Mini Almond Pear Galettes
And the autumn recipes officially commence. Because it's the last week/recipe of August. And fall is fast approaching.
But I wasn't ready to give up fruits just yet, because fruits are a staple in summer desserts. And I don't want summer to end. Ever. Enter: pears, an autumn fruit.
Pears are the star ingredient of today's recipe. And the recipe? Mini almond pear galettes. As in a galette, portioned into ten individual sized pieces, yielding ten mini galettes.
Does it take a little more time to assemble ten smaller galettes than it does to assemble one large one? Yes, probably. But is it worth it in order to get the cutest, most beautiful individual almond pear galettes? Most certainly.
Notice that ice cream on top of the galette right above? Please, do me a favor - when you serve these mini galettes, drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream onto the center of each galette. And serve the galettes warm, if you can, because hot desserts with cold ice cream = life.
Guess what? These galettes are dairy-free! Coconut oil replaces the butter in the crust and in the almond frangipane filling. Of course, you can totally use butter if you'd prefer, but for those of you looking for an elegant, dairy-free dessert, this is definitely it.
So let's get to the crust. It's the vodka pie crust I love to use. Why vodka, you ask? Well, since you asked (put on your nerd glasses):
Water reacts with the gluten in flour and is what helps the gluten develop. Which is how you get chewy, doughy bread. But when it comes to pie crusts, you definitely don't want tough and chewy. Vodka, with its lower water content, inhibits the gluten in the flour from developing too much. And the less gluten development happening in the crust, the more flaky and crispy your crust'll be. Science kids, science.
So, if you're looking for a pie crust that yields the most perfect, flaky, tender, crispy layers, use vodka.
Obviously, I take no credit for this genius idea. I stole it from Cook's Illustrated.
As for the filling. If you're a fan of almond paste and/or almond extract, get excited. You're getting lots of almond flavor in these almond pear galettes.
The almond filling, or almond frangipane, that's spread on top of the dough before the pears are arranged on top, is creamy, sweet, almondy, and delicious. I could probably eat it plain, by the spoonful. I'd prefer a jar of this almond filling to a jar of peanut butter, honestly.
And then the pears. They're mixed with some sugar for sweetness and lemon juice for tartness. And then they're either dumped on top of the filling (I like to call this method "rustic"), or arranged intricately on top. Both methods work just fine.
After you've spread the filling and arranged the pears, it's time to fold over the border to shape your galette. And then the edges get brushed with an egg wash to make your galettes all glossy and beautiful, and are sprinkled with raw sugar for a lil extra sweetness and slivered almonds for a lil extra crunch and flavor and fanciness.
Flaky, tender crust. Creamy almond filling. Juicy, sweet pears. A delicious, elegant, autumn dessert, these mini almond pear galettes are.
mini almond pear galettes
Yield: 10 individual galettes
2 ½ cups flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut oil*, solid (can sub butter or margarine)
4 tablespoons ice water
2-4 tablespoons cold vodka (can sub water)
6 tablespoons coconut oil, solid (can sub butter or margarine)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (put less or omit if don’t like strong almond taste)
1 cup almond flour/ground almonds
2 tablespoons flour
4 pears (I like Bosc pears for color contrast)
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
-Egg, for brushing
-Sliced almonds, for garnishing
-Turbinado/raw sugar, for sprinkling
Crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the coconut oil in clumps and pulse a few times until crumbly dough forms. Do not pulse till smooth.
Add in the water and 2 tablespoons vodka and pulse a couple more times until dough is crumbly again. If the dough sticks together when pressed between fingers, there’s enough liquid. If it’s too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons more vodka.
Pack the dough together with your hands, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill for 40 minutes in the fridge or 25 minutes in the freezer. While chilling, prepare filling.
Filling: Clean out bowl of food processor and then blend together the coconut oil and sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and extracts and blend till smooth again. Add in almond meal and flour and blend again. Set filling aside.
Pears: Slice pears into thin wedges (leave peels on). Add wedges to a medium bowl and toss with the lemon juice and sugar until pears are evenly coated.
Assembly: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour work surface and rolling pin. Divide the chilled dough into 10** equal pieces.
Roll out first piece of dough into a thin circle (doesn’t have to be perfect). Drop a generous dollop of almond filling onto the center of the dough and then spread it a little, leaving a 1’’ border of dough empty all around.
Place a handful of pear wedges on top of the filling, arranging as desired. Fold over the empty border of dough on top of the pears. Brush the border with a beaten egg. Sprinkle sliced almonds on the border of the galette and then sprinkle Turbinado/raw sugar over entire galette. Repeat with remaining 9 pieces of dough.
Place galettes onto prepared baking sheets and then place the sheets into the freezer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F.
Bake galettes for 22-26 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom. Serve warm with ice cream and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar if desired.
*Note: use refined coconut oil if you don't want any coconut flavor in your galettes.
**Note: instead of the 10 small galettes, you can also choose to make 2 larger galettes or 12+ really mini galettes.