Galette - if you haven't heard the terminology before - is basically a fancy French name for free-form crusty desserts and it is my favourite type of pie! Super quick and easy to make without any special equipment, fun to assemble using your hands only and can be filled with a variety of delicious fruits. This galette recipe is the perfect lazy dessert you can make any weekday evening! You can either make a full size version or 2 smaller individual galettes as I did if you don't feel like sharing this time.
Enjoy Fall with this Pear Walnut Galette recipe! Flaky and buttery pie crust filled with poached pear, walnuts and hinted with cardamon sugar! I recommend a warm blanket, a good book and nice cup of tea next to it.
First let’s start with some important tips regarding the ingredients of this Pear Walnut galette recipe
- read the recipe carefully
- avoid using substitutes unless aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavours
- measure your ingredients with the help of a digital kitchen scale
For the pie crust
- Flour: I am using pastry flour for this pie crust, feel free to use AP if can’t find pastry flour in your local supermarket. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients. This is a sweet tart dough and I just love that extra very mild salty kick at the end
- Sugar: I am using a tiny bit of granulated sugar in the pie dough but it is not necessary. In general, pie crust should not be sweet, it is the filling which brings the sweetness. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. While in most of the recipes butter needs to be on room temperature, this is an exception and you have to take it very seriously. Butter needs to be chilled, which means take the butter out of the fridge, cut into cubes then place it into the freezer for 10-15 minutes before using it. Working with cold butter is absolutely key to reach the right consistency of your pie dough
- Egg: This pie crust does not contain egg
- Cream: Usually pie dough contains 1-2 tablespoon of ice cold water, however I really prefer to use heavy cream instead. If you run out of cream or don´t want to use it, feel free to replace it with equal amount of water
- Cream cheese: Secret ingredient no.1.: Cream cheese will provide even more flaky, tender, melt-in-your mouth crust. You absolutely can´t leave this out. I always use Philadelphia when I state cream cheese in my recipes
For the filling
- Fruit: I am using pear this time and I poached it for a few minutes in a lovely syrup that is loaded with spices; cinnamon, star anise, orange zest
- Walnut: You will only need a handful of walnut. Can leave it out or use hazelnut, pistachio etc.
- Sugar: Galette should not be overly sweet, let the sweetness of the fruit come through instead. I am using a fair amount of granulated sugar in the poaching syrup to pre-cook pears, that will make the pears I can access (not too sweet) super delicious. If you can access pears from your garden with full flavour, use less sugar in the poaching syrup. At later stage you will need again a small amount of granulated sugar to mix with cardamon and hint the galettes before baking
- Almond flour: Secret ingredient no.2: I like my galette neat looking and not soggy, to achieve that you will have to use some sort of flour under the fruit. I recommend almond flour which has no taste and perfectly “absorbs” the liquid of the fruit so the filling stays juice but not overly wet
- Egg: Mix egg with a drop of water and carefully egg wash the galette before baking
Now let’s continue with my top 6 tips to master the technique of making this Pear Walnut galette recipe
It’s a super simple recipe and don’t have to overthink however there are some important notes worth considering.
1. How to prepare home made flaky pie crust for this galette recipe? Crumbling method!
Similarly to my Pâte Sablée recipe, crumbling method is used to prepare this flaky pie crust. What it means is that first you need to rub the mixture (flour, salt, sugar, ice cold butter) between your hands until it becomes a sand like consistency. Then as a second step mix it with the rest of the ingredients (cream cheese, cream) and gently knead with your hand just for a minute until the dough comes together and not crumby any longer. Form a ball, slightly flatten it into a disk (this step makes the dough much easier to roll out quickly and evenly), wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for minutes an hour. Only 3 minutes work the whole process, how cool is that?
2. Why chill pie dough before baking?
You just have to! Believe me, galette recipe that does not require chilling time is something that does not exist and I strongly recommend not to cheat in here. Chilling time makes the dough easier to work with (butter harden, gluten develops) and also supports that lovely pie texture you love. Non-chilled crust is very difficult to roll out and has fairly crumbly and less smooth texture. If you don’t chill the dough, the baked galette will be heavier, less flaky and more doughy. So please chill the dough for minimum an hour.
3. How to roll out pie dough
Temperature and technique is everything. You won´t be able to roll out the dough if it is too cold (straight out of the fridge) so wait 5-10 minutes. If you chilled your dough as stated in the recipe, it will be super easily roll it out in a few seconds. No need to use extra flour on the surface, the dough should not stick if the gluten nicely developed in there during chilling time. One tip here is to roll out the dough straight on the baking paper you will bake so you won’t have to move the dough. While rolling, start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions.
4. How to avoid soggy pie
There is nothing worse than soggy bottom and disappointingly eating pie with a spoon as it is so runny. I personally like my galette if the crust is flaky and moist but not wet and the filling is juicy but not overly wet. Two key things here to remember; 1. use a fair amount of paper towel to "dry out" pears after the poaching process 2. use almond flour under the fruit which will absorb the unnecessary liquid of the fruit
5. How to Prevent Leaks in Pie Crust
You must have seen Galette pictures on Instagram where the filling is all around the place leaking! It is wrong! Don’t do it! If you follow this galette recipe I can guarantee there won´t be any leakage.
Apart from Tip no. 4 which supports the filling to become unnecessary runny, Temperature and Timing are also key to prevent leaks in pie crust. It is important to keep the pie dough cold enough to work with (so it is not sticky, no extra flour is needed) but not too cold which would result in breaking the raw dough (that is where it will leak later). Once you take the dough out of the fridge, wait 5-10 minutes and then start rolling it out. After chilling in the fridge, the dough will get super elastic and extremely easy to work with. You should be able to roll it out in a few seconds then hint with almond flour and place the filling on top, again in a few seconds then gently and tightly fold the edges over the filling. Make sure you do not break the dough at this point. The whole process should not take more than 1-2 minutes so your dough should stay nicely cold to work with.
Next comes the egg wash which again should be applied carefully making sure that you don’t break the dough. And then comes the 2nd chilling time. While pre-heating oven pop your galette into the freezer for 10 minutes, this will ensure that the galette won’t lose its shape while baked which might result in sad looking baked pie and / or leakage.
6. How to Poach Pears
Peel pears, cut in half and prepare the poaching syrup by boiling water, sugar and spices. Ideally chose ripe or underripe pears for poaching, if they're overripe, they will be too soggy. Cook pear in poaching liquid over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, do not walk away but pay attention to the consistency of the pears. Make sure they won´t get over cooked. After the poaching process place the pears on paper towels, that will soak the unnecessary liquids in so that your pie won´t get soggy.
Do you love galettes as much as I do?
I have a simple yet delicious blueberry galette recipe too, check it out!
Now let´s see this quick and easy Pear Walnut galette recipe!
Pear Walnut galette recipe
- 2 Pear
- Few pieces walnut
- 1 tablespoon Granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon Cardamon
- 500 g water
- 100 g Granulated sugar
- ½ Orange zest peeled
- 1 star anise
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoon Almond flour under the filling
- ½ Egg with a drop of water to egg wash
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Start with making the pie dough
- Sift together dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder, salt
- Add very cold butter cubes and rub the mixture between your fingers until it becomes a sand like consistency
- Add cream and cream cheese and mix with your hands just until the dough comes together
- Knead with the palm of your hand for a minute (do not over knead and do not use mixer) just until the dough becomes smooth. Once ready, cut the dough into 2 equal pieces
- Place both of the dough (form disks and wrap them) into the fridge for minimum one hour or overnight even better
Continue with poaching pears
- Prepare poaching syrup using all the ingredients listed. Peel Pears, cut them into halves and cook in the syrup over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Cooking time might need to be adjusted depending on the type of pear you use. Watch carefully, do not over cook.
- Place pears onto paper towels to soak the unnecessary liquid in. Make sure the pears are "dry" before placing them onto the pie dough. You might get soggy bottom pie if they are not dry enough
- Once dough chilled, take them our from the fridge, let them rest for a few minutes and roll them out one by one on the baking paper you will be baking then hint their surface with almond flour
- Cut half pears vertically and place 2 on each pie dough. Place a handful of walnut around the pear halves. Dust with the cardamon and sugar mixture
- Gently and tightly fold the pie dough edges over the filling
- Pop the unbaked galettes into the freezer for 10-15 minutes while pre-heating oven to 200 C / 392 F . Gently apply egg wash making sure you do not damage the dough
- Bake for 20 minutes. It is ready when the crust turns even golden in colour and the bottom pf the pie also well baked