I like to think of galettes as casual pies -- “Oh, these? I just threw them together,” kind of pies. They are much less fussy than their double-crusted cousins, and there is no futzy crust-crimping for the folks who find that part of pie making frustrating. They are supposed to look rustic and imperfect, which means that you don’t have to worry if the fruit juices leak a bit or the crust looks rough and bumpy. These little “flaws” just add to the charm of these rustic tarts. —Yossy Arefi
Whisk the flours and salt together in a large bowl, cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add the apple cider vinegar to 8 tablespoons of water in a measuring cup.
Working quickly, toss the butter with the flour mixture to coat, then use your fingers or the palms of your hands to squeeze each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Keep tossing the butter in the flour as you go. The idea is to create flat shards of butter that are about the size of a lima bean.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in about 6 tablespoons of the icy cold water. Use a gentle hand or a wooden spoon to stir the water into the flour until just combined. If the dough seems very dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it together without it falling apart. Press the dough together, then split it in half, form it into discs, and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight.
For the pears:
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Peel, core, and thinly slice the pears. Toss the pear slices with the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds, spices, and salt.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the pie dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Use a knife or pastry wheel to cut the dough into quarters. Transfer the dough to one of the prepared baking sheets. Spread one tablespoon of jam onto each dough quarter, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges.
Arrange a handful of the pear slices over the top in a decorative pattern. Use about 1/2 of a pear per tart.
Fold the edges of the dough over the pears and press gently to seal the dough together. Put the baking sheet in the freezer and repeat with the other round of dough. Place that baking sheet in the freezer, too. Freeze the tarts for 25 minutes, or until very firm.
While the tarts are chilling, preheat the oven to 425º F and whisk the egg in a small dish.
When you are ready to bake, brush the edges of each tart with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the tarts, rotating the pans halfway through until they are deep golden brown and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at apt2bbakingco.blogspot.com & yossyarefi.com.