Friday, November 6, 2009

Pear Custard Galette

Pear Custard Galette
Some may think it's a bit excessive to have shelves and shelves of cookbooks. I haven't counted them lately, but I have somewhere between 50-100 cookbooks (and two more are on the way from Amazon). There are definitely some that I turn to more than others, but when I'm looking for a recipe to make that uses the ingredients I have on hand, it's great to have a variety of books to peruse. This was the situation: I had pears on the counter, and a single pate brisee crust in the freezer. I wanted a quick but impressive dessert to serve at a dinner party and this one fit the bill, perfectly.
Pear Custard Galette
The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours. It is a recipe that can use just about any fruit you have and Dorie suggests a few in her book. These in-season Bosc pears held their shape and tasted sweet and delicious. There are no added spices so you really experience the pure taste of the fruit itself. The recipe calls for assembling and baking the pear galette for a little while and then pour the custard mixture wherever there is room between pears and bake for a little longer for the custard to set up. Serve the galette while still slightly warm with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche on the side. I loved this dessert more than I thought I would and I can't wait to make it again.

Pear Custard Galette
adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Single Pie Crust (I use Martha Stewart's
Pate Brisee recipe)
2-3 tablespoons apricot or other flavor jam
about 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs or vanilla wafer crumbs
8 ripe but firm pears
Coarse or granulated sugar, for dusting

For the Custard
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat to oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Working on a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a large 1/8 inch thick circle. Using a pastry wheel or a paring knife, trim the dough to a 13 inch diameter circle. Using a cake pan or a pot lid as a template and the tip of a bunt kitchen knife as a marker, lightly trace a 9 inch circle in the center of the dough- this is the area for the filling.
With the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula, spread some of the jam over the circle- how much will depend of the jam flavor you want. Sprinkle over the crumbs, adding a little more than 2 tablespoons if you think you’ve got particularly juicy fruit. Put a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper over the dough and refrigerate it while you prepare the fruit.
Peel the pears, cut them into quarters or eighths if they're large and remove the core.
Arrange the fruit on the dough as desired, then gently lift the unfilled border of dough up and onto the filling. As you lift the dough and place it on the filling, it will pleat. If you’re not in a rush, freeze the galette for 15 minutes to give the crust a rest.
Brush the dough very lightly with a little water, then sprinkle it with a teaspoon or two of sugar. Bake galette for 25 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the fruit is soft.

Meanwhile, make the custard:
Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl; set aside until needed.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven (leave the oven on), and carefully pour the custard around the fruit. Depending one how much juice has accumulated and how much space you have between the fruit, you may not be able to pour all the custard into the galette, but even 2 tablespoons can give the right effect. Pour in as much custard as you can, then carefully return the pan to the oven.
Bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until the custard is set- it shouldn’t jiggle when you gently shake the pan. Cool the galette on the baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes.
Very carefully slide a small baking sheet or cake lifter under the galette and slip the galette onto a rack to cool. The galette can be served when it is just warm when it has reached room temperature.


  1. Pear Custard sounds so good. I love custards and this looks like something I would marry.

  2. Ohhh that looks yummy - I've been wanting to try to make a pear tart/galette type dessert.

  3. I don't know what in the world is going on with your follower section, but every time I click over here I see I've been booted off! I click follow & it either kicks me out or makes me upload a new picture! What in the world?

  4. Jen, How about I just use that as my excuse for not having more followers...I feel much better now.

  5. I am with you re: the number of cook books - and counting! I love BFMHTY. Every time I look at it, I see something new. This galette is exceptional.

  6. Oooh, this looks so good! I definitely need to try it! :)

  7. Let me share this also delicious recipe of Plum Galette

    For the amount of sugar needed depends on the tartness of the plums. If all you have are fairly ripe, and therefore fairly sweet, plums, use a little less sugar and add a little lemon juice.


    1 recipe pate brisee pie crust
    6-8 tart plums, pitted and sliced (about 1 1/4 pounds net)
    1/4 cup raisins (preferably golden)
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    Zest from one lemon
    2 Tbsp flour
    1/2 cup sugar


    1 In a medium sized bowl, gently toss the plum slices with the raisins, pecans, lemon zest, flour and sugar.
    2 Preheat oven to 375°F. If you are using homemade chilled pie dough, remove it from the refrigerator to let stand for 10 minutes before rolling out.
    3 Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the pie dough to a 13-inch round of even thickness.
    4 Place rolled-out pie dough in the center of a small-rimmed, lightly buttered baking sheet. Place plum mixture in the center of the pie dough round, leaving a border of 2 inches on all sides. Fold the edges of the pie crust up and over so that circle of the filling is visible.
    5 Place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake at 375°F for 40-50 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Cool on a rack for an hour before serving.



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