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Scrap Your Thanksgiving Pie Plans & Make Galettes Instead

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Thanksgiving, to me, is 90% about the pie. I love a crisp-skinned turkey (and the nap I inevitably take after eating plenty of it). I crave my aunt’s mashed potatoes all year long, and eagerly await my first bites of my mother’s soft potato rolls. But all of that is just the precursor to the main event: pie. Hopefully, with plenty of whipped cream at the ready.

Recently, I’ve been baking tons of galettes. I love them for so many reasons: They’re easy and don’t require any special equipment, just a baking sheet. They’re thinner than a traditional pie, so their bottom crust gets as golden brown as the surface without par-baking or any other special techniques. Plus, there’s just as many ways to make them look beautiful as there are traditional pies.

This Thanksgiving, I’m going the galette route—and I’ve turned several of my favorite Thanksgiving pie flavors into galettes. Bu,t whenever you make your next galette—and whatever you decide to fill it with—these fun shaping and décor techniques are bound to make it even more beautiful. Here are 5 of my favorites:

Chocolate pecan galette with a rope-like crimp.
Chocolate pecan galette with a rope-like crimp. Photo by James Ransom

The classic.

A traditional galette is made by rolling a circle of dough, placing filling in the center, then folding the outer edges over the filling to encase it. I love this for its rustic look, but to dress it up, you can add a bit of a crimp to the edge, too—and it looks really sharp. Roll out your dough into a circle that's 1/4-inch thick. Add your filling, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches of uncovered dough all the way around the edge of your galette. If the edges look too ragged, you can trim them a bit to even them up (again, I love the rustic look of leaving the whole thing as is!). When you fold the dough over, squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger a little to create a slight rope-like crimp. Repeat all the way around the galette.

Pumpkin galette: An easy-peasy pumpkin pie alternative.
Pumpkin galette: An easy-peasy pumpkin pie alternative. Photo by James Ransom

The triangle.

Roll out your dough until it's 1/4-inch thick, then use a pastry wheel to cut it into a triangle shape. Place the filling in the center, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches of uncovered dough all the way around. Fold in the sides of the triangle first to encase the filling. Then, fold the bottom piece of the triangle over onto the filling. Be sure to apply a little pressure at the corners where the edges of dough meet, making sure they’re sealed well or the filling may leak out during baking!

Bourbon apple galette. Bourbon apple galette!
Bourbon apple galette. Bourbon apple galette! Photo by James Ransom

The square.

Roll out your dough until it's 1 1/4-inch thick, then use a pastry wheel to cut it into a square shape. Place the filling in the center, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches of uncovered dough all the way around. Fold in the sides first, then fold over the top and bottom of the square to encase the filling. Again, be sure to apply a little pressure at the corners where the edges of dough meet to prevent the filling from leaking out during baking.

A partial double-crusted concord grape galette.
A partial double-crusted concord grape galette. Photo by James Ransom

The partial double-crust.

For this technique, you’ll need two discs of prepared pie dough instead of one. Roll out your first piece of dough until it's 1/4-inch thick, then use a pastry wheel to cut it into a rectangle shape. Place the filling in the center, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches of uncovered dough all the way around. Roll out your second piece of dough until it's 1/4-inch thick, and use a pastry wheel (fluted edge or straight!) to cut long strips of dough. Use the first strip you cut as a guide for the rest so they are even, then place the strips on a diagonal across the rectangle. Trim away the excess pieces of the strips with scissors. Fold in the sides of the base rectangle first, folding over the edges of the lattice strips and the filling. Then fold over the top and bottom of the rectangle to encase the strips and the filling. Again, make sure to seal the dough well.

A pear-cranberry double crusted galette that really does look like a pie. Really!
A pear-cranberry double crusted galette that really does look like a pie. Really! Photo by James Ransom

The double crust.

This galette seriously looks like a pie, but there’s no pie plate needed! You’ll need two discs of prepared pie dough instead of one. Roll out your first piece of dough into a circle that's 1/4-inch thick. Add your filling, leaving 1 to 1 1/2 inches of uncovered dough all the way around at the edges. Roll out your second piece of dough into a circle that's 1/4-inch thick. Place it on top of your galette and trim away any excess dough from the edges. Fold your top piece of dough under the bottom piece of dough, and crimp as desired (you can use any type of traditional pie crimp for this!). Be sure to really crimp well. If the two crusts are not sealed well, filling may leak out during baking. Cut a top vent for this galette, just like a double-crust pie.

Pie's freeform cousin is just as pretty.
Pie's freeform cousin is just as pretty. Photo by James Ransom

Finishing.

I always egg wash my crusts to ensure a nice golden brown color and love a sprinkling of coarse sugar, too. I even tried using sanding sugar and pearl sugar on some of my holiday galettes, just to dress them up a bit. Just like pie, the sky’s the limit!

Bourbon Apple Galette

Bourbon Apple Galette

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes 1 square galette
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large or 4 medium appled, peeled and cored
  • 1 recipe All Buttah Pie Dough (https://food52.com/recipes/24928-all-buttah-pie-dough)
  • Egg wash, as needed for finishing
  • Turbinado sugar, as needed for finishing
Go to Recipe
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Chocolate Pecan Galette

Chocolate Pecan Galette

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes 1 galette
  • 1 recipe All Buttah Pie Crust (https://food52.com/recipes/24928-all-buttah-pie-dough), made as one batch, formed into a 1 inch thick rectangle, wrapped in plastic and chilled
  • 2 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Egg wash, as needed for finishing
  • Turbinado sugar, as needed for finishing
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Pumpkin Galette

Pumpkin Galette

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes 1 triangle galette
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch clove
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 recipe All Buttah Pie Dough (https://food52.com/recipes/24928-all-buttah-pie-dough)
  • Egg wash, as needed for finishing
  • Pearl sugar, as needed for finishing
Go to Recipe
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Concord Grape Galette

Concord Grape Galette

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes 1 rectangle galette
  • 1 1/4 pounds concord grapes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2x recipe All Buttah Pie Dough (https://food52.com/recipes/24928-all-buttah-pie-dough)
  • Egg wash, as needed for finishing
  • Turbinado sugar, as needed for finishing
Go to Recipe
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Pear-Cranberry Double Crusted Galette

Pear-Cranberry Double Crusted Galette

Erin McDowell Erin McDowell
Go To Recipe
Makes one galette
  • 2 pounds pears (peeled if you like—I leave the skins on!)
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 2x recipe All Buttah Pie Dough (https://food52.com/recipes/24928-all-buttah-pie-dough)
  • egg wash, as needed for finishing
  • Turbinado sugar, as needed for finishing
Go to Recipe
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Erin McDowell is a baking aficionado, writer, stylist, and Test Kitchen Manager at Food52. She is currently writing a cookbook. You can learn more about her here.

What favorite pie would you turn into a galette? Let us know in the comments!

Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!
Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!

Tags: Dessert, Thanksgiving, Bake