Easy as pie: the galette edition

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I know I’ve already mentioned my allergy to all things mathematical, but let’s just talk about not-really-math for a second (‘π’ to be specific).  π = 3.14. March 14th = 3.14. Therefore, today = π Day, Pi Day or, as baking enthusiasts like to call it, Pie Day. (And if you don’t believe me, just ask the internet.)

If you didn’t quite follow my impeccable mathematical/logical arguments there, who can blame you? I think I’m just trying to say let’s make some pie. Might I interest you in a rich pumpkin pie before the weather finally shifts? Or perhaps you’re feeling bold and know that an apple pie‘s the one for you.

But if you’ve never made a pie before and are feeling a little nervous about it, have I ever got the recipe for you. The trick is that it’s kind of not technically a pie — it’s called a galette (or crostata, depending on who you’re asking) and it’s an easy, forgiving, free-form pie that doesn’t even need a pie plate, and there’s no edge crimping to worry about. Anyone can make one.

Yes, even you can definitely make one. I believe in you.

Pear raspberry galette with candied ginger:

(Adapted from kiss my spatula)

Side note: a galette can be filled with any fruit you like, but — as with pie — since the fruit is the star ingredient, you want to make sure that’s it’s as local and as in-season as possible, so that the flavours are bold and beautiful instead of sad and skimpy. Serves 6-8.

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar + 3 Tbs ice water, mixed together
  • 1 egg + 1 Tbs milk, mixed together for an egg wash (refrigerate, as you won’t need this until the end)

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Add butter and pulse until butter chunks are the size of small peas. Scrape contents out from the food processor and into a large bowl. Add the ice water and vinegar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring once or twice with a large spoon, until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed.  Do not overmix. Shape dough into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum 1 hour.

Don’t clean out your food processor yet! Instead, use it to pulse the following together until they’re a coarse powder:

  • 1/4 cup whole, skin-on almonds, toasted
  • 1 Tbs  sugar
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour

 For the filling:

  • 6-8 ripe pears (Anjou or Bartlett work well), peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • either 2 Tbs finely chopped candied ginger, or 1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 c. frozen raspberries

1. Mix all the filling ingredients together, except the raspberries, in a large bowl. Then adding the raspberries and toss until just combined.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Roll out your dough to a 13- or 14-inch round. Transfer to a baking sheet.

4. Spread the almond mixture into a circle in the centre of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange pear, raspberry, & ginger filling on top of almond mixture. Fold and pleat the edge of the dough over fruit. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5. Brush the finished upper crust with the egg wash (instructions for egg wash are in the ‘crust’ ingredients list), and then sprinkle with sugar — white will do fine, but for a real crunch, turbinado is the best.

6. Bake until crust is golden and underside is cooked through, about 70 minutes.  Allow to cool before slicing.

Happy Pie Day, everyone!



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One Response to “Easy as pie: the galette edition”

  1. Dadaa March 14, 2013 at 9:46 PM #

    Trusting you ate this at 1:59?