I have been having craving for a great fruit tart for a while, and the March issue of Food & Wine magazine had a recipe Plum Galette from Jacques Pepin that looked great (this was an anniversary edition with all time best recipes, this one is from 1994. I am happy they re-printed it!).
Since it said that I could make it with any seasonal fruit, in Washington winter that means apples or pears, I choose pears. The original recipe is linked above, this is what I ended up doing
Pate Brisee (tart dough)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (350 ml)
- 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, in small (1/2 inch/1.5 cm) pieces (170 g)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup ice water (80 ml)
- Note: To help keep the butter cold, I usually cut it, and then freeze it for 5 min, as cutting will melt it a bit.
1. Add the flour, salt and butter to a food processor. Pulse for about 5 seconds. The butter will still be in pieces, they might be fairly large. This helps create a super flakey crust.
2. Add the ice water and pulse for 5 seconds more. The dough should just come together, with pieces of butter still visible. Gather the dough into a ball on your work surface
3. Roll out the dough to 16-18 inch circle, about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick (40-45 cm diameter, 1.5 -3 mm thick. Fold the dough over, then over again to transfer to a large, parchment lined baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 min.
Filling and tart
- 1/4 cup sugar (60 ml)
- 3-4 tbsp ground raw almonds or almond meal
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2-4 pears, cut into thin wedges
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter in small bits
- 3-4 tbsp sugar (additional)
- 2-3 tbsp apricot jam
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 204 C while you wait for the dough to chill and cut the pears.
2. Mix the 1/4 cup sugar, the flour and the ground almonds in a small bowl. Take your chilled dough our of the refrigerator and spread the mixture over dough to about 2 inches/5 cm from the edge
3. Add the pear wedges on top in a pretty pattern, starting from the inside make this easier.
4. Dot the pears with butter, and sprinkle a bit of the remaining sugar on top. Use more or less depending on how sweet you like it (I used a lot less than the original recipe called for).
5. Fold the edge of the dough over the fruit and fillings, and sprinkle the edge with a bit more sugar.
6. Bake for about 1 hour, until the crust is golden brown and the pears are soft. Heat the apricot jam in microwave a for 15-30 seconds to melt it. Brush the jam over the pears and the edge when the tart comes out of the oven.
7. Remove the tart from the baking sheet using a spatula, and let cool on rack.
The recipe promised that the pate brisee was the easiest ever, and it was. It was also super, super flakey and crisp. In other recipes I often see instructions to keep pulsing the dough until in resembles coarse bread crumbs, I think leaving bigger pieces of butter is actually a better idea.
Both me and my husband thought the tart was better the day after it was made, so the juices of the fruit have had time to settle into the filling the dough was a little less crunchy. I can definitely see trying this with different fruits as they are in season.