Apples and pears are so delicious and abundant this time of year. These little galettes are full of the quintessential fall flavors of succulent baked apples and pears, surrounded by tender pastry. Because they are mini, they are just the right size for one person, and great for dessert, a snack, or even breakfast. Because the fruit is so fresh and flavorful, these galettes do not need a lot of ingredients.
At the height of autumn, there is so much beauty and bounty from nature. And there are people who love the bounty and want to share it. My daughter and I were at a farmers market in a nearby town recently, where we encountered a farm stand I had never seen before at this market. The woman there had piles of pumpkins and squash, and baskets heaped with red, ripe tomatoes and beautiful pears. Her prices were so low, she was almost giving the produce away, and I could tell she really wanted people to use and enjoy her fruits and vegetables. I bought a basket of ripe, golden pears from her, though the price was so low it truly felt like a gift. A couple of days later, my mother brought us a bag of apples from the iconic cider mill in the town where I grew up. I have so many memories of going to that cider mill as a kid, of sitting along the river and drinking that fresh cider from paper cups and eating doughnuts from a paper bag.
Anyway, I knew I had to do something with this fruit to honor its goodness and the generous spirit in which it was given. Since I am slightly obsessed with galettes this year, I wanted to try these two archetypal fall fruits in galettes. I am so glad I did, because they tasted wonderful, and my kitchen smelled amazingly good while they were baking. Also, since galettes are considered rustic, I don’t feel a lot of pressure to make them look perfect. The taste is of paramount importance though, and the fruit stands out nicely. My family smiled and ate them up. Good thing I captured them in photographs before anyone else got home!
I hope you are enjoying the abundance of fall and the joy of generosity. Small acts of kindness can make someone’s day. A beautiful basket of pears, a bag of fresh apples, a pear or apple galette, or even just a smile. It makes me think of that bumper sticker that says, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” or something close to that. Receive graciously. Pass it on. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!
Apple and Pear Mini Galettes
For the apple filling:
- 2 cups of apple, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste)
For the pear filling:
- 2 cups of pear, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of flour
For the crusts:
- 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2/3 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 to 7 tablespoon of cold water
For the egg wash:
- one egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon of water
Wash, peel, and thinly slice the apples. In a small mixing bowl, combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Wash, peel, and thinly slice the pears. In another small mixing bowl, combine the pears, sugar, and flour.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Gradually cut in the butter with a fork or a pastry cutter, combining until the mixture has the consistency of peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cold water over the dough, and gently toss with a fork. Repeat until the dough is moistened, but not so wet that it is slimy. If you add too much water, add a little flour. Work the water through just until the dough is a nice, soft texture, but don’t over-work it. Divide the dough in half, forming two balls. Set one ball aside. Divide the other ball into four smaller balls of about equal size. On a lightly floured surface, flatten a small ball with the palm of your hand. Then roll the dough from the center to the edges, forming a circle of about 6 inches in diameter. Do the same thing with the remaining 3 small balls of dough. When you have four 6-inch circles of dough, spoon the apple mixture onto the center of the circles, distributing it evenly and leaving about a 2-inch border of dough around the circles. Gently fold the edges of the dough around the fruit, pleating all the way around the edges. Transfer the galettes to one of the baking sheets.
Clean any residual dough off the floured surface, and sprinkle more flour on it. Take the second large ball of dough and repeat the above process, making 4 six-inch circles of dough. Spoon the pear mixture onto these four circles. There may be a lot of pear juice at the bottom of the bowl, so try to spoon out the fruit, leaving as much juice as possible in the bowl. Repeat the folding and pleating process and transfer the pear galettes to the other baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and add a tablespoon of water. With a pastry brush, brush the edges of the galette crusts with the egg wash.
Bake in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the crusts are lightly golden and the fruit is bubbly. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired. Enjoy!