The Kiwi Cook

Illusions and delusions of a foodie from Down Under

Pear & Ginger Galette

June 9, 2014

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A galette is one of those go-to desserts I can rustle up pretty quickly when I’m pressed for time. So, yesterday, when I only had a couple of hours to come up with a family dessert, I trawled the internet for a tantalising galette recipe and found this one from Gordon Ramsay on Channel 4.com. I loved the idea of combining pears and ginger (they seem to be a match made in heaven) and as I already had a jar of stem ginger in the pantry, it made for a quick decision. I didn’t use his pastry recipe and went instead with the one I’ve used previously which, as far as I’m concerned, can’t be topped.

First, let me say the result was absolutely delicious. To say it very quickly disappeared is an understatement! I did, however, have a bit of an issue with the filling. Firstly, the pears discoloured and, secondly, when I cut into the pie a fair amount of watery pear juice flooded out. I guess I should have questioned the lack of corn flour (corn starch) , semolina or flour in the recipe, which is the usual way to thicken juices, but I imagined that Gordon Ramsay knew what he was talking about. So, I did a little internet trawl afterwards and found that most similar recipes did incorporate a thickener, as well as lemon juice when apples or pears were used. So, as I’d dearly like to make this again, I’ve changed the instructions accordingly.


PEAR & GINGER GALETTE

Serves 6

Ingredients: (Click here for unit converter)

For the filling

  • 4-5 medium sized pears, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 1 Tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp corn flour (corn starch) – depending on how juicy the pears are
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ball of preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp stem ginger syrup
  • 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 156 g (5.5 oz) cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 Tbs. whole milk

For assembly

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar (super-fine sugar)
  • Icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) for dusting
  • Extra ginger syrup to drizzle over
  • Cream, ice-cream, or Crème Anglaise, to serve

Method:

  1. For the filling: Mix together the pears, Demerara sugar, corn flour (corn starch), lemon juice, the root and stem gingers, the ginger syrup and the lemon zest. Put aside.
  2. For the pastry: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor (or if mixing by hand, in a medium bowl). Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add them to the flour. Use pulse or low speed until the butter and flour just starts to combine evenly, though quite coarsely – it won’t take long. Run a spatula along the bottom of the bowl to loosen anything stuck to the bowl. (If mixing by hand, mix with a pastry cutter or two forks until the butter is mixed into the flour as above).
  3. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and milk and add them to the flour mixture. On low speed, mix until the dough just starts coming together, about 15 seconds. (If mixing by hand, add the yolk mixture to the flour and mix gently with a fork until the liquid is well distributed). The dough will still look crumbly and dry.
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  4. Dump the dough onto a clean counter, and bring it together into a ball. Work it with the heel of your hand, pushing and smearing it away from you and gathering it up with a bench scraper and repeating until the dough comes together and is pliable. Don’t overwork it though. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, press it into a flat disk, wrap it in the plastic, and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling it out.
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  5. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; if the dough is very firm, let it sit at room temperature until it’s pliable enough to roll, 10 to 15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a round that’s about 13 to 14 inches in diameter. It’s alright if the edges are a little ragged. If you can’t get a roughly round shape, trim the dough so that it’s a rough circle and roll the trimmed scraps back into the dough.
  6. Assembly: Heap the fruit in the centre of the dough round. Using your fingertips, fold the edges of the dough over some of the fruit to create a rim about 2 inches wide. Work your way all around, pleating the dough as you go. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough evenly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar over top of the dough.
  7. Bake the galette until golden brown – about 50-55 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a rack and let cool. The galette may be baked up to six hours ahead of serving. When cool enough to handle, use a large spatula to carefully transfer the galette to a serving plate or cutting board. You may wish to drizzle over a little more ginger syrup over top of the fruit and sieve a little icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) over top of the fruit and pastry.
  9. Slice it and serve it warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, ice-cream or Crème Anglaise.
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