The classic flavors of pear and frangipane (almond cream) are presented beautifully and easily in this free form Pear Frangipane Galette.
Galettes are pretty dang close to being the perfect dessert. You can make your own crust or buy one premade (I’m not a dough shamer). It’s meant to be rustic, which is just a polite way of saying it can, and maybe should, be messy. You can put almost anything in a galette. I’ve done both sweet and savory and they’ve all been delicious. It just looks so inviting, like a partially opened present, with the gift peeking though the center of the crust.
This pie dough recipe is from Gesine Bullock-Prado and it is practically foolproof. I saw her make it on her Food Network show “Baked in Vermont” (not that kind of baked 🤨) and it seemed so easy that I tried it right away and I’ve never looked back.
As usual, I’ll let you know when an ingredient or a technique is essential and when it’s not. The point of my blog is to make cooking and baking less intimidating and more approachable. I want you to be able to make delicious food with fresh ingredients and feel confident doing so. I’m not going to sabotage you unless I know you personally and we’re in a prank war. Then it’s game on.
Pie Crust (makes enough for 2 single crust pies. Save one in the freezer for later!)
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp fine grain salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut in tiny pieces and frozen
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 tsp lemon juice (this will loosen the gluten strands in the pie dough, making it easier to roll out and giving you a more tender crust)
Frangipane (almond cream filling)
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp almond extract (optional, if you have it in the house. It’s not an essential ingredient, I just like how it reinforces the almond flavor)
Don’t forget this super important ingredient
- 3 medium pears. Duh.
And finally (and optionally)
- 2 tbsp apricot jelly, warmed
Making the crust
- In the bowl of your food processor , pulse together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup unsalted butter (cut into small pieces and frozen), 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt until the butter is about the size of peas. It shouldn’t take more than 3 or 4 pulses. Note: I like to make pies, so I always keep some butter in the door of my freezer for just such an occasion. I use a knife or a bench scraper to just hack it into bits. It would probably be better to precut the butter, freeze it in 1 cup portions and freeze it for future pies. I literally just thought of that 🤦🏻♀️
- Whisk together your ice water and lemon juice and slowly drizzle into the opening of your food processor, pulsing until the dough just barely comes together. It won't even look like a lump of dough, just crumbs that wanna hang out together. You may not need to use all of the water/lemon juice mixture, so just stop the food processor and pinch some of the dough together in your fingers to check it. If it clings together, it's done.
- Dump all the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and use the plastic wrap to gather all of the crumbly bits together. Bring your hands together and form a ball under the plastic wrap. This will make it easy to see exactly how much dough you have. Don't I look like I'm really manhandling it? It's not hard to gather your dough, I just like to have an excuse to look impressively strong.
- Divide the dough into two even balls and wrap separately. Place one in the freezer to use later, and place the other in the refrigerator to chill and rest. After about 30 minutes, all the glutens will relax (you just got them all shook up with your muscliness), the moisture will have a chance to penetrate all the flour, and the butter will re-harden. All things key to a flaky, tender crust. While the dough is resting, let’s make some frangipane.
Making the Frangipane
- This really isn’t enough frangipane to mix up in a stand mixer (we’re making about 2/3 cup), so cream together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer or even by hand. Add the almond flour and mix. Add in the egg and the extracts, mixing until it’s all combined. Finally, mix in the flour (just a tablespoon to help bind the cream together.)
Galette Construction 🚧
- Preheat oven to 425° Take your resting dough out of the refrigerator. Place the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper on your counter. The parchment paper will make it easy to transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of your dough and on your rolling pin. Roll the dough out to a 14 inch circle (conveniently, about the width of your parchment paper). It's okay if you get some raggedy edges when rolling. After it's rolled out to the right size, just take a small knife and just clean up the edges a bit. When rolling out your dough, you can see all the little bits of cold butter throughout. Those bits are gonna make your crusty delightfully flaky!
- Peel and slice your pears in half, top to bottom. Using a spoon or a melon baller, remove the seed core. Lay each half, flat side down, on your cutting board. Using a paring knife, cut 1/4 inch slices through the pear, stopping about 1/2 inch from the stem end. Repeat with the other pears and keep aside.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the frangipane on the center of your dough, leaving about a 2 inch border all around.
- Lay your sliced pear halves on top of the frangipane and gently nudge them to the side to allow them to fan out oh so prettily. Fold the edges of your dough over the filling, kind of overlapping as you go around. If the slicing and fanning just isn’t working for you, fear not! This galette will be just as beautiful and delicious if you slice your pears and just scatter them over the frangipane. Sometimes you aim fancy, and hit the target at rustic. There’s not a thing wrong with that. Give it a shot. Go with what you got 😉
- Brush the exposed crust with egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 tsp water) and sprinkle with raw sugar or sliced almonds. Bake at 425° for 40-50 minutes, or until your crust is a nice golden brown and your frangipane is puffy and peeking up between your pears. While the galette is still warm, I like to warm up a couple of tablespoons of apricot jelly and brush it gently over the tops of the pears. It gives the galette a beautiful shiny appearance and adds just the right amount of tartness. It’s not required, but it’s nice. Allow to cool. Take some pictures, because you made something so pretty. Eat it.