Holiday Fruit Desserts: Pear Hazelnut Frangipane Galette
Gorgeously sumptuous in the seasonal colors, the pear hazelnut frangipane galette will appeal to the eye and tastebud alike. Almond frangipane is often used for pears in pastries, but I sometimes find it too sweet (preferring a savory edge without being overwhelmingly sweet). Cue in hazelnuts, which give that nuttiness flavor complementary to pears. The pears are not poached prior to being baked therefore they will be crisp, a nice textural contrast with the pillowy hazelnut frangipane. An alternative would be to poach them whole and cut them fan-like as they appear in this galette. The galette dough recipe is a reliable and nearly foolproof one that Dorie Greenspan uses in Baking Chez Moi. I have used it several times with success - the pastry is buttery and flaky like pie dough. The pear hazelnut frangipane galette can be served warm or at room temperature. If you feel really decadent, you could add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. ~ Eric
Galette Dough (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
Makes 1 galette crust
1 1/2 cups (204 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces (frozen butter is good here)
1/4 cup ice water
Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix thoroughly. Sprinkle cubes of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is incorporated into the flour. The texture initially will be somewhat like coarse cornmeal, and additional pulsing will produce a mixture that has small flake-size pieces and some larger pea-size pieces. Add a bit of ice water and pulse, add some more, pulse and add until no more water is left. Pulse longer and stop momentarily to scrap the sides and bottom of the food processor bowl. Now work in longer pulses, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the food processor. In time, a dough that resembles feta cheese curds will result. Do not overpulse. but pulse enough that the wheel against the dough begins to slow down. Turn the dough out onto a work surface.
Shape the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk and put it between two large pieces of parchment paper. Roll the dough while it is cool into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter. Cut a circle out of the dough (I used the removable tart tin base when you construct the galette). You don't want an overly thin dough, and it's preferable to have a thick dough with some heft especially where galettes are concerned.
Slide the rolled-out dough, still between the papers, onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour or refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Leave the dough on the counter for a few minutes until t’s flexible enough to lift and fold without cracking.
125 g softened unsalted butter
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
2 tsp plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
135 g (1 1/4 cups) hazelnut meal
To make the hazelnut meal, finely chop whole hazelnuts in a food processor. Set aside.
Place the butter and 100 g sugar in a food processor and whiz until combined. Add the flour and whiz to combine. With the motor running, add the eggs and vanilla, then add the hazelnut meal and whiz until well combined.
3 pears unpeeled and de-cored ( I used Bosc pears and I left on the skin on).
Cut the pears in half through the stem end and remove the cores with a spoon (I used a teapsoon). Slice the pears thinly and vertically, with slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) from the stem so the they remain attached at the stem end.
1.) Preheat the oven and the baking sheet to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). The preheated baking sheet helps crisp up the bottom of the pastry and minimizes the risk of a soggy bottom.
2.) Spread the hazelnut frangipane evenly on the dough, leaving 2 inches (5 cm) around the edge.
2.) Fan out the pear slices on the top of the frangipane layer - you may find it easier to split the pear fans in half and spread them out.
3.) Fold the edge of the galette dough towards the center.
Bake the galette for 45 to 55 minutes, until the crust is deeply golden brown and the frangipane turns a beige brown.
Note: The recipe makes leftover frangipane and dough for a mini-galette.