This weekend I realized just how much my freezer is bursting. One of the chief things consuming space is pears from the OMG pear tree. I harvested this years but still hadn’t gotten ride of all the ones I froze last year – meh. The issue with frozen pears is that if you slice them up and freeze them they lose a lot of their shape. In the past this has meant that I typically used them in Pear Crisp. Which is delicious but it gets old after you’d had it 2-3 times in a row.
So I decided I was going to try to so something different with the last bag of frozen pears for 2011. I had made a super tasty pear galette earlier in the summer when I harvested the pears and they were fresh. The problem is that the frozen pears had completely lost their shape when I thawed them. I also had made a galette with marscapone and figs. So I wondered if I made a pear marscapone filling how that would be. The biggest issue was making sure the filling wasn’t too liquidy. Marscapone is a cream cheese like consistency and it could absorb some of the pear juice but realistically probably not all in the bag of frozen pears.
So I made an executive decision and drained as much of the liquid off the frozen pears as possible. Once I’d remove the liquid I was left with about 1 1/2 cup of pears. I put these in a bowl with 4 oz of marscapone and mixed them together. The consistency was good but when I tasted the filling something seemed lacking. So I decided to add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to enhance the flavor. Retasted and WOW. Yum. At the last minute, I chose to give the galette some texture by toasting some almonds to put on the top.
I spread the pear marscapone mixture on my sweet tart crust. Then sprinkled the toasted almond slivers over the filling. Lastly I folded the sides in so I had a nice galette shape and baked it off.
A couple tips if you’re making a galette and the dough is giving your fits. First, when you roll the dough out make sure the board is super well floured. Second once you’ve gotten it rolled out and your want to transfer it to the parchment on your baking sheet, use the rolling pin to help you roll the dough off the board. Not only will this help you pick the dough up evenly, if it will give you something to rest the dough on if you have to use a knife to detach dough that is stuck to the board (remember how I said to flour well, mistakes happen and it pays to be prepared). I flour the side of the dough facing up a bit before I start to roll. Then I roll up and release 1/2 of the round then the other. I fold the round in half in order to transfer. I like to keep the pan I’m going to put the dough on close at hand so the transfer is as easy as possible. Lastly I ALWAYS use parchment. I don’t want my baking to stick to the pan and be destroyed. Also once you’ve got the galette filled you can use the parchment as guide to fold over the sides easily and smoothly. This is super helpful if you’ve got cranky dough. Makes everything look pretty and like a pro did it!
The final product is a rustic but attractive dessert. For me galettes are so forgiving that I make them much more regularly than tarts or pies. I’m guessing I find three of four more possible variations to make this fall as I use up the various frozen fruit in my freezer.