Bake

Asian Pear Galette With Cardamom Whipped Cream

by:
February 14, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.
Author Notes

Asian pear (also known as Korean pear, Japanese pear, Chinese pear, Taiwanese pear, apple pear, zodiac pear, and sand pear) is the secret weapon in much of my mother’s cooking. She uses it as a natural sweetener in her galbi, her kimchi, and even her common-cold elixir: a rapidly boiled tonic of pear, ginger, and cinnamon. In baking, I love this fruit for its crisp, subtle sweetness—and for its gorgeous chestnut skin. I also find that it’s less grainy than regular Anjou or Bosc pears. But by all means, if you can’t source a nice, fat Asian pear, then thin slices of the others will work just fine here.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this galette recipe is that it’s a concretization of the adage, Less is more. The pear is dressed very simply with brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest. ("What's nice about the lemon zest," Melissa Clark says about galettes, “is you're not just getting the tartness of the juice, but you're actually getting some of the perfume, which is really pretty.”) The lemon in this pie works well with the lightly floral, citrusy cardamom whipped cream—which is, I’ll be frank with you, totally optional. But should you have some leftover cream or ground cardamom in your pantry, please try it. It’ll change your life.

Lastly, my little touch is rice vinegar and whole-wheat flour in the crust, both of which aid not only in the galette's flakiness, but in its flavor, as well. There's sweetness here, but there's also savoriness and nuttiness.

Note: This recipe calls for a parchment-lined sheet pan. But aluminum foil has its merits, too. With foil, you can fold up the sides and form vertical-ish walls around the galette crust (I like to do this as insurance, just in case the fruit wants to bleed out and burn on the pan). This way, you avoid the burning completely and instead keep any rogue juices contained so that they can, ultimately, reduce and caramelize around the edges of the crust. Even more, depending on how strong your oven is, if your galette crust starts to get too dark too quickly, you can just fold the foil walls over halfway through baking. —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: 3 Easy, Foolproof Desserts for the Weekend. —The Editors

  • Prep time 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes one 13-inch galette
Ingredients
  • Dough
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 1/2 cup (57 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons (99 grams) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Ice water, as needed
  • Filling and assembly
  • 1 Asian pear (about 3/4 pound), halved, cored, and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • Cardamom Whipped Cream, recipe follows
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the dough: In a bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, and salt until combined, then add the butter. Using a dough cutter or your fingers, squish and flatten the butter pieces into the flour until you have the texture of coarse meal with pea-sized (and larger) pieces throughout.
  2. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water, and mix until dough comes together into a ball. If the dough seems dry, you may need more water; add an extra tablespoon at a time until you can form a ball.
  3. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to assemble the galette, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. Make the filling: In a bowl (feel free to use the one you just used for the crust), toss together the sliced pears, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and salt.
  6. On a clean working surface or large cutting board, lightly dust with flour and roll dough out into a flat round, about 1/8-inch thick and 13 inches wide. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Place the pears in the center, shingling them over one another like fish scales, leaving behind the accumulated juices. Fold over the edges of the dough so there’s about a 1- to 2-inch border. Carefully pour the juices over the center of the galette (ensuring it remains within the crust). Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon brown sugar over the fruit. Brush the crust with heavy cream and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust has browned and the filling is bubbling. Let sit to cool slightly.
  8. Cardamom Whipped Cream: Use an electric mixer or whisk to whip 1 cup (227 grams) heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom to medium peaks, or to your desired whipped cream texture. Serve dollops of this cream with the cooled but still-warm galette.

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Eric Kim is a senior editor at Food52, where his solo dining column, Table for One, runs Friday mornings. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.