Caramel Pear Galette-and an Ode to CA Grown Food

Thank you to California Grown for encouraging me to connect with California growers and encouraging California consumers to “Choose California Grown” when they can.

I know it’s really winter when I stop eating fruit. Spring through summer we can’t get enough, from the first strawberries that show up at the farmers’ market through the last of the plums. Then pumpkins come in and I get excited about squash and apples and then. It all fizzles out. I am so tired of apples, the occasional banana, oranges and more apples by Thanksgiving. Then I remember the pear.

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Galette is about as simple as pastry gets: a free-form crust filled with fruit. The secret is to use fruit at the peak of ripeness.

Pears can be tricky. I hate getting the rock-hard versions found at most groceries. Even worse are the turns-to-mush-as-soon-as-you-think-about-eating it variety. Bruised and mushy is not my idea of a tasty snack. And then I was lucky enough to receive of box of pears from a local grower, Virgina Hemly Chhabra of Greene & Hemly, Inc.

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Look at that fruit! And a handwritten note from the woman who owns/runs the orchard.

It was like she sent me a box of sunshine. It’s been so busy at my house lately, and the weather unpredictable so I’ve been out of my usual farmers market routine. And the store where I get most of my staples from ( love the low prices on crazy good snacks) doesn’t have the very best in produce. And almost none of it is even from right here in California. Which doesn’t make sense to me, since the nations best produce is grown here. We dove into that box the day it showed up. My little girls adored the diminutive Seckel pears that fit into the palms of their hands while I enjoyed munching on the creamy Taylor’s Gold variety. Of course, the Bosc were the ones I covered in brown-sugar caramel and baked into a flaky crust with a handful of fresh cranberries. Honestly, I don’t know how I forgot about the pear.

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Not just for lunchboxes: a quick and tasty cheese plate I served at Thanksgiving. Note the tiny pears and "red cheese"--the little girls loved it.

I am happy to be in love with fruit again. And happy to be reminded of some of the very good reasons to be eating local: less energy is wasted getting the food to you, the fruit can be harvested closer to ripe, your dollars go to supporting business in your community. It’s enough to make me don a light rain jacket and venture out to one of the all-year farmer’s markets again. I know. I am a total Sunshine State wimp. Still, if you live near me, you’d be silly to buy out of state, out of season foods when the best is right here. Now if we could get that certain small grocery store with a cult-like following to get on board with us, life would be perfect.

 

Caramel Pear Galette

Ingredients

  • Pastry Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup unslated butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4-1/2 cup iced water
  • Filling
  • 4 medium-large ripe Bosc pears, cored and sliced about 1/4
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • raw sugar
  • heavy cream or milk

Cooking Directions

  1. Prepare Pie Crust: This is recipe uses a food processor and makes enough crust for a double crust pie. You'll only need half the recipe, the other half can be wrapped an frozen for up to three months. You can also use your favorite pie crust recipe.
  2. Blend dry ingredients together in bowl of food processor
  3. Add butter and pulse to chop until flour looks like course meal: 10-15 seconds
  4. Add ice water and pulse quickly 1 tablespoon at a time=1 pulse at a time
  5. When dough holds together stop adding water
  6. Remove from the bowl and divide the dough in half
  7. Flatten each piece in to a disk and wrap in plastic wrap
  8. Refrigerate 60 minutes
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  10. Take one crust out and gently roll into about a 12" circle
  11. Place circle of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet
  12. Toss together sliced pears and cranberries
  13. Heat skillet over medium high heat, add brown sugar
  14. Cook without stirring until sugar begins to melt and darken
  15. Use a heat-proof spatula to gently stir the sugar until it is all melted and dark brown
  16. Quickly add the butter, stirring to incorporate, remove from heat
  17. Drizzle hot caramel over mounded pears and cranberries
  18. Fold the crust gently up the side of the pastry, creating folds to hold the dough together as a free form pie
  19. Brush with heavy cream or milk and sprinkle with raw sugar
  20. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and fruit is browned at the top, about 20 minutes
  21. Let stand about 10 minutes, slice and serve

Note: Pastry Crust Adapted from Laura of Hey What’s for Dinner Mom. She has a great video on how to make this pie dough, if you’re wary.

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Ready for the oven--and Stella is excited.

Thank you again to California Grown for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about all of California Grown growers. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #CleverCAGrown #spon

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2 Responses to Caramel Pear Galette-and an Ode to CA Grown Food

  1. Jackie says:

    That looks absolutely delicious!

  2. That looks utterly divine! Weren’t the pears delicious? We made something similar for Thanksgiving (upside down tarte tatin).

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