I am dessert challenged. Not only are they not my forte but I just don’t think about making them. How is that possible? Because I have a sour tooth, not a sweet tooth; I am a lover of pickles, vinegar, citrus, and kombucha. But every once in a while, I get a hankering and need some dessert. Of course my version of dessert is rarely that sweet and usually involves fruit and cheese. This galette fit the bill on all of those dimensions and I whipped it up in less than 30 minutes, a near miracle for me!
Galettes are simply country style tarts; a rolled out piece of pie crust with some filling placed in the center and the edges crimped over to prevent the filling from leaking onto the pan. Do not let yourself be intimidated by the elegant but hopped up versions seen in French bakeries or restaurants that involve glazes or perfect pinwheels of sliced fruit. Just think of centuries of French housewives wondering how to use up some of the pears that kept dropping out the back door and making mush on the ground. Raise your glass to them and thank them for receiving inspiration from the mother of necessity.
I originally wanted to make this galette with blue cheese, but finding none in the larder (zut alors!) I made do with goat cheese, which turned out to be a very fine substitute indeed. Adding some honey and walnuts paired beautifully with the pears, making an extraordinarily delicious and easy dessert.
Goat Cheese, Walnut and Pear Galette
2 cups flour
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons ice water
2 Bosc pears, seeds removed, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
6 oz goat cheese
1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is blended and resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water a teaspoon at a time until it all holds together; form into a ball and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. In separate bowl combine goat cheese, walnuts and honey and mash together until well blended. Press chilled dough onto a baking sheet with the palm of your hand, to 1/2 inch thickness. Spread cheese mixture evenly on dough, leaving at least 1 to 1 1/2 inch edge. Arrange pear slices in fan shape on top of cheese, slightly overlapping. Roll edges of dough over edges of pears and close any holes. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over pears and bake for 30 minutes or until dough is golden and browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.