Free-Form Rustic Pear Galette with frangipane (makes 6 individual tartlets or one large)
Recipe from The Art of Cuisine, recipes of Toulouse Lautrec by Maurice Joyant, adapted by Chef Dr. Wendy Nolan Joyce
The advantage of a galette is that it's meant to be rustic so there's no need to worry about creating picture-perfect edges.
This pastry dough is a wonder! Easy to mix and roll, it bakes up sturdy yet flaky. I usually make my dough in a food processor. For the best results, don't cut the butter too small. Leave it in big, visible chunks—sugar-cube size is fine. You'll see streaks of butter when you gather the dough into a disk, but don't be alarmed. In the oven, those streaks of butter help to create light, flaky, buttery layers.
A layer of frangipane keeps the crust crisp by absorbing some of the fruits' juices.
2-1/2 cups high grade flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
227g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
2/3 cup ice water
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 large egg
1/2 T vanilla extract or rhum
2 pears peeled and sliced plus sugar for sprinkling
For the frangipane: In a clean food processor, cream butter and sugar in the bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg, ground almonds, rum or extract, and flour; beat until smooth. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.
For the crust: In a clean food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt, Pulse 5-6 times.
Add the cubed cold butter and pulse until mixture has small pebble-like pieces.
Add the ice water all at once to the flour and butter. Mix the dough just until it begins to come together (if using a stand mixer or a food processor, be especially careful not to overmix the dough). Gather the dough with your hands -- don't worry if you see streaks of butter -- and shape it into two disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a template, cut into 6 rounds or one large round.
Transfer to the baking sheet and refrigerate 15 minutes or, if the dough isn’t too soft, make the tarts right away.
Spread the preserves on the pastry rounds, leaving about a 1-inch border. Spread the frangipane over the apricot preserves.
Arrange the pear slices on top, fanning the pear slices in a circular design.
Fold the pastry up and over the fruit.
Brush with egg wash over the pastry and then sprinkle with the raw sugar.
Bake the galettes for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. The galettes are finished when the crusts are brown and the frangipane is puffed.