A surfeit of apples and a bag of pears. I needed an easy, straightforward dessert and these are what I had on hand, so a rustic galette was the most obvious option to us.
A galette is like a fruit pizza — thin and crispy crust and an even layer of lightly spiced fruit. It's less demanding than a pie — no crimped crust to fuss over. It also tastes best at room temperature, so if you have the rest of a meal to cook, this is a relief to do ahead and put to the side. It tastes like the product of far more work than it is, too, with a crispy, flaky crust and soft fruit laid out in a loose pinwheel of autumn sweetness.
Galettes are like pie's chill, easygoing, way less fussy, and equally delicious cousin. And it's for this reason I make them so much more than I ever make pie.
This dessert has everything there is to love about fall pies all bundled into one package: the buttery, flaky crust; the soft, sweet apples and pears; and the warm spices. The dough is simple and comes together easily; when it comes to rolling it out, there are really no rules here. I generally prefer to keep my galette roundish in shape, but you certainly don't have to. This dessert is rustic; its imperfections are what make it so perfect.
And as with apple pie, you can serve this galette warm, at room temperature, or even chilled the next day.
For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
For the fruit:
2 large apples, peeled and cored
3 medium pears, peeled and cored
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pulse the flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor until crumbly. Slowly process in 1/3 cup of ice water just until it comes together in a dough. If necessary, add the remainder of the water. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the fruit.
Thinly slice the apples and pears about 1/4-inch thick and toss with the lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, and spices. Take the dough out of the fridge and gently roll out onto a lightly greased large round pizza pan, or rectangular baking sheet, until it's about 12 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. This is rustic pastry — don't worry too much about the look of it; it doesn't need to be perfectly round!
Lay the fruit out in overlapping circles or rows over the dough, leaving a small border, then fold the pastry up around the outer edges. Dot the top of the galette with cubes of butter, then mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle it over the top.
Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until browned and crispy on the bottom. Cool to room temperature and serve with cinnamon whipped cream or caramel sauce.
This recipe has been updated - originally published October 2007.