Monday, May 5, 2008

Caramelized Ginger-Pear Galette with Blue Cheese Creme Anglaise and Bacon

I busted this one out on a new friend for whom I made dinner for the first time last night. Dinner itself consisted of grilled pork chops which had been brined with apple, sage and garlic, spaetzle with mustard and sage butter and grilled asparagus with thyme. All served up with a nice Montepulciano which was on sale at New Seasons (it's a good thing neither of us are wine snobs...).

I've been playing around with galettes lately. It's a good way to practice one's pie chops without committing to something as large as an actual pie. It all starts with a good dough. I used Shuna's, for a couple reasons. First, it's a great pie dough recipe which doesn't incorporate lard or shortening. Second, it's the only pie dough recipe currently in my repertoire. Whichever dough you go with (and no, there's no shame in using store bought, although it kind of defeats the purpose of the whole, y'know, cooking experience), roll it into a log and cut it into roughly half inch sections:

Roll each section out into a rough circle, about 1/8 inch thick and seven or eight inches in diameter:

At this point, you're ready to make the filling:

3 pears, of your choosing, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp crystalized ginger, finely chopped
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp sugar
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat, and saute the pears and ginger with half of the sugar:

Once the pears have softened and caramelized a bit (they won't take on a great deal of color, the way caramelized onions do), Add the juice, zest and the rest of the sugar. Cook this down a bit, add the flour and cornstarch and cook it for a few more minutes, until it's taken on a thick consistency and take it off the heat.

Sprinkle the dough circles with a 50/50 combination of flour and cornstarch. This will prevent the dough from becoming saturated by the filling:

Next, spoon a small amount of the filling onto each circle, keeping it about an inch from the edge:

Fold up the edges around the filling:

Put the galettes into a pre-heated oven at 400F for one hour, rotating once halfway through. When they're done, they should look something like this:

To make the creme anglaise, beat three egg yolks and set aside. Bring one cup of heavy cream and a few ounces of crumbled blue cheese just to the boil in a large saucepan. Take off the heat, and temper the egg yolks by whisking the hot dairy, a small amount at time, into the yolks, until about half of the dairy has been incorporated. Then pour this back into the rest of the dairy and keep on a very low flame, whisking frequently, until ready to use.

Fry up some finely chopped bacon. Plate the galette, sauce with the anglaise, and sprinkle with bacon. And enjoy.

So you're probably wondering, how did my new friend like her galette? Well, she never tasted it. We finished dinner, went over to Vincente's for a drink, came back and... got distracted. I guess I'll have to pawn them off onto my co-workers.


Anonymous said...

Sounds yummy! You can try this on me next time I'm out. LGS

Risa Dale said...

Sorry I never got to eat them- they look deeelicious...maybe next time?

tommy said...

I'm thinking the next galette project might involve figs...