My co-worker and her fiancé went to dinner in Chinatown the other evening. Every time they dine at this particular restaurant, the owner gives them a couple of boxes of Asian pears. It seems that the owner is a family friend of the fiancé. My co-worker brought them to the office to share, so I took a couple home, looking forward to having a little pear snack. Instead, the pears sat on my counter for at least three days. Every time I looked at them, either it seemed like too much to consume in one sitting, or I just wasn’t in the mood. Finally, the weekend arrived and the pears were starting to loose their luster. I made a promise that I wouldn’t turn on the oven because it was hotter than Hades, but I found myself thinking of what to do with them. I settled on a galette. I thought it would be fast and easy to put together, and since it was so hot, I wouldn’t have to fiddle with the crust too much and make a simple, rustic looking dessert.
Deciding what spice to add somehow became a challenge. I wasn’t sure what spices would naturally go with pears (my default spice for fruit pies is cinnamon), so I did a little research and stopped when I saw ginger. Now the question would be should I add ground ginger, or crystalized ginger. My gut said crystalized, but I wimped out and added ground instead.
The galette was good, but a little bit on the sweet side. I had no idea that the pears were this sweet naturally, so next time I would cut back on the brown sugar. The ginger on the other hand was a very nice addition, but my gut was nagging me, saying that if I added the crystalized ginger, it would’ve been spectacular. Maybe. I’ll just have to make it again and compare.
- Two Asian pears
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter (chilled and cut into small pieces)
- ¼ cup ice water
- 9 inch tart pan (optional)
Make the filling
Peel and core pears. Using a mandolin or a knife, slice pear 1/8 inch thick and add to a large bowl. Add brown sugar and flour and combine well. Set the bowl aside and while you make the crust.
Make the crust
In a food processor add flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until coarse crumbs appear (approximately 30 seconds). Slowly add iced water and pulse just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times until the dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Bake the pie
Preheat the oven to 375. On a lightly floured surface and roll out to at least one inch larger than a tart pan. Place the pear slices in a concentric circle. Pour juice over pears and dot with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Carefully fold over the crust and place the galette on a sheet pan. If desired, brush on an egg wash over crust and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until the juices start to bubble in the middle of the galette.