, peaches, berries - whatever you have on hand. (I even made a more savory one the other day with pears, gorgonzola, walnuts & a balsamic honey glaze and it was AMAZING). This one is best served with a side of vanilla bean ice cream or some sweet whipped cream.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
2 large Bartlett pears, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado (aka "raw") sugar
*Preamble: When making any kind of pie/tart crust you always want your butter to be super cold (so that, when you blend it in, the butter remains in tiny chunks that get coated in flour and will expand during baking which creates air pockets - and a light, flaky crust). So before I begin I like to take my 1/2 cup of butter and chop it into cubes and place them in a bowl in the freezer where they will sit and chill until I am ready to use them You don't want them frozen, but butter softens really quickly on a counter so putting it in the freezer for a few minutes keeps the pieces nice & hard until you are ready to use them.
1. Now for the crust: In food processor, combine your flour, sugar, cornmeal & salt. Pulse a few times to blend. Then add your (cold, cubed) butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Now, with your food processor running, slowly add the buttermilk. Mix just until your dough starts to form into a ball. Remove the dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to chill for around 45 minutes. Note: I only chilled mine for about 15 and it turned out great, so if you're impatient like me then have at 'er.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Thinly slice your pears.
3. Remove dough from fridge (or go watch House Hunters International if you'd prefer to let your dough rest for the full amount of time).
4. Using a rolling pin (or an unopened bottle of wine - yes, I have done this) roll your dough into a big flat circle (about 15" in diameter). Place on baking sheet. You can also roll it out directly on parchment paper and place the whole thing on your baking sheet if you find it easier.
5. Using a spoon, thinly spread your apricot preserves around the dough. Then arrange your sliced pears in a pretty spoke pattern, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge.
6. This is my favorite part: Fold the edges of the dough in over the pears. It will overlap in places, creating that lovely "rustic galette" look. Press down lightly so it stays together.
7. Lightly brush the border of your galette with the beaten egg and sprinkle the whole thing with turbinado aka "raw" sugar (aka one of those little brown packets of "sugar in the raw" from Starbucks).
8. Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. Remove from oven, let cool slightly & serve! Beautiful on it's own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
*You can also make this galette with apple or different types of jam/preserves. Use your imagination!