We a bunch of fresh organic pears (and I mean A LOT of pears) – so we’ve been developing a bunch of recipes. We also had some leftover pastry dough, and the rustic savory or sweet pies of France and Italy came to mind. Here we show a wonderful, tasty Brie and Pear Galette with a honey butter that was so simple to put together, looks great, and was devoured by our tasters in one sitting.
Galettes (or crostata for the Italian version) are a non-bakers dream, and are a bit more “free form” than the fussier pies that you see on pastry challenge shows. They are indeed “easy as pie”, and very versatile. They can be savory or sweet, used for brunch or appetizers, or for dessert. For this recipe, just make sure to arrange your pears thoughtfully and it will come out picture perfect. One of those magical pairings is pears with Brie, and it’s all brought to another level with some simple additions. Chef Jim’s rustic tart takes those flavors and can be served warm or cold, as a stunning dessert, appetizer or brunch centerpiece.
Pear Brie Galette
Pie Dough - Makes one Crust
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose bleached flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter 1 stick. We put our butter in the freezer for pastry dough
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold filtered water you can substitute 2 tablespoons of vodka for water. Vodka evaporates faster than water
- 3-4 Bartlett or Anjou pears Firm but ripe, peeled, cut into thin slices, lengthwise
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup pure cane sugar Use more or less sugar, depending on the sweetness of the pears
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon juice from a medium lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter soften to room temperature
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 1/2 ounces Brie
- 2 tablespoons honey
- To mix the dough in the food processor, combine flour, salt and baking powder in work bowl fitted with metal blade. Pulse 3 times at 1-second intervals to mix. Cut butter into 1-tablespoon pieces and add to work bowl. Process, pulsing repeatedly at 1-second intervals, until the mixture is fine and powdery, resembles a coarse-ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible -- about 15 pulses in all.
- Scatter the minimum amount of water on the butter and flour mixture and pulse 5 or 6 times -- the dough should begin holding together. If the mixture still appears dry and crumbly, add the remaining water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together easily.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate the dough until firm, or until you are ready to use it, at least 1 hour, or up to several days
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk honey and 1 tablespoon of butter together until combined. Set aside. Cut Brie cheese into small cubes. Set aside.
- Cut pears in half and then core pears to remove seeds and remove stems. Cut pears into then half-moon slices. Sprinkle the sugar, flour, ground ginger, ground cardamon, and salt over the pears, then toss. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a cookie sheet in the oven, large enough to hold the galette. Roll pie crust into a 10 inch disk on a piece or parchment paper. Brush crust with all but ½ tablespoons of butter.
- Spread the brie over the center 8 inches of the crust, leaving 1 inch clear around the edges, then place the pears over the cheese - feel free to create your own design. Brush the pears with the honey butter, then fold the uncovered outer inch of dough over the pears. Brush the border with the beaten egg. Transfer to the over, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is a deep brown.
- Cool to room temperature. You can serve this as a dessert, or as a part of a sweet/savory course using lemon vinaigrette dressed greens to the side.