9.26.16 Pear, Ham, and Brie Galette
Fall is here guys. It’s truly, 100%, officially here. Which is good because for some reason, I always feel a little guilty breaking into fall cooking mode when it’s still technically summer. Maybe it’s because I know we’ve got months and months of cold weather ahead, filled with baking, and root vegetables, and hot beverages, and coziness. I feel I really should be making the most of summer while we still have it, even if it’s summer in name only.
But that ends now, because it’s officially fall, and that means I can now fully embrace my favorite season and all that comes with it. Things including, but not limited to: hot apple cider, cinnamon in everything, big pots of chili, mugs of steaming hot tea, scary movies, and of course, plenty of baking, braising, and all manner of cool weather cooking. At last.
We’re kicking fall off with pie, because who doesn’t love a good pie? Especially one that’s both savory and sweet, meaning you can get away with eating it for supper (or breakfast, or lunch, or what have you).
This particular pie came about almost by accident; the product of the inevitable fridge inventory that occurs when I have absolutely no idea what to make for supper. This most recent foray into the fridge was in fact quite fruitful: among other things, I came up with a partial container of crème fraîche, a small hunk of brie cheese, some sliced smoked ham (the good stuff, from Underground Butcher), and a couple of pears. I knew that these things, together, and in a pie, would be absolutely marvelous. And by pie, I actually mean galette, because forming an actual crust into a pan seems silly when you’re hungry and it’s so easy go free form with this. And I must say, it was pretty amazing. And gone almost immediately.
Pear, Ham, and Brie Galette
The pears get a little juicy as this comes out of the oven, but let it cool a bit, and all will come together nicely. Served just slightly warm, or even at room temperature, it’s fantastic, especially with a mug of hot cider to go with.
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 stick of butter (8 Tbsp)
- 1 oz of water
- ⅓ cup crème fraîche (or in a pinch sub sour cream)
- 6 oz smoked ham, thinly sliced
- 4 oz brie cheese, sliced
- 2 small pears, sliced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 egg, beaten until smooth
1. Measure the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt, and stir to mix it in.
2. Being careful to handle the butter as little as possible (you want to keep it cold, and body heat will warm it up), cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the flour.
3. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour until the pieces are small (about the size of a pea) and the mixture has a grainy texture.
4. Add the water (very cold) a little bit at a time, mixing until the dough is all incorporated into a ball. If 1 oz of water doesn’t seem to be enough, you can add a bit more, but add it a little bit at a time, and use the least amount of water possible to hold the dough together.
5. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15-20 minutes before working with it further.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
7. Take dough out of the refrigerator, and on a well floured surface, roll dough out to a circle of approximately 12 inch diameter. Transfer to the lined baking sheet.
8. Spread the crème fraîche evenly in the center of the dough circle, leaving a 2-3 inch border around the edges. Top evenly with the ham and brie slices, and arrange the pears on top. Sprinkle evenly with the thyme leaves.
9. Fold edges up around the filling. Brush any exposed crust with the beaten egg, then place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Cool before eating.