Some people would say that winter is the season of comfort food, but to me, it’s autumn. Fall is the season of warm flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, pumpkin. But while pumpkin, pecan and apple pies tend to be the favorites, there is yet another delicious fall flavor that deserves more attention – pear! Juicy and sweet, pears are super versatile and are a great way to put a new twist on salads, sandwiches, appetizers and, or course, dessert. This year mix up your usual fall repertoire and try making this recipe for pear and apple galette. As the weather turns cooler, even the strapped-for-cash-and-kitchen-supplies college student can enjoy a slice of this yummy rustic tart. As a bonus, this recipe is both delicious and vegan, substituting olive oil for butter in the crust. By using oil and seasonal fruit, you’re well on your way to a (pretty) healthy homemade dessert!
Sarah McAnaw is a junior at American University where she’s working towards getting a degree in International Studies and cooking for friends. She is studying in Florence, Italy this fall where she is immersing herself in art, culture and, of course, authentic Italian cooking.
Pear and Apple Galette
Modified from DrGaellon’s Vegan Apple-Pear Galette
Note: I used a golden delicious apple, but you can use any type of apple you’d like. I would suggest using Granny smith or Gala apples as good types to use. I also really like spice – cinnamon is my favorite – so I tend to use a lot. If you don’t like spice, feel free to use less, such as 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
For the crust:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons olive oil (not extra-virgin)
For the filling:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour mixture and cut it with a fork until it resembles a course meal. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of cold water over the flour, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each addition.
Using your hands, lightly press the dough into a ball and wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. The dough will be pretty crumbly, but should come together into a cohesive ball. If the dough continues to fall apart, add a little more water in one-tablespoon increments. Let the wrapped dough sit in the fridge for at least twenty minutes, although the longer it sits the better.
Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375° and prepare the filling. Peel and core the apple and pear and cut each into quarter-inch slices. Place the slices in a medium sized bowl. Add the flour, sugar and spices and gently toss with the fruit.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a disk a quarter-inch thick.
Place the fruit slices in concentric circles in the middle of the dough, leaving an inch of dough around the edges. Fold the edges of the dough up around the fruit to form a loose crust around an open circle of fruit in the middle of the galette.
Bake the galette until the dough is slightly browned and the filling bubbles, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm with a steaming cup of tea or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!