A galette is one of those go-to desserts I can rustle up pretty quickly when I’m pressed for time. So, a while back, when I only had a couple of hours to come up with a family dessert, I trawled the internet for a tantalising galette recipe and found this one from Gordon Ramsay on TV3.co.nz. I loved the idea of combining pears and ginger (they seem to be a match made in heaven) and as I always have a jar of stem ginger in the pantry, it made for a quick decision. I didn’t use his pastry recipe and went instead with the one I’ve used previously which, as far as I’m concerned, can’t be topped.
The result was absolutely delicious though I have adapted the recipe somewhat to counteract issues I had originally with too much liquid in the filling, as well as discolouration of the pears. For some reason Gordon Ramsay’s recipe doesn’t include a thickening agent, which is surprising given the amount of juice that comes out of ripe pears. It also doesn’t include lemon juice to avoid the pears discolouring. So I’ve rectified that and included those elements in my version of his recipe. I drizzled a little caramel over top (which was simply sugar dry-cooked on the stove), but you could substitute a regular caramel sauce or just dust it with a little icing sugar if you like. Enjoy.
PEAR & GINGER GALETTE
Ingredients: (Click here for unit converter)
For the filling
- 4-5 medium sized pears, peeled, quartered and cored
- 1 Tbsp Demerara (or brown) sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp corn flour (corn starch) – depending on how juicy the pears are
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 ball of preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp stem ginger syrup
- 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- Zest of 1 lemon
For the pastry
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 156 g (5.5 oz) cold, unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 Tbs. whole milk
- Handful of ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 2 Tbsp caster sugar (super-fine sugar)
- Optional: Icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) for dustingor caramel sauce for drizzling
- Extra ginger syrup to brush over the pears
- Cream or ice cream to serve
- For the pastry: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor (or if mixing by hand, in a medium bowl). Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add them to the flour. Use pulse or low speed until the butter and flour just starts to combine evenly, though quite coarsely – it won’t take long. Run a spatula along the bottom of the bowl to loosen anything stuck to the bowl. (If mixing by hand, mix with a pastry cutter or two forks until the butter is mixed into the flour as above).
- In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and milk and add them to the flour mixture. On low speed, mix until the dough just starts coming together, about 15 seconds. (If mixing by hand, add the yolk mixture to the flour and mix gently with a fork until the liquid is well distributed). The dough will still look crumbly and dry.
- Dump the dough onto a clean counter, and bring it together into a ball. Work it with the heel of your hand, pushing and smearing it away from you and gathering it up with a bench scraper and repeating until the dough comes together and is pliable. Don’t overwork it though. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, press it into a flat disk, wrap it in the plastic, and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling it out.
- For the filling: Mix together the pears, Demerara sugar, corn flour (corn starch), lemon juice, the root and stem gingers, the ginger syrup and the lemon zest. Place in a colander over a bowl and allow the excess juices to drain (you can,if you like, boil these extra juices on the stove, along with a couple of tablespoons of butter, for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes syrupy and add these back into the filling).
- Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). (It’s helpful to place a pizza stone or extra baking sheet in the oven to ensure the base of the pie cooks quickly – this helps to avoid soggy bottoms). Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator; if the dough is very firm, let it sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, 10 to 15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a round that’s about 13 to 14 inches in diameter. It’s alright if the edges are a little ragged. If you can’t get a roughly round shape, trim the dough so that it’s a rough circle and roll the trimmed scraps back into the dough. Transfer the rolled dough to the lined baking sheet.
- Assembly: Scatter a handful of ground almonds (almond meal) over the rolled out dough (this will help soak up extra juices), before heaping the drained fruit into the centre. Using your fingertips, fold the edges of the dough over some of the fruit to create a rim about 2 inches wide. Work your way all around, pleating the dough as you go. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough evenly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar over top of the dough.
- Bake the galette until golden brown – about 50-55 minutes. If it starts to get too brown, place a piece of foil over top.
- Transfer to a rack and let cool. When cool enough to handle, use a large spatula to carefully transfer the galette to a serving plate or cutting board. Brush a little more ginger syrup over top of the fruit that’s showing and either sieve a little icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) over top of the fruit and pastry, or drizzle with caramel sauce.
- Serve it warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting