Pie crust is absolutely, 100% one of my favorite foods. So as far as I'm concerned, slab pies, with their perfect crust-to-filling ratio, are man's greatest discovery. I live for dough scraps, which I brush with butter and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar for a pre-pie snack. The ultimate downfall of the galette is that there are no scraps, and this hazelnut crust would be the pinnacle of crust snacks. However, I will forgive this pear ginger galette for not leaving me any scraps. For such a simple dessert to make, it has a great deal of complexity in the flavor department: It is sweet, spicy, buttery, and nutty all at once. With all these elements, this tart is definitely a crowd pleaser. However, I won't tell anyone if you don't want to share.
Crust recipe adapted from the July 2015 issue of Bon Appetit and the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. —Emily Schostack
Test Kitchen Notes
Like the recipe's author, I love a perfect pastry dough, and while this hazelnut crust is a lovely accompaniment to and vehicle for this galette's filling, I think adding an extra teaspoon or two of sugar to this crust would make it pop, really highlighting its nuttiness. Teaspoons of sugar aside, the pear and ginger combination is lovely—homey, warming, comforting—and feels extravagant, since it’s not something you see every day. Comes together easily and tastes divine! —Alexandra
Combine the ice water and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor until they resemble a coarse meal.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground hazelnuts, flour, salt, and sugar. Using a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. You want the pieces of butter to be about the size of peas.
Pour 3 tablespoons of the water and vinegar mixture over the flour and butter mixture and stir to incorporate. If the dough is dry, add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time just until it comes together when squeezed.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour and up to 3 days.
For the filling and assembly:
Peel and core the pears. Slice 1/4 inch thick.
To make the filling, combine pears and all other ingredients excluding the egg and coarse sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.
Roll your down out into a circle, then fold your dough circle into quarters, transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and unfold. Pile the filling onto the center of the crust, leaving a 2 to 3 inch border. Fold the edges of the dough over the mound of filling. Chill the galette in the refrigerator for 30 minutes on a baking tray.
Preheat your oven to 400° F. Take the galette out of the refrigerator. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the pears are soft, but not mushy. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.