Red Anjou Pear, Walnut and Goat Cheese Galette Dusted with Lavendar Sugar


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For some reason I am just discovering the beauty of pears. I mean, I’ve always been aware of pears. They were just never really my first choice of fruit. And what I’m now (finally) discovering is that they are a wonderful Autumn fruit! Bosc pears, Bartlett pears, Concord pears and the ones I used in this galette – Red Anjou pears. Red Anjou pears are sweet and less acidic than their green counterparts. I also liked using the Red Anjous because I like the contrast of the color of the skin peeking out of the galette. And like Bosc pears, they hold up well when cooked. Bosc pears are probably my favorite as they are more woodsy and their sweetness is more like honey than sugar. Each has a distinct aroma and taste – so buy one of each and do your own taste-test!

Ingredients
Filling:
5-6 medium ripe (but not mushy) pears of your choice.
3/4 cup organic pear juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons corn starch
a pinch of salt

Crust:
You can either buy store-bought crust (no shame in that game) or you can make one from scratch. Check out this crust recipe. It’s from the Pioneer Woman… or I guess I should say it’s from my new BFF, Ree. Now that we’re tight twitter friends and all. 🙂  As you’ll see…it’s a lot of work.  And since I no longer own a KitchenAid stand mixer (moment of silence) I would have had to make it completely by hand. So yea, I bought my crust at Publix.
1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/4 cup non-dairy vanilla creamer
1 tablespoon Lavendar infused turbinado sugar.  (infuse turbinado sugar with Lavender by putting a quarter cup of sugar in a ziplock baggie with 1 to 2 sprigs of fresh lavender and store overnight. The longer you store the more intense the lavender flavor will be. This is delicious in tea and on all sorts of goodies.)

Preparation
Preheat over to 425 degrees F. If using store bought pie dough let it sit out and get to room temperature. Wash and core pears, removing tops and bottoms. No need to peel. Cut pears into thin slices (about 1/4″ thick). You should be prepared to use the pear slices right away or they will brown. If not using them immediately, put in bowl of water with lemon to stave off browning.

Have your pie crusts rolled out and ready on parchment paper on a cookie sheet (or use non-stick spray). It’s important to fill your crusts while on the cookie sheet because they will probably fall apart if you try to move them once they’re filled. Note: If using store-bought this will be enough filling for two galettes that will each be 8″-10″ in diameter. I actually combined the two sheets of dough and re-rolled it out to make 3 smaller ones that I needed for 3 separate events. They were about 6″-7″ in diameter.

Ready to Cook?
Toss pear slices, pear juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, corn starch and salt into a non-reactive pot and cook on stove top over pear4medium heat, gently stirring until sauce thickens and pears are all covered. Do not cook the pears – just heat long enough to become thick and jammy.  Remove from heat and let cool. Once filling is cool to the touch (this is important – if too hot it will melt  your dough and tear it), spoon into the center of your crusts piled about 2.5″ high and leaving about 2″ of room around the edge to fold over. Fold crust up and over filling and circle around pinching and overlapping the edges until circle is complete. The filling should be visible (see photo). Now brush vanilla creamer on the dough and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Place on middle rack and bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on size).  TIP: To keep your crust from getting too dark lay a piece of tin foil flat on top of galettes to shield them. Then remove the last 5 minutes for perfect browning. Do not wrap tin foil tightly or your dough will steam. Just simply lay it on top.

Once out of the oven, sprinkle with chopped walnuts and goat cheese crumbles. Lavender sprig optional. 🙂

The Perfect Bite
Slice the gallette like you would a pie.  Though it is best served warm, do let it cool and set once it’s out of the oven as it tends to fall apart if too hot.  My perfect bite is to make sure I get walnuts and goat cheese on each fork-full. I kept a few of each on the side just in case.

The Perfect Pairing
I personally did not want to add anything to my little slice of pear gallete, but surely a nice dollop of homemade whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be lovely with this! And a perfect beverage to pair with these red pears? Try it with my Red-Headed Martini. Unless you’re having it for breakfast (ah go ahead… no judgment here).

The Perfect Health
Pears provide a very good source of fiber and are also a good source of vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium. They also contain a significant amount of pectin, which is a water soluble fiber. Pears are actually higher in pectin than apples. This makes them effective in helping to lower cholesterol levels and in toning the intestines. They are often recommended by health care practitioners as a hypoallergenic fruit that is high in fiber. Read more about the health benefits of pears here.

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