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Pear & Cheddar Galette, with Company

Posted By Suzanne McMinn On October 21, 2009 @ 1:05 am In Pies & Pastries,The Farmhouse Table | 23 Comments

Doesn’t that look tasty?

We went pear-picking this weekend when friends offered to share their giant, over-producing pear tree bounty. And was there ever bounty.

Somebody has to be the pear tree shaker.

And somebody has to be the pear picker-upper.

That would be me. I was also the official pear photographer.

I was almost too busy to pick up pears!

Look at that view. We were picking pears on a beautiful ridgetop….

….on a beautiful autumn afternoon.

We came away with six big bucketfuls.

And I was in the mood to bake!

Of course, these pears aren’t ripe yet. They’ll have to sit a bit. Luckily, I had some pears I’d blanched and frozen a few weeks ago. (To freeze pears, peel and core. Cut in halves, quarters, or slices. Treat to prevent darkening and prepare a medium syrup by combining 3 1/4 cups sugar with 5 cups water. Bring to a boil. Blanch pears in syrup for 2 minutes. Cool pears and syrup then pack pears in freezer bags and cover with syrup leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal.)

I’ve been having a hankering to try this recipe here. I’d packed my pears for freezing in 2-cup baggies. The recipe called for 5 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced. I have no idea how many pears went into my 2-cup baggies. I only know it measured out to 2 cups. Besides, what does 5 pears mean? Big pears, medium pears, little pears? And what’s a big pear or a medium pear anyway? Should I take out two of the 2-cup baggies for 4 cups? Or just use one 2-cup baggie? This was a huge dilemma, let me tell you. And what should I bake it in? The recipe suggested baking the galette on a jelly roll pan. I was having a soiree and I wanted a prettier presentation plus I wanted to bake it in something where I’d keep all the juices in. But not a pie pan. Another dilemma! It’s amazing I ever got this thing baked.

And you are wondering–what’s a galette, anyway?

A galette is a pie that never grew up. A pie with no conscience. A pie that wasn’t raised right. In other words, it’s a pie that’s not in a pie plate. A pie made with pie pastry as its shell, but it doesn’t quite look like a pie.

Morgan, who is notorious for her disdain of all things pie (what is wrong with her??), came into the kitchen as I was taking the galette out of the oven. She took a look at this pie that does not look like a pie and I said, “Doesn’t that look good?” I was teasing her because I know she doesn’t like pie. She said, “Yes, can I have some now?”

She didn’t realize it was a pie.

No more pies! Galettes rule!

Oh, and about all that dilemma–I decided to use one 2-cup baggie and I baked the galette in a small (8-inch) tart (or quiche) pan. The 2 cups was just right and the tart pan made for a pretty presentation and also held all the juices in the galette.

How to make Pear & Cheddar Galette:

pastry for single-crust pie

1/2 cup cheddar
2 cups pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Burnt Sugar Syrup Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Spray an 8-inch tart pan with oil and line with pie pastry. Sprinkle crust with cheese.

Combine pears, lemon juice, and nutmeg in a medium-size bowl; toss well. Add brown sugar and flour; toss gently. Mound fruit mixture on top of cheese.

Fold edges of pastry up over the pear mixture. I sprinkled the top with nutmeg.

Bake at 400-degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

To prepare the burnt sugar syrup topping, in a small, heavy saucepan (cast iron is best), heat sugar until it dissolves. Drizzle syrup over galette. (See more about how to burn sugar here.)

All the desserts I made for our little soiree: Maple Pecan Pie (with Bourbon), Old-Time Burnt Sugar Cake, and Iced Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies (without icing, because I was out of vanilla candy coating), and the Pear & Cheddar Galette.

We had three couples over for wine, appetizers, and desserts. They brought appetizers (and wine). I served the desserts. It was a very lovely evening on the farm with friends and wine and laughter and chickens. We decided the Pear & Cheddar Galette was delicious.

Try it!

P.S. This would also be wonderful with apples! (Pears work great in a lot of apple recipes. If you’re looking for new pear recipes, look at apple recipes!)

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

See All My Recipes

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