If there is one thing I appreciate about this in between season, it is the fruits of summer and fall that overlap. In the place of fresh pink watermelons, we have dusky plums, and the juiciest peaches. As the berries slip away, floral sweet figs and small, crisp apples take their place. And as multi-hued tomatoes fade from sight, impressively dark gourds and jewel-like pomegranates announce their presence.
In this galette, late summer and early fall fruits combine to make a dessert that is simple and impressive. Fresh figs, which come into season in August and again in September, have a lightly honeyed quality to them, and they are tender, sensuous and slightly musky. Bronzed bosc pears are dense and hold their shape wonderfully when baked, and their mild sweetness takes well to other flavors. Together, the two fruits are sweet but not overly so, as they are tempered by a nutty and vaguely sour rye crust, and they rest fanned out upon a light layer of almond frangipane, which plays to the nuttiness of the crust.
In all, it is a dessert that is simple, light and beautiful and it is one that would be a perfect end to a Rosh Hashana meal, as the figs, being one of the seven species, are customarily eaten in honor of the New Year. A drizzle of honey just before serving further plays into the Rosh Hashana theme and lightly glazes the galette, highlighting the sweetness of the fruit and hopefully, of the upcoming New Year, too.
Whether you make this galette for Rosh Hashana or as a way to celebrate the coming seasonal changes, I hope it tastes as sweet as honey and finds its way into your fall repertoire, as it has mine.
Bon appetit! And in case you don’t hear from me before the holiday, Shana Tova!
Yield: one galette, serving 6-8
Why I love this recipe: when baked, figs turn jammy and release their floral sweetness. Here, they combine with sweet, dense Bosc pears and an almond frangipane for a simple, yet sophisticated dessert that brings together the best of Fall fruit. The crust is nutty and vaguely tart thanks to rye flour, which offsets the sweetness of the fruit.
For the galette crust:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons rye flour
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, frozen
3 ounces ice cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg yolk, mixed with water
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
For the filling:
- 1 Bosc pear, washed and sliced
1 pint fresh figs, washed, stems removed and sliced thinly
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg white
- honey, for drizzling
- To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Use your fingers to cut in half the stick of cold butter until it is the size of peas. Then cut in the other half of the butter, leaving it in bigger, visible pieces.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the water and make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the water into the flour until just combined.
- If the dough seems dry, add more water a couple of teaspoons at a time. Press the dough together, form into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the the dough in the freezer for an hour, or in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400º, with a rack in the bottom of the oven.
- Finely grind almonds and flour in a food processor. Mix in sugar, butter, then the egg white. Blend until smooth. Cover and chill until needed
- On a lightly floured surface, flour the chilled disk of dough. Begin to roll it out, rolling in one direction at a time. As you roll it, pick it up and rotate it, to ensure that it doesn’t stick to any surfaces. Use flour as you need to.
- Roll the dough into a 10” circle and trim the edges.
- Transfer the galette dough to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread the frangipane filling evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2″ border.
- Lay the pear slices out in a circle, slightly overlapping. Between each pear slice, layer two or three fig rounds. Finish until you have completed a circle and pile 3 or 4 small fig rounds in the center. Sprinkle the nutmeg over the fruit.
- Crimp the edges together. Brush the dough with the egg yolk and sprinkle liberally with turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes on the lowest rack at 400º. Cool before serving. Drizzle lightly with honey.