As much as I admire Julia Child, I never agreed with her in her sentiments towards Italian cuisine. Julia once remarked that she didn’t really understand Italian cooking, as she didn’t really feel like it was cooking at all. While I understand how one can make that observation, I personally don’t agree. French cuisine can have its challenging techniques (i.e. macarons, soufflés) and come off much more complicated than Italian cuisine, but French food can also be just as simple, as evidenced by this red wine apple pear galette.
A simple galette is as easy as tossing some fruit with sugar and spices, then piling it up inside an envelope of pastry crust. Traditionally, you’ll find a galette, which is really another word for a type of tart, made up of apples or pears. I recently made this French apple tart brushed with fig preserves, which is fantastic, but I wanted to add more depth to my fruit for this galette. As for the fruit itself, I actually had both apples and pears on hand and used both when I couldn’t come to a decision on which one I wanted to use. I figured that apples and pears have similar textures when they’re cooked, so it would work out fine in this dessert. This turned out to be more than true; they tasted scrumptious together. I cooked the fruit in some cabernet sauvignon with a cinnamon stick, sugar, and some orange zest. Warning: you will want to drink up this concoction as the fruit cooks so try to keep busy doing something else. After the fruit has soaked up the delicious wine, let the fruit cool until it’s easy to handle, then layer the fruit on your pastry dough. Bake the galette for 22 to 25 minutes, and voila….perfection!
for the pastry
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 c stick cold unsalted butter, 1/2, diced, plus more for greasing pie pan
- 3 tbsp ice water, plus more for dabbing onto the pastry
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- turbinado sugar for sprinkling
for the filling
- 1 1/4 c red wine, recommended: cabernet sauvignon
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 inch large apple, recommended: red, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 thin
- 1 inch large pear, recommended: Anjou, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 thin
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Zest of 1 medium orange
- Start out by creating your pastry dough. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add in the cubed butter and use two knives, or a pastry blender, to cut the butter into the flour. Combine until the clumps of flour and butter are no bigger than the size of peas. Stream in the cold water and combine until a crumbly dough forms.
- Turn out the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Use the wrap to gather the dough together into a large mass. Wrap tightly and mold into a disc shape. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, create your syrup for the fruit by adding the wine, sugar, cinnamon stick and zest to a large pot. Give everything a stir and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the apple slices and pear slices to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the mixture simmer for 30 or so minutes, or until there's only about a tablespoon of the wine syrup left in the pot. Scoop out the slices with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate to slightly cool.
- Take out your pastry dough from the fridge and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a large circle, about 1/8" thick. Make sure to roll in one direction only (rather than back and forth), and rotate the pastry often to create an even circle. If any cracks appear, simply dip your finger into the ice cold water and dab it onto the crack. Sprinkle a little flour over the wet spot and continue rolling.
- Carefully fold your pastry dough in half and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan that's been greased with butter. Unfold the pastry dough so that it is centered in the pie pan. Don't mold the dough to the pan.
- Layer your apple and pear slices in a spiral, starting outward, about 1/2 an inch in from the inner edges of the pie pan. Spiral the slices in to the center, overlapping as you go. Fold the hanging pastry dough over the fruit, in towards the center, creating an envelope for the fruit.
- Brush the dough with the egg white before sprinkling sliced almonds and turbinado sugar on top. Bake the galette at 450°F for 22 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or freshly whipped cream.